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The head and neck cancers as a whole are the most common cancers among males in India. Technological advancements have led to an improvement in radiation therapy (RT) techniques with subsequent reduction in normal tissue complications. To correct patient set-up errors, an off-line correction method like no action level (NAL) protocol may be used as a preferred protocol particularly for a busy department. The objectives of the study were to measure the translational set-up errors using kV cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) in patients undergoing intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in head and neck cancers and also to optimise clinical target volume (CTV) to planning target volume (PTV) margin using NAL protocol.
Material and methods:
On the first 5 days of RT, patient’s position was verified by kV-CBCT and then weekly during the course of treatment. The comparison between the reference and kV-CBCT images was performed, and the shifts measured and recorded. The mean error from the initial five consecutive fractions was corrected on the sixth daily fraction. Displacements in all the directions were measured. The population systematic and random errors were determined and used to estimate PTV margins according to the van Herk formula.
A total of 322 images were analysed. Before correction, 15, 12 and 9% patients had systematic error ≥3 mm on X, Y and Z axes, but after correction this was reduced to 9, 0 and 0%. The total percentage of patients whose set-up margin was ≥5 mm before correction was 5, 6·25, 3·75%, but after correction it reduced to 1·88, 0, and 0·63%. The margins of total population were reduced to 63, 65 and 56% after correction on X, Y and Z axes, respectively.
A simple off-line NAL protocol can correct the set-up errors without daily on-line imaging in patients undergoing IMRT and hence acting as a resource sparing alternative. Five millimetre margin to CTVs was adequate and safe to overcome the problem of set-up errors in head and neck IMRT.
Radiation therapy (RT), in combination with chemotherapy, is the mainstay in the treatment for locally advanced oropharyngeal cancer. We analysed the tumour response and the toxicity profiles in patients having locally advanced oropharyngeal cancers receiving hypofractionated intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and concurrent chemotherapy with Cisplatin investigating the feasibility and radiobiological efficacy of the regimen, along with its use as a resource-sparing alternative for a high-volume centre.
Material and Methods:
The records of 41 eligible patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of oropharynx, registered from September 2015 to April 2017, treated with hypofractionated IMRT with concurrent Cisplatin, were analysed from the hospital database. Patients received concurrent chemo-radiation with 2 cycles of 3-weekly cisplatin on day 1 and day 22 along with hypofractionated IMRT, 55 Gy delivered in 20 fractions over 4 weeks. Patients were observed for any radiation reaction or chemotherapy toxicity at least once a week during the course of radiation therapy.
Twenty-nine patients (70·7%) achieved complete response and remaining 12 showed partial response. Acute grade 3 toxicity was observed mostly in the form of oral mucositis and radiation dermatitis. Both grade 3 oral mucositis and radiation dermatitis were seen in 15 patients (36·6%) and 7 patients (17%), respectively. The most common late toxicities were dysphagia and dry mouth. Twenty-five patients (61%) completed the overall treatment within 4 weeks’ duration.
This hypofractionated regimen is feasible and was associated with tolerable acute and late morbidity and satisfactory locoregional response. Larger prospective, multi- institutional studies examining similar schedules may be undertaken to establish this as a standard practice, particularly for a high-volume centre.
The incidence of breast cancer has surpassed cervical cancer in India and it has now become the most common cancer in women. Multiple randomised studies have reported low α/β value in the range of 3–4 for breast cancer, which predict a potential radiobiological advantage for hypofractionated radiotherapy resulting in such schedules becoming standard in many centers with reduction in overall treatment time. Volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is a novel technique of delivering radiotherapy that reduces treatment delivery time, requires less monitor units (MU) and offers good conformity. The mean dose to normal tissue may be minimised using this technique although there will be inferior sparing if we consider the low-dose volume such as V5, the effect of which is not quantifiable yet.
Reporting acute toxicity, cosmetic effects, and quality of life in patients of early breast cancer treated with adjuvant hypofractionated VMAT with SIB.
Material and Methods:
The records of 44 patients registered at the hospital between August 2014 and December 2015 were included in this analysis. Acute toxicities were analysed using CTCAE v4.03. Cosmetic outcomes were assessed using Harvard scale, while quality of life outcomes were assessed using EORTC scales and Health Related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaires (QLQ-C30 and QLQ-BR23).
No grade ≥2 skin toxicities were recorded. Breast pain was recorded as Grade 1 in 13·8% patients and Grade 1 fatigue in 18·2%. The maximum haematological abnormality grade recorded was Grade 1. Cosmesis was assessed at the baseline, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. A total of 88·6% of the patients had an Excellent or good cosmesis at the baseline, which was similar even at 6 months, at 88·7%, improved further at 1 year to 90·9%. At 6 months post radiotherapy, high functional scale QOL scores were noted.
The technique is associated with minimum acute toxicity, good to excellent cosmesis and acceptable quality of life.
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