Brachytherapy accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) is well tolerated, but reported acute toxicities including moist desquamation rates range from 7% to 39%. Moist desquamation is correlated to long-term skin toxicity and high skin dose is the main risk factor. This study uses radiochromic films for in vivo skin dosimetry of low dose rate (LDR) APBI brachytherapy and prediction of skin toxicity. Patients participating in a clinical trial assessing skin toxicity of LDR seed brachytherapy were included in this study. Following the seed implantation procedure, patients were asked to wear a customized oval shaped radiochromic film on the skin projection of the planned target volume (PTV) for 24 h. Exposed films were collected, and maximum point doses were measured. In addition, maximum doses to a small skin volume (D0.2cc) were calculated on the pre- and post-implant CT-scan. Acute skin toxicities (redness, pigmentation, induration and dermatitis) were scored by the treating physician for 2 months during follow-up visits. Skin dose measurements and acute toxicity were available for 18 consecutive patients. The post-implant calculated maximum skin doses (D0.2cc), 60.8 Gy (SD ± 41.0), were on average 30% higher than those measured in vivo (Dmax-film), 46.6 Gy (SD ± 19.3), but those values were highly significantly correlated (Spearman’s rho 0.827, p < 0.001). Also, dermatitis and induration were significantly correlated with higher in vivo measured and post-implant calculated skin dose. Pre-implant dosimetry was not correlated with measured or post-implant skin dose or side effects. Radiochromic films can reliably diagnose excess dose to the skin during the first 24 h and predict skin toxicity, which enables preventative measures.

, , ,,
Physics in Medicine and Biology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Struik, G.M, Godart, J., Klem, T.M.A.L, Monajemi, T.T., Robar, J., & Pignol, J.P. (2020). Radiochromic film in vivo dosimetry predicts early the risk of acute skin toxicity for brachytherapy partial breast irradiation. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 65(8). doi:10.1088/1361-6560/ab7c2f