Permanent seed implant brachytherapy is currently used for adjuvant radiotherapy of early stage prostate and breast cancer patients. The current standard for calculation of dose around brachytherapy sources is based on the AAPM TG-43 formalism, which generates the dose in a homogeneous water medium. Recently, AAPM TG-186 emphasized the importance of accounting for tissue heterogeneities. We have previously reported on a methodology where the absorbed dose in tissue can be obtained by multiplying the dose, calculated by the TG-43 formalism, by an inhomogeneity correction factor (ICF). In this work we make use of dual energy CT (DECT) images to extract ICF parameters. The advantage of DECT over conventional CT is that it eliminates the need for tissue segmentation as well as assignment of population based atomic compositions. DECT images of a heterogeneous phantom were acquired and the dose was calculated using both TG-43 and TG-43 ICF formalisms. The results were compared to experimental measurements using Gafchromic films in the mid-plane of the phantom. For a seed implant configuration of 8 seeds spaced 1.5 cm apart in a cubic structure, the gamma passing score for 2%/2 mm criteria improved from 40.8% to 90.5% when ICF was applied to TG-43 dose distributions.

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Physics in Medicine and Biology
Department of Radiation Oncology

Mashouf, S., Lechtman, E., Lai, P., Keller, B. M., Karotki, A., Beachey, D. J., & Pignol, J.-P. (2014). Dose heterogeneity correction for low-energy brachytherapy sources using dual-energy CT images. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 59(18), 5305–5316. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/59/18/5305