The photon dose calculation algorithm used in breast radiotherapy has significant impact on the parameters of radiobiological models.
Petillion S., Swinnen A., Defraene G., Verhoeven K., Weltens C., Van den Heuvel F.
The comparison of the pencil beam dose calculation algorithm with modified Batho heterogeneity correction (PBC-MB) and the analytical anisotropic algorithm (AAA) and the mutual comparison of advanced dose calculation algorithms used in breast radiotherapy have focused on the differences between the physical dose distributions. Studies on the radiobiological impact of the algorithm (both on the tumor control and the moderate breast fibrosis prediction) are lacking. We, therefore, investigated the radiobiological impact of the dose calculation algorithm in whole breast radiotherapy. The clinical dose distributions of 30 breast cancer patients, calculated with PBC-MB, were recalculated with fixed monitor units using more advanced algorithms: AAA and Acuros XB. For the latter, both dose reporting modes were used (i.e., dose-to-medium and dose-to-water). Next, the tumor control probability (TCP) and the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) of each dose distribution were calculated with the Poisson model and with the relative seriality model, respectively. The endpoint for the NTCP calculation was moderate breast fibrosis five years post treatment. The differences were checked for significance with the paired t-test. The more advanced algorithms predicted a significantly lower TCP and NTCP of moderate breast fibrosis then found during the corresponding clinical follow-up study based on PBC calculations. The differences varied between 1% and 2.1% for the TCP and between 2.9% and 5.5% for the NTCP of moderate breast fibrosis. The significant differences were eliminated by determination of algorithm-specific model parameters using least square fitting. Application of the new parameters on a second group of 30 breast cancer patients proved their appropriateness. In this study, we assessed the impact of the dose calculation algorithms used in whole breast radiotherapy on the parameters of the radiobiological models. The radiobiological impact was eliminated by determination of algorithm specific model parameters.