Brain radiation necrosis (RN) occurring after radiotherapy is a serious complication. We and others have performed several treatments for RN, using anticoagulants, corticosteroids, surgical resection and bevacizumab. However, the mechanisms underlying RN have not yet been completely elucidated. For more than a decade, platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) and their receptors (PDGFRs) have been extensively studied in many biological processes. These proteins influence a wide range of biological responses and participate in many normal and pathological conditions. In this study, we demonstrated that PDGF isoforms (PDGF-A, B, C, and D) and PDGFRs (PDGFR-α and β) are involved in the pathogenesis of human brain RN. We speculated on their roles, with a focus on their potential involvement in angiogenesis and inflammation in RN.
Seven surgical specimens of RN, obtained from 2006 to 2013 at our department, were subjected to histopathological analyses and stained with hematoxylin and eosin. We qualitatively analyzed the protein expression of each isoform of PDGF by immunohistochemistry. We also examined their expression with double immunofluorescence.
All PDGFs were expressed in macrophages, microglia, and endothelial cells in the boundary of the core of RN, namely, the perinecrotic area (PN), as well as in undamaged brain tissue (UB). PDGF-C, D and PDGFR-α were also expressed in reactive astrocytes in PN. PDGFs and PDGFR-α were scarcely detected in UB, but PDGFR-β was specifically expressed in endothelial cells not only in PN but also in UB.
PDGFs/PDGFRs play critical roles in angiogenesis and possibly in inflammation, and they contribute to the pathogenesis of RN, irrespective of the original tumor pathology and applied radiation modality. Treatments for the inhibition of PDGF-C, PDGF-D, and PDGFR-α may provide new approaches for the treatment of RN induced by common radiation therapies.
Angiogenesis; Brain radiation necrosis; Inflammation; Platelet-derived growth factors; Platelet-derived growth factor receptors
Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) delivers high doses of radiation to the prostate while minimizing radiation to adjacent normal tissues. Large fraction sizes may increase the risk of functional decrements. Treatment-related bother may be more important to a patient than treatment-related dysfunction. This study reports on patient-reported outcomes following SBRT for clinically localized prostate cancer.
Between August 2007 and July 2011, 228 consecutive hormone-naïve patients with clinically localized prostate cancer were treated with 35–36.25 Gy SBRT delivered using the CyberKnife Radiosurgical System (Accuray) in 5 fractions. Quality of life was assessed using the American Urological Association Symptom Score (AUA) and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC)-26. Urinary symptom flare was defined as an AUA score 15 or more with an increase of 5 or more points above baseline 6 months after treatment.
228 patients (88 low-, 126 intermediate- and 14 high-risk) at a median age of 69 (44–90) years received SBRT with a minimum follow-up of 24 months. EPIC urinary and bowel summary scores declined transiently at 1 month and experienced a second, more protracted decline between 9 months and 18 months before returning to near baseline 2 years post-SBRT. 14.5% of patients experienced late urinary symptom flare following treatment. Patients who experienced urinary symptom flare had poorer bowel quality of life following SBRT. EPIC scores for urinary bother declined transiently, first at 1 month and again at 12 months, before approaching pre-treatment scores by 2 years. Bowel bother showed a similar pattern, but the second decline was smaller and lasted 9 months to 18 months. EPIC sexual summary and bother scores progressively declined over the 2 years following SBRT without recovery.
In the first 2 years, the impact of SBRT on urination and defecation was minimal. Transient late increases in urinary and bowel dysfunction and bother were observed. However, urinary and bowel function and bother recovered to near baseline by 2 years post-SBRT. Sexual dysfunction and bother steadily increased following treatment without recovery. SBRT for clinically localized prostate cancer was well tolerated with treatment-related dysfunction and bother comparable to conventionally fractionated radiation therapy or brachytherapy.
Prostate cancer; SBRT; CyberKnife; EPIC; Bother; Function; Late symptom flare
The overexpression of histone deacetylase (HDAC) and a subsequent decrease in the acetylation levels of nuclear histones are frequently observed in cancer cells. Generally it was accepted that the deacetylation of histones suppressed expression of the attached genes. Therefore, it has been suggested that HDAC might contribute to the survival of cancer cells by altering the NKG2D ligands transcripts. By the way, the translational regulation of NKG2D ligands remaines unclear in cancer cells. It appears the modulation of this unclear mechanism could enhance NKG2D ligand expressions and the susceptibility of cancer cells to NK cells. Previously, it was reported that irradiation can increase the surface expressions of NKG2D ligands on several cancer cell types without increasing the levels of NKG2D ligand transcripts via ataxia telangiectasia mutated and ataxia telangiectasia and Rad3 related (ATM-ATR) pathway, and suggested that radiation therapy might be used to increase the translation of NKG2D ligands.
Two NSCLC cell lines, that is, A549 and NCI-H23 cells, were used to investigate the combined effects of ionizing radiation and HDAC inhibitors on the expressions of five NKG2D ligands. The mRNA expressions of the NKG2D ligands were quantitated by multiplex reverse transcription-PCR. Surface protein expressions were measured by flow cytometry, and the susceptibilities of cancer cells to NK cells were assayed by time-resolved fluorometry using the DELFIA® EuTDA cytotoxicity kit and by flow cytometry.
The expressions of NKG2D ligands were found to be regulated at the transcription and translation levels. Ionizing radiation and HDAC inhibitors in combination synergistically increased the expressions of NKG2D ligands. Furthermore, treatment with ATM-ATR inhibitors efficiently blocked the increased translations of NKG2D ligands induced by ionizing radiation but did not block the increased ligand translations induced by HDAC inhibitors. The study confirms that increased NKG2D ligand levels by ionizing radiation and HDAC inhibitors could synergistically enhance the susceptibilities of cancer cells to NK-92 cells.
This study suggests that the expressions of NKG2D ligands are regulated in a complex manner at the multilevel of gene expression, and that their expressions can be induced by combinatorial treatments in lung cancer cells.
NKG2D ligands; HDAC inhibitors; Ionizing radiation; Radioresistance
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical impact of using deformable registration in tumor volume definition between separately acquired PET/CT and planning CT images.
Ten lung and 10 head and neck cancer patients were retrospectively selected. PET/CT images were registered with planning CT scans using commercially available software. Radiation oncologists defined two sets of gross tumor volumes based on either rigidly or deformably registered PET/CT images, and properties of these volumes were then compared.
The average displacement between rigid and deformable gross tumor volumes was 1.8 mm (0.7 mm) with a standard deviation of 1.0 mm (0.6 mm) for the head and neck (lung) cancer subjects. The Dice similarity coefficients ranged from 0.76-0.92 and 0.76-0.97 for the head and neck and lung subjects, respectively, indicating conformity. All gross tumor volumes received at least 95% of the prescribed dose to 99% of their volume. Differences in the mean radiation dose delivered to the gross tumor volumes were at most 2%. Differences in the fraction of the tumor volumes receiving 100% of the radiation dose were at most 5%.
The study revealed limitations in the commercial software used to perform deformable registration. Unless significant anatomical differences between PET/CT and planning CT images are present, deformable registration was shown to be of marginal value when delineating gross tumor volumes.
Deformable; Registration; PET/CT; Treatment; Planning
The analysis was designed to compare dosimetric parameters among 3-D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT), intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and RapidArc (RA) to identify which can achieve the lowest risk of radiation-induced liver disease (RILD) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
Twenty patients with HCC were enrolled in this study. Dosimetric values for 3DCRT, IMRT, and RA were calculated for total dose of 50 Gy/25f. The percentage of the normal liver volume receiving >40, >30, >20, >10, and >5 Gy (V40, V30, V20, V10 and V5) were evaluated to determine liver toxicity. V5, V10, V20, V30 and Dmean of liver were compared as predicting parameters for RILD. Other parameters included the conformal index (CI), homogeneity index (HI), and hot spot (V110%) for the planned target volume (PTV) as well as the monitor units (MUs) for plan efficiency, the mean dose (Dmean) for the organs at risk (OARs) and the maximal dose at 1% volume (D1%) for the spinal cord.
The Dmean of IMRT was higher than 3DCRT (p = 0.045). For V5, there was a significant difference: RA > IMRT >3DCRT (p <0.05). 3DCRT had a lower V10 and higher V20, V30 values for liver than RA (p <0.05). RA and IMRT achieved significantly better CI and lower V110% values than 3DCRT (p <0.05). RA had better HI, lower MUs and shorter delivery time than 3DCRT or IMRT (p <0.05).
For right lobe tumors, RapidArc may have the lowest risk of RILD with the lowest V20 and V30 compared with 3DCRT or IMRT. For diameters of tumors >8 cm in our study, the value of Dmean for 3DCRT was lower than IMRT or RapidArc. This may indicate that 3DCRT is more suitable for larger tumors.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Radiotherapy; Dosimetry; Radiation-induced liver disease; Liver protection
Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) facilitates the delivery of a very precise radiation dose. In this study we compare the toxicity and biochemical progression-free survival between patients treated with daily image-guided intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IG-IMRT) and 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) without daily image guidance for high risk prostate cancer (PCa).
A total of 503 high risk PCa patients treated with radiotherapy (RT) and endocrine treatment between 2000 and 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. 115 patients were treated with 3DCRT, and 388 patients were treated with IG-IMRT. 3DCRT patients were treated to 76 Gy and without daily image guidance and with 1–2 cm PTV margins. IG-IMRT patients were treated to 78 Gy based on daily image guidance of fiducial markers, and the PTV margins were 5–7 mm. Furthermore, the dose-volume constraints to both the rectum and bladder were changed with the introduction of IG-IMRT.
The 2-year actuarial likelihood of developing grade > = 2 GI toxicity following RT was 57.3% in 3DCRT patients and 5.8% in IG-IMRT patients (p < 0.001). For GU toxicity the numbers were 41.8% and 29.7%, respectively (p = 0.011). On multivariate analysis, 3DCRT was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing grade > = 2 GI toxicity compared to IG-IMRT (p < 0.001, HR = 11.59 [CI: 6.67-20.14]). 3DCRT was also associated with an increased risk of developing GU toxicity compared to IG-IMRT.
The 3-year actuarial biochemical progression-free survival probability was 86.0% for 3DCRT and 90.3% for IG-IMRT (p = 0.386). On multivariate analysis there was no difference in biochemical progression-free survival between 3DCRT and IG-IMRT.
The difference in toxicity can be attributed to the combination of the IMRT technique with reduced dose to organs-at-risk, daily image guidance and margin reduction.
Prostate cancer; Radiotherapy; Image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT); Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT); Toxicity
To determine the effect of different imaging options and the most efficient imaging strategy for treatment planning of patients with hip prostheses.
The planning kilovoltage CT (kVCT) and daily megavoltage CT (MVCT) studies for three prostate cancer patients with bilateral hip prostheses were used for creating hybrid kVCT/MVCT image sets. Treatment plans were created for kVCT images alone, hybrid kVCT/MVCT images, and MVCT images alone using the same dose prescription and planning parameters. The resulting dose volume histograms were compared. The orthopedic metal artifact reduction (O-MAR) reconstruction tool for kVCT images and different MVCT options were investigated with a water tank fit with double hip prostheses. Treatment plans were created for all imaging options and calculated dose was compared with the one measured by a pin-point ion chamber.
On average for three patients, the D35% for the bladder was 8% higher in plans based on MVCT images and 7% higher in plans based on hybrid images, compared to the plans based on kVCT images alone. Likewise, the D35% for the rectum was 3% higher than the kVCT based plan for both hybrid and MVCT plans. The average difference in planned D99% in the PTV compared to kVCT plans was 0.9% and 0.1% for MVCT and hybrid plans, respectively. For the water tank with hip prostheses phantom, the kVCT plan with O-MAR correction applied showed better agreement between the measured and calculated dose than the original image set, with a difference of -1.9% compared to 3.3%. The measured doses for the MVCT plans were lower than the calculated dose due to image size limitations. The best agreement was for the kVCT/MVCT hybrid plans with the difference between calculated and measured dose around 1%.
MVCT image provides better visualization of patient anatomy and hybrid kVCT/MVCT study enables more accurate calculations using updated MVCT relative electron density calibration.
Tomotherapy; MVCT; Prostheses
Patients with early stage prostate cancer have a variety of curative radiotherapy options, including conventionally-fractionated external beam radiotherapy (CF-EBRT) and hypofractionated stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Although results of CF-EBRT are well known, the use of SBRT for prostate cancer is a more recent development, and long-term follow-up is not yet available. However, rapid post-treatment PSA decline and low PSA nadir have been linked to improved clinical outcomes. The purpose of this study was to compare the PSA kinetics between CF-EBRT and SBRT in newly diagnosed localized prostate cancer.
75 patients with low to low-intermediate risk prostate cancer (T1-T2; GS 3 + 3, PSA < 20 or 3 + 4, PSA < 15) treated without hormones with CF-EBRT (>70.2 Gy, <76 Gy) to the prostate only, were identified from a prospectively collected cohort of patients treated at the University of California, San Francisco (1997–2012). Patients were excluded if they failed therapy by the Phoenix definition or had less than 1 year of follow-up or <3 PSAs. 43 patients who were treated with SBRT to the prostate to 38 Gy in 4 daily fractions also met the same criteria. PSA nadir and rate of change in PSA over time (slope) were calculated from the completion of RT to 1, 2 and 3 years post-RT.
The median PSA nadir and slope for CF-EBRT was 1.00, 0.72 and 0.60 ng/ml and -0.09, -0.04, -0.02 ng/ml/month, respectively, for durations of 1, 2 and 3 years post RT. Similarly, for SBRT, the median PSA nadirs and slopes were 0.70, 0.40, 0.24 ng and -0.09, -0.06, -0.05 ng/ml/month, respectively. The PSA slope for SBRT was greater than CF-EBRT (p < 0.05) at 2 and 3 years following RT, although similar during the first year. Similarly, PSA nadir was significantly lower for SBRT when compared to EBRT for years 2 and 3 (p < 0.005).
Patients treated with SBRT experienced a lower PSA nadir and greater rate of decline in PSA 2 and 3 years following completion of RT than with CF-EBRT, consistent with delivery of a higher bioequivalent dose. Although follow-up for SBRT is limited, the improved PSA kinetics over CF-EBRT are promising for improved biochemical control.
SBRT; Stereotactic body radiotherapy; Prostate; External beam; Conventionally fractionated; Nadir; Kinetics; Slope
This retrospective study aims to assess the usefulness of SUVmax from FDG-PET imaging as a prognosticator for primary biopsy-proven stage I NSCLC treated with SBRT.
This study includes 95 patients of median age 77 years, with primary, biopsy-confirmed peripheral stage IA/IB NSCLC. All patients were treated with 60Gy in 3 fractions with a median treatment time of six days. Local, regional, and distant failures were evaluated independently according to the terms of RTOG1021. Local, regional, and distant control, overall- and progression-free survival were estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to determine whether SUVmax, age, KPS, gender, tumor size/T stage, or smoking history influenced outcomes. SUVmax was evaluated as both a continuous and as a dichotomous variable using a cutoff of <5 and ≥5.
Median follow-up for the cohort was 16 months. Median OS and PFS were 25.3 and 40.3 months, respectively. SUV with a cutoff value of 5 predicted for OS and PFS (p = .024 for each) but did not achieve significance for LC (p = .256). On Cox univariate regression analysis, SUV as a dichotomous variable predicted for both OS and PFS (p = .027 and p = .030, respectively). Defined as a continuous variable, SUVmax continued to predict for OS and PFS (p = .032 and p = .003), but also predicted LC (p = .045) and trended toward significance for DC (p = .059).
SUVmax did not predict for OS as a dichotomous or continuous variable. It did, however, predict for PFS as a continuous variable (p = .008), neared significance for local control (p = .057) and trended towards, significance for distant control (p = .092).
SUVmax appears to be a statistically and clinically significant independent prognostic marker for progression-free survival in patients with stage I NSCLC treated with SBRT. Prospective studies to more accurately define the role of tumor FDG uptake in the prognosis of NSCLC are warranted.
While most meningiomas are benign, aggressive meningiomas are associated with high levels of recurrence and mortality. A single institution’s Gamma Knife radiosurgical experience with atypical and malignant meningiomas is presented, stratified by the most recent WHO classification.
Thirty-one patients with atypical and 4 patients with malignant meningiomas treated with Gamma Knife radiosurgery between July 2000 and July 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. All patients underwent prior surgical resection. Overall survival was the primary endpoint and rate of disease recurrence in the brain was a secondary endpoint. Patients who had previous radiotherapy or prior surgical resection were included. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate survival and identify factors predictive of recurrence and survival.
Post-Gamma Knife recurrence was identified in 11 patients (31.4%) with a median overall survival of 36 months and progression-free survival of 25.8 months. Nine patients (25.7%) had died. Three-year overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 78.0% and 65.0%, respectively. WHO grade II 3-year OS and PFS were 83.4% and 70.1%, while WHO grade III 3-year OS and PFS were 33.3% and 0%. Recurrence rate was significantly higher in patients with a prior history of benign meningioma, nuclear atypia, high mitotic rate, spontaneous necrosis, and WHO grade III diagnosis on univariate analysis; only WHO grade III diagnosis was significant on multivariate analysis. Overall survival was adversely affected in patients with WHO grade III diagnosis, prior history of benign meningioma, prior fractionated radiotherapy, larger tumor volume, and higher isocenter number on univariate analysis; WHO grade III diagnosis and larger treated tumor volume were significant on multivariate analysis.
Atypical and anaplastic meningiomas remain difficult tumors to treat. WHO grade III diagnosis and treated tumor volume were significantly predictive of recurrence and survival on multivariate analysis in aggressive meningioma patients treated with radiosurgery. Larger tumor size predicts poor survival, while nuclear atypia, necrosis, and increased mitotic rate are risk factors for recurrence. Clinical and pathologic predictors may help identify patients that are at higher risk for recurrence.
Atypical; Anaplastic; Aggressive; WHO II; WHO III; Gamma knife; Radiosurgery; Meningioma
Today it is unclear which technique for delivery of an additional boost after whole breast radiotherapy for breast conserved patients should be state of the art. We present a dosimetric comparison of different non-invasive treatment techniques for additional boost delivery.
For 10 different tumor bed localizations, 7 different non-invasive treatment plans were made. Dosimetric comparison of PTV-coverage and dose to organs at risk was performed.
The Vero system achieved an excellent PTV-coverage and at the same time could minimize the dose to the organs at risk with an average near-maximum-dose (D2) to the heart of 0.9 Gy and the average volume of ipsilateral lung receiving 5 Gy (V5) of 1.5%. The TomoTherapy modalities delivered an average D2 to the heart of 0.9 Gy for the rotational and of 2.3 Gy for the static modality and an average V5 to the ipsilateral lung of 7.3% and 2.9% respectively. A rotational technique offers an adequate conformity at the cost of more low dose spread and a larger build-up area. In most cases a 2-field technique showed acceptable PTV-coverage, but a bad conformity. Electrons often delivered a worse PTV-coverage than photons, with the planning requirements achieved only in 2 patients and with an average D2 to the heart of 2.8 Gy and an average V5 to the ipsilateral lung of 5.8%.
We present advices which can be used as guidelines for the selection of the best individualized treatment.
Breast cancer; Tumor bed boost; Image guided radiation treatment (IGRT); Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT); TomoTherapy; Vero
The randomized TARGIT trial comparing experimental intra-operative radiotherapy (IORT) to up to 7 weeks of daily conventional external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) recruited participants in Western Australia between 2003 and 2012. We aimed to understand preferences for this evolving radiotherapy treatment for early breast cancer (EBC) in health professionals, and how they changed over time and in response to emerging data. Preferences for single dose IORT or EBRT for EBC were elicited in 2004 and 2011, together with factors that may be associated with these preferences.
Western Australian health professionals working with breast cancer patients were invited to complete a validated, self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire used hypothetical scenarios and trade-off methodology to determine the maximum increase in risk of local recurrence health professionals were willing to accept in order to have a single dose of IORT in the place of EBRT if they were faced with this decision themselves.
Health professional characteristics were similar across the two time points although 2011 included a higher number of nurse (49% vs. 36%) and allied health (10% vs. 4%) participants and a lower number of radiation therapists (17% vs. 32% ) compared to 2004.
Health professional preferences varied, with 7.5% and 3% judging IORT unacceptable at any risk, 18% and 21% judging IORT acceptable only if offering an equivalent risk, 56% and 59% judging IORT acceptable with a low maximum increase in risk (1-3%) and 19% and 17% judging a high maximum increase in risk acceptable (4-5%), in 2004 and 2011 respectively. A significantly greater number of nurses accepted IORT as a treatment option in 2011.
Most Western Australian health professionals working with breast cancer patients are willing to accept an increase in risk of local recurrence in order to replace EBRT with IORT in a hypothetical setting. This finding was consistent over two time points spanning 7 years despite the duration of clinical experience with IORT and the publication of the early clinical results of IORT in 2010. These results need to be compared with preferences elicited from patient groups, and further investigation into the impact of personal preferences on health professionals’ advice to patients is warranted.
Physician survey; Treatment preference; Patient preferences; Breast cancer; Intraoperative radiotherapy; Partial breast irradiation; TARGIT; Preference questionnaire; IORT; PBI
Patient-specific dose verification for treatment planning in helical tomotherapy is routinely performed using a homogeneous virtual water cylindrical phantom of 30 cm diameter and 18 cm length (Cheese phantom). Because of this small length, treatment with total marrow irradiation (TMI) requires multiple deliveries of the dose verification procedures to cover a wide range of the target volumes, which significantly prolongs the dose verification process. We propose a fast, simple, and informative patient-specific dose verification method which reduce dose verification time for TMI with helical tomotherapy.
We constructed a two-step solid water slab phantom (length 110 cm, height 8 cm, and two-step width of 30 cm and 15 cm), termed the Whole Body Phantom (WB phantom). Three ionization chambers and three EDR-2 films can be inserted to cover extended field TMI treatment delivery. Three TMI treatment plans were conducted with a TomoTherapy HiArt Planning Station and verified using the WB phantom with ion chambers and films. Three regions simulating the head and neck, thorax, and pelvis were covered in a single treatment delivery. The results were compared to those with the cheese phantom supplied by Accuray, Inc. following three treatment deliveries to cover the body from head to pelvis.
Use of the WB phantom provided point doses or dose distributions from head and neck to femur in a single treatment delivery of TMI. Patient-specific dose verification with the WB phantom was 62% faster than with the cheese phantom. The average pass rate in gamma analysis with the criteria of a 3-mm distance-to-agreement and 3% dose differences was 94% ± 2% for the three TMI treatment plans. The differences in pass rates between the WB and cheese phantoms at the upper thorax to abdomen regions were within 2%. The calculated dose agreed with the measured dose within 3% for all points in all five cases in both the WB and cheese phantoms.
Our dose verification method with the WB phantom provides simple and rapid quality assurance without limiting dose verification information in total marrow irradiation with helical tomotherapy.
Purpose of this study was to identify predictors of vaginal ulcer after CT based three-dimensional image-guided high-dose-rate interstitial brachytherapy (HDR-ISBT) for gynecologic malignancies.
Records were reviewed for 44 female (14 with primary disease and 30 with recurrence) with gynecological malignancies treated with HDR-ISBT with or without external beam radiation therapy. The HDR-ISBT applicator insertion was performed with image guidance by trans-rectal ultrasound and CT.
The median clinical target volume was 35.5 ml (2.4-142.1 ml) and the median delivered dose in equivalent dose in 2 Gy fractions (EQD2) for target volume D90 was 67.7 Gy (48.8-94.2 Gy, doses of external-beam radiation therapy and brachytherapy were combined). For re-irradiation patients, median EQD2 of D2cc for rectum and bladder, D0.5cc, D1cc, D2cc, D4cc, D6cc and D8cc for vaginal wall was 91.1 Gy, 100.9 Gy, 260.3 Gy, 212.3 Gy, 170.1 Gy, 117.1 Gy, 105.2 Gy, and 94.7 Gy, respectively. For those without prior radiation therapy, median EQD2 of D2cc for rectum and bladder, D0.5cc, D1cc, D2cc, D4cc, D6cc and D8cc for vaginal wall was 56.3 Gy, 54.3 Gy, 147.4 Gy, 126.2 Gy, 108.0 Gy, 103.5 Gy, 94.7 Gy, and 80.7 Gy, respectively. Among five patients with vaginal ulcer, three had prior pelvic radiation therapy in their initial treatment and three consequently suffered from fistula formation. On univariate analysis, re-irradiation and vaginal wall D2cc in EQD2 was the clinical predictors of vaginal ulcer (p = 0.035 and p = 0.025, respectively). The ROC analysis revealed that vaginal wall D2cc is the best predictor of vaginal ulcer. The 2-year incidence rates of vaginal ulcer in the patients with vaginal wall D2cc in EQD2 equal to or less than 145 Gy and over 145 Gy were 3.7% and 23.5%, respectively, with a statistically significant difference (p = 0.026).
Re-irradiation and vaginal D2cc is a significant predictor of vaginal ulcer after HDR-ISBT for gynecologic malignancies. Three-dimensional image-guided treatment planning should be performed to ensure adequate target coverage while minimizing vaginal D2cc in order to avoid vagina ulcer.
Gynecologic brachytherapy; High-dose-rate brachytherapy; Interstitial brachytherapy; Vaginal ulcer
To evaluate the effects of radiation therapy on deciduous teeth.
Materials and methods
The enamel and dentin microhardness (n = 12) was evaluated at 3 depths, both before (control) and after each 10 Gy of irradiation and up to a dose of 60 Gy. The morphology was evaluated via scanning electron microscopy (SEM) (n = 8). The data were analyzed using a two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey’s test (α = 5%).
The enamel microhardness, as a whole, increased (p < 0.05) after a dose of 60 Gy (211.4 KH), mostly in the superficial enamel. There was a significant difference between the values of nonirradiated dentin microhardness (28.9 KH) compared with dentin that was irradiated with doses of 10 Gy (23.8 KH), 20 Gy (25.6 KH), 30 Gy (24.8 KH), and 40 Gy (25.7 KH) (p < 0.05). There was no difference between nonirradiated dentin and dentin irradiated with 60 Gy (p > 0.05). The highest mean value of microhardness (29.9 KH) (p < 0.05) was found in the middle dentin. The groups that were irradiated with doses of 30 and 60 Gy exhibited greater surface changes in their enamel and dentin compared with the nonirradiated groups for all regions, exhibiting an amorphous surface upon increase of the irradiation doses.
The enamel microhardness increased at a dose of 60 Gy, whereas the value of the dentin microhardness did not change. A progressive disruption of enamel and dentin morphology was found with the increased radiation dose.
Radiotherapy; 60 cobalt; Radiation caries; Microhardness; Primary teeth; Morphology
Reproducibility of different immobilization systems, which may affect set-up errors, remains uncertain. Immobilization systems and their corresponding set-up errors influence the clinical target volume to planning target volume (CTV-PTV) margins and thus may result in undesirable treatment outcomes. This study compared the reproducibility of patient positioning with Hipfix system and whole body alpha cradle with respect to localized prostate cancer and investigated the existing CTV-PTV margins in the clinical oncology departments of two hospitals.
Forty sets of data of patients with localized T1-T3 prostate cancer were randomly selected from two regional hospitals, with 20 patients immobilized by a whole-body alpha cradle system and 20 by a thermoplastic Hipfix system. Seven sets of the anterior-posterior (AP), cranial-caudal (CC) and medial-lateral (ML) deviations were collected from each patient. The reproducibility of patient positioning within the two hospitals was compared using a total vector error (TVE) parameter. In addition, CTV-PTV margins were computed using van Herk’s formula. The resulting values were compared to the current CTV-PTV margins in both hospitals.
The TVE values were 5.1 and 2.8 mm for the Hipfix and the whole-body alpha cradle systems respectively. TVE associated with the whole-body alpha cradle system was found to be significantly less than the Hipfix system (p < 0.05). The CC axis in the Hipfix system attained the highest frequency of large (23.6%) and serious (7.9%) set-up errors. The calculated CTV to PTV margin was 8.3, 1.9 and 2.3 mm for the Hipfix system, and 2.1, 3.4 and 1.8 mm for the whole body alpha cradle in CC, ML and AP axes respectively. All but one (CC axis using Hipfix) margin calculated did not exceed the corresponding hospital protocol. The whole body alpha cradle system was found to be significantly better than the Hipfix system in terms of reproducibility (p < 0.05), especially in the CC axis.
The whole body alpha cradle system was more reproducible than the Hipfix system. In particular, the difference in CC axis contributed most to the results and the current CC margin for the Hipfix system might be considered as inadequate.
Immobilization; Hipfix; Alpha cradle; Set-up errors; Treatment verification; CTV-PTV margins; Prostate cancer
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of radiotherapy plus concurrent weekly cisplatin chemotherapy on the postoperative recurrence of mediastinal lymph node metastases in esophageal cancer patients.
Ninety-eight patients were randomly enrolled to receive either three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy alone (group A) or concurrent chemoradiotherapy (group B). A radiation dose of 62–70 Gy/31–35 fractions was delivered to the recurrent tumor. Furthermore, the patients in group B simultaneously received weekly doses of cisplatin (30 mg/m2), and the survival outcomes and toxic effects were compared.
The response rate of group B (91.8%) was significantly greater than that of group A (73.5%) (χ2 = 5.765, P = 0.016). The 1- and 3-year survival rates of group B (85.7% and 46.9%, respectively) were also greater than those of group A (69.4% and 28.6%, respectively). However, there were no significant differences in the 5-year survival rates. The numbers of patients who died of distant metastases in groups A and B were 13 (26.5%) and 5 (10.2%), respectively (χ2 = 4.356, P = 0.036). Acute radiation-related esophagitis and granulocytopenia in group B was frequent. However, intergroup differences in terms of late toxicity were not significant.
Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) is a practical and feasible technique to treat the recurrence of mediastinal lymph node metastases of postoperative esophageal cancer. In addition, concurrent chemotherapy can increase local tumor control, decrease the distant metastasis rate, and increase the long-term survival rate.
Esophageal cancer; Lymph node recurrence; Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy; Concurrent chemotherapy
The tumor removal of Cavernous Sinus Meningiomas usually results in severe neurological deficits. Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and fractionated Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) are advanced modalities of radiotherapy for treatment of patients with inoperable and symptomatic CSMs. The authors evaluated the long term symptomatology, the image findings, and the toxicity of patients with CSMs treated with SRS or SRT.
Patients and methods
From 1994 to 2009, 89 patients with symptomatic CSMs were treated with SRS or SRT. The indication was based on tumour volume and or proximity to the optic chiasm. The median single dose of SRS was 14 Gy, while the SRT total dose, ranged from 50.4 to 54 Gy fractionated in 1.8-2 Gy/dose. The median follow-up period lasted 73 months.
The clinical and radiological improvement was the same despite the method of radiotherapy; 41.6% (SRS) and 48.3% (SRT) of patients treated. The disease-free survivals were 98.8%, 92.3% and 92.3%, in 5, 10, and 15 years, respectively. There was no statistical difference in relation to the symptoms and image findings between both methods. According to the Common Toxicity Criteria, 7% of the patients presented transient optic neuropathy during 3 months (grade 2) and recovered with dexamethasone, 2 patients had trigeminal neuropathy (grade 2) and improved rapidly, and one patient presented total occlusion of the internal carotid artery without neurological deficit (grade 2). Temporary lethargy and headache (grade 1) were the most frequent immediate complications. No severe complications occurred.
Stereotactic Radiosurgery and fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy were equally safe and effective in the management of symptomatic CSMs.
Meningioma; Radiotherapy; Radiosurgery; Fractionated stereotactic; Radiotherapy
In this study we determined if treatment combining radiation therapy (RT) with intracerebral (i.c.) administration of carboplatin to F98 glioma bearing rats could improve survival over that previously reported by us with a 15 Gy dose (5 Gy × 3) of 6 MV photons.
First, in order to reduce tumor interstitial pressure, a biodistribution study was carried out to determine if pretreatment with dexamethasone alone or in combination with mannitol and furosemide (DMF) would increase carboplatin uptake following convection enhanced delivery (CED). Next, therapy studies were carried out in rats that had received carboplatin either by CED over 30 min (20 μg) or by Alzet pumps over 7 d (84 μg), followed by RT using a LINAC to deliver either 20 Gy (5 Gy × 4) or 15 Gy (7.5 Gy × 2) dose at 6 or 24 hrs after drug administration. Finally, a study was carried out to determine if efficacy could be improved by decreasing the time interval between drug administration and RT.
Tumor carboplatin values for D and DMF-treated rats were 9.4 ±4.4 and 12.4 ±3.2 μg/g, respectively, which were not significantly different (P = 0.14). The best survival data were obtained by combining pump delivery with 5 Gy × 4 of X-irradiation with a mean survival time (MST) of 107.7 d and a 43% cure rate vs. 83.6 d with CED vs. 30-35 d for RT alone and 24.6 d for untreated controls. Treatment-related mortality was observed when RT was initiated 6 h after CED of carboplatin and RT was started 7 d after tumor implantation. Dividing carboplatin into two 10 μg doses and RT into two 7.5 Gy fractions, administered 24 hrs later, yielded survival data (MST 82.1 d with a 25% cure rate) equivalent to that previously reported with 5 Gy × 3 and 20 μg of carboplatin.
Although the best survival data were obtained by pump delivery, CED was highly effective in combination with 20 Gy, or as previously reported, 15 Gy, and the latter would be preferable since it would produce less late tissue effects.
F98 glioma; Carboplatin; Convection enhanced delivery; Radiotherapy; Brain tumors
The assumption that the larger tumor contains a higher number of clonogenic cells what may deteriorate prognosis of patients treated with RT has been confirmed in many clinical studies. Significant prognostic influence of tumor volume (TV) on radiotherapy (RT) outcome has been found for tumors of different localizations including patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). Although TV usually is a stronger prognostic factor than T stage, commonly used TNM classification system dose not incorporate TV data. The aim of the paper is to refresh clinical data regarding the role of TV in RT of patients with HNC. At present somehow new meaning of TV could be employed in the aspect of modern RT techniques and combined treatment strategies. For larger TV more aggressive treatment options may be considered. In modern RT techniques escalated dose could be provided highly conformal or RT can be combined with systemic treatment increasing therapeutic ratio. In the study several reports estimating prognostic value of TV for patients with HNC treated with RT has been reviewed.
Due to substantially various reported groups of patients as to tumor site, stage of disease or treatment strategies, precise cut-off value could not be establish in general, but the significant association between TV and treatment outcome had been found in almost all studies. There is a strong suggestion that TV should supplement clinical decision in the choice of optimal treatment strategy for patients with HNC.
Tumor volume; Radiotherapy; Head and neck cancer
We examined the efficacy and toxicity of proton beam therapy (PBT) for treating advanced cholangiocarcinoma.
The clinical data and outcomes of 28 cholangiocarcinoma patients treated with PBT between January 2009 and August 2011 were retrospectively examined. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to estimate overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and local control (LC) rates, and the log-rank test to analyze the effects of different clinical and treatment variables on survival. Acute and late toxicities were assessed using the National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 4.0.
The median age of the 17 male and 11 female patients was 71 years (range, 41 to 84 years; intrahepatic/peripheral cholangiocarcinoma, n = 6; hilar cholangiocarcinoma/Klatskin tumor, n = 6; distal extrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, n = 3; gallbladder cancer, n = 3; local or lymph node recurrence, n = 10; size, 20–175 mm; median 52 mm). The median radiation dose was 68.2 Gy (relative biological effectiveness [RBE]) (range, 50.6 to 80 Gy (RBE)), with delivery of fractions of 2.0 to 3.2 Gy (RBE) daily. The median follow-up duration was 12 months (range, 3 to 29 months). Fifteen patients underwent chemotherapy and 8 patients, palliative biliary stent placement prior to PBT. OS, PFS, and LC rates at 1 year were 49.0%, 29.5%, and 67.7%, respectively. LC was achieved in 6 patients, and was better in patients administered a biologically equivalent dose of 10 (BED10) > 70 Gy compared to those administered < 70 Gy (83.1% vs. 22.2%, respectively, at 1 year). The variables of tumor size and performance status were associated with survival. Late gastrointestinal toxicities grade 2 or greater were observed in 7 patients <12 months after PBT. Cholangitis was observed in 11 patients and 3 patients required stent replacement.
Relatively high LC rates after PBT for advanced cholangiocarcinoma can be achieved by delivery of a BED10 > 70 Gy. Gastrointestinal toxicities, especially those of the duodenum, are dose-limiting toxicities associated with PBT, and early metastatic progression remains a treatment obstacle.
Cholangiocarcinoma; Proton beam therapy; Chemoradiotherapy; Cholangitis; Gastrointestinal toxicity
The optimal management of high-risk prostate cancer remains uncertain. In this study we assessed the safety and efficacy of a novel multimodal treatment paradigm for high-risk prostate cancer.
This was a prospective phase II trial including 35 patients with newly diagnosed high-risk localized or locally advanced prostate cancer treated with high-dose intensity-modulated radiation therapy preceded or not by radical prostatectomy, concurrent intensified-dose docetaxel-based chemotherapy and long-term androgen deprivation therapy. Primary endpoint was acute and late toxicity evaluated with the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 3.0. Secondary endpoint was biochemical and clinical recurrence-free survival explored with the Kaplan-Meier method.
Acute gastro-intestinal and genito-urinary toxicity was grade 2 in 23% and 20% of patients, and grade 3 in 9% and 3% of patients, respectively. Acute blood/bone marrow toxicity was grade 2 in 20% of patients. No acute grade ≥4 toxicity was observed. Late gastro-intestinal and genito-urinary toxicity was grade 2 in 9% of patients each. No late grade ≥3 toxicity was observed. Median follow-up was 63 months (interquartile range 31–79). Actuarial 5-year biochemical and clinical recurrence-free survival rate was 55% (95% confidence interval, 35-75%) and 70% (95% confidence interval, 52-88%), respectively.
In our phase II trial testing a novel multimodal treatment paradigm for high-risk prostate cancer, toxicity was acceptably low and mid-term oncological outcome was good. This treatment paradigm, thus, may warrant further evaluation in phase III randomized trials.
Prostatic neoplasms; Radiotherapy; Intensity-modulated; Prostatectomy; Androgen deprivation therapy; Chemotherapy; Docetaxel; Toxicity; Clinical trial; Phase II
Hypo-fractionated external beam radiotherapy with narrow CTV-PTV margins is increasingly applied for prostate cancer. This demands a precise target definition and knowledge on target location and extension during treatment. It is unclear how increase in fraction size affects changes in prostate volume during treatment. Our aim was to study prostate volume changes during extreme hypo-fractionation (7 × 6.1 Gy) by using sequential MRIs.
Twenty patients treated with extreme hypo-fractionation were recruited from an on-going prospective randomized phase III trial. An MRI scan was done before start of treatment, at mid treatment and at the end of radiotherapy. The prostate was delineated at each MRI and the volume and maximum extension in left-right, anterior-posterior and cranial-caudal directions were measured.
There was a significant increase in mean prostate volume (14%) at mid treatment as compared to baseline. The prostate volume remained enlarged (9%) at the end of radiotherapy. Prostate swelling was most pronounced in the anterior-posterior and cranial-caudal directions.
Extreme hypo-fractionation induced a significant prostate swelling during treatment that was still present at the time of last treatment fraction. Our results indicate that prostate swelling is an important factor to take into account when applying treatment margins during short extreme hypo-fractionation, and that tight margins should be applied with caution.
Hypo-fractionation; MRI; Prostate cancer; Radiotherapy; Swelling; Volume change
Maximisation of the ratio of normal tissue preservation and tumour cell reduction is the main concept of radiotherapy alone or combined with chemo-, immuno- or biologically targeted therapy. The foremost parameter influencing this ratio is radiation sensitivity and its modulation towards a more efficient killing of tumour cells and a better preservation of normal tissue at the same time is the overall aim of modern therapy schemas. Nevertheless, this requires a deep understanding of the molecular mechanisms of radiation sensitivity in order to identify its key players as potential therapeutic targets. Moreover, the success of conventional approaches that tried to statistically associate altered radiation sensitivity with any molecular phenotype such as gene expression proofed to be somewhat limited since the number of clinically used targets is rather sparse. However, currently a paradigm shift is taking place from pure frequentistic association analysis to the rather holistic systems biology approach that seeks to mathematically model the system to be investigated and to allow the prediction of an altered phenotype as the function of one single or a signature of biomarkers. Integrative systems biology also considers the data from different molecular levels such as the genome, transcriptome or proteome in order to partially or fully comprehend the causal chain of molecular mechanisms. An example for the application of this concept currently carried out at the Clinical Cooperation Group “Personalized Radiotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer” of the Helmholtz-Zentrum München and the LMU Munich is described. This review article strives for providing a compact overview on the state of the art of systems biology, its actual challenges, potential applications, chances and limitations in radiation oncology research working towards improved personalised therapy concepts using this relatively new methodology.
Systems biology; Multi-level integration; Radiation biology; Personalised therapy
To determine the impact of body-mass factors (BMF) before radiotherapy and changes during radiotherapy on the magnitude of setup displacement in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC).
The clinical data of 30 patients with HNC was analyzed using the alignment data from daily on-line on-board imaging from image-guided radiotherapy. BMFs included body weight, body height, and the circumference and bilateral thickness of the neck. Changes in the BMFs during treatment were retrieved from cone beam computed tomography at the 10th and 20th fractions. Setup errors for each patient were assessed by systematic error (SE) and random error (RE) through the superior-inferior (SI), anterior-posterior (AP), and medial-lateral (ML) directions, and couch rotation (CR). Using the median values of the BMFs as a cutoff, the impact of the factors on the magnitude of displacement was assessed by the Mann–Whitney U test.
A higher body weight before radiotherapy correlated with a greater AP-SE (p = 0.045), SI-RE (p = 0.023), and CR-SE (p = 0.033). A longer body height was associated with a greater SI-RE (p = 0.002). A performance status score of 1 or 2 was related to a greater AP-SE (p = 0.043), AP-RE (p = 0.015), and SI-RE (p = 0.043). Among the ratios of the BMFs during radiotherapy, the values at the level of mastoid tip at the 20th fraction were associated with greater setup errors.
To reduce setup errors in patients with HNC receiving RT, the use of on-line image-guided radiotherapy is recommended for patients with a large body weight or height, and a performance status score of 1–2. In addition, adaptive planning should be considered for those who have a large reduction ratio in the circumference (<1) and thickness (<0.94) over the level of the mastoid tip during the 20th fraction of treatment.
Adaptive radiotherapy; Body-related factors; Head and neck cancer; Image-guided radiotherapy; Setup error