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Total laryngectomy is often utilised to manage squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx or hypopharynx. This study reports on surgical trends and outcomes over a 10-year period.
A retrospective review of patients undergoing total laryngectomy for squamous cell carcinoma was performed (n = 173), dividing patients into primary and salvage total laryngectomy cohorts.
A shift towards organ-sparing management was observed. Primary total laryngectomy was performed for locoregionally advanced disease and utilised reconstruction less than salvage total laryngectomy. Overall, 11 per cent of patients developed pharyngocutaneous fistulae (primary: 6 per cent; salvage: 20 per cent) and 11 per cent neopharyngeal stenosis (primary: 9 per cent; salvage: 15 per cent). Pharyngocutaneous fistulae rates were higher in the reconstructed primary total laryngectomy group (24 per cent; 4 of 17), compared with primary closure (3 per cent; 3 of 90) (p = 0.02). Patients were significantly more likely to develop neopharyngeal stenosis following pharyngocutaneous fistulae in salvage total laryngectomy (p = 0.01) and reconstruction in primary total laryngectomy (p = 0.02). Pre-operative haemoglobin level and adjuvant treatment failed to predict pharyngocutaneous fistulae development.
Complications remain hard to predict and there are continuing causes of morbidity. Additionally, prior treatment continues to affect surgical outcomes.
The management of breast cancer patients from diagnosis to treatment and beyond can be variable depending on factors including tumour extent and location, histology, genetics, health and wellbeing of the patient as well as personal patient preferences. The therapeutic radiographer’s role is not only vital to ensure safe and accurate radiotherapy delivery but also crucially, as the regular patient interface, they must be fully empowered to engage effectively with all aspects of the patient care pathway. They must be knowledgeable and up to date with evidence-based practices relating to the patient experience including surgery, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy and radiotherapy.
The aim of this paper is to outline the breast cancer management pathway, highlighting the potential side effects that occur as a result of breast radiotherapy treatment and concomitant treatment in order to inform therapeutic radiographers and best practice.
The treatment pathway for breast cancer patients varies greatly depending on a wide range of factors and is very much individualised for each patient. Each treatment modality has its advantages and disadvantages, and all come with a number of side effects that can affect a patient’s daily living. Toxicities can arise during radiotherapy treatment or months after treatment, and education regarding the management of these is essential for effective patient care. Many technological advances in radiotherapy treatment techniques and regimes have the potential to decrease radiation-induced side effects. Despite attempts to standardise clinical guidelines on the use of topical agents and dressings, historical opinions and ideas are still evident in clinical practice. The use of grading systems in radiotherapy tends to only record patients’ physical symptoms and not their holistic wellbeing and emotional needs.
Therapeutic radiographers must ensure that they remain equipped with the skills and knowledge to correctly manage and/or signpost services effectively. This overall outline of the management of patients with breast cancer is designed to help therapeutic radiographers reflect on the current practices and to inspire them, where evidence dictates, to seize opportunities, to explore improvement and to enhance best practice.
The study aimed to evaluate the shear bond strength (SBS) of metal brackets and adhesive properties of bonded irradiated and non-irradiated teeth.
Sixty-six extracted premolar samples were randomly divided into three groups—(a) Control group consisting of 22 non-irradiated, non-aged teeth (Group 1), (b) 22 non-irradiated, aged samples (Group 2) and (c) 22 irradiated, aged samples (Group 3). Irradiation was done using gamma irradiation with a fractionated dose of 60 Gy for 5 consecutive days per week over 6 weeks. Metal brackets were bonded on all samples with light cure adhesive and subjected to SBS test using universal testing machine. The samples were assessed under the scanning electron microscope to check for the adhesive remnant index (ARI) and tag depth.
There was a statistically significant decrease in the mean SBS of the irradiated samples compared to the non-irradiated teeth. The non-irradiated, aged samples showed a majority of ARI scoring 1 and 2. Whereas, the irradiated samples showed ARI scoring 2 and 3. Approximately, 77·3% of the non-irradiated samples showed no adhesive present on the tooth surface, and 27·2% of the irradiated samples had more than 50% adhesive present on the enamel surface.
There is a statistically significant decrease in SBS of irradiated enamel compared to that of non-irradiated teeth. However, the SBS observed in the three groups was well above the ideal SBS for orthodontic bonding, that is, 5·6–6·8 MPa. The adhesive remnant was found on all samples of the irradiated group. Deeper adhesive resin tags were found in the irradiated group in the resin–enamel interface.
Although hypofractionated radiotherapy has been standardised in early breast cancer, even in post-mastectomy no such consensus has been developed for locally advanced breast cancer (LABC), probably due to complex planning and field matching. This study is directed towards dosimetric evaluation and comparison of toxicity, response and disease-free survival (DFS) comparison between hypofractionation and conventional radiotherapy in post-mastectomy LABC.
In total, 222 female breast cancer patients were randomly assigned to be treated with either hypofractionated radiotherapy (n = 120) delivering 40 Gy in 15 fractions over 3 weeks or conventional radiotherapy (n = 102) with 50 Gy in 25 fractions over 5 weeks after modified radical mastectomy (MRM) along with neoadjuvant and/or adjuvant chemotherapy. All patients were planned with treatment planning software and assessed regularly during and after treatment.
Median follow-up period was 178 weeks in conventional arm (CRA) and 182 weeks in hypofractionation arm (HFA). There exists a dosimetric difference between the two arms of treatment, in spite of similar dose coverage [planning treatment volume (PTV) D90 92·04% in CRA versus 92·5% in HFA; p = 0·49], average dose in HFA is less than that of CRA (p < 0·001); so is the maximum clinical target volume (CTV) dose (p < 0·001). Similarly, average lung dose in HFA arm is significantly lower than CRA (9·9 versus 10·84; p = 0·06), but the V20Gy of lung and V30Gy of heart had no difference. The toxicity of radiation was comparable with similar mean time to produce toxicity [CRA: 7 W, HFA: 10 W; hazard ratio 0·64, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0·28–1·45]. Three-year recurrence event was alike in two arms (CRA: 4·9%, HFA: 5·8%; p = 0·76). Mean DFS in CRA is 230 weeks and that of HFA is 235 weeks with hazard ratio 1·01 (95% CI = 0·32–3·19; p = 0·987).
Though biologically effective dose (BED) in hypofractionation is lesser than that of conventional fractionation, there are indistinguishable toxicity, locoregional recurrence, distant failure rate and DFS between the two modalities.
Breast cancer patients referred for external beam radiotherapy and who have large and/or pendulous breasts can present positioning and immobilisation challenges. Deep infra-mammary and/or lateral wrap skin folds can occur that can lead to unwanted radiation-induced skin toxicity. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the immobilisation techniques adopted for this subgroup of patients in order to inform best practice.
A survey aimed to identify the current clinical practice in radiotherapy centres throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland was undertaken. The email survey was distributed with support of the Radiotherapy Services Managers group.
Twenty-six of the 74 radiotherapy centres responded to the survey. Responses demonstrated that supine positioning with or without additional immobilisation was preferable. Of the eight different immobilisation techniques identified, patients positioned supine on a breast board wearing a bra was the most common. Only two of the centres reported using a prone technique.
Immobilisation and reproducibility are key for successful external beam radiotherapy particularly when advanced treatment techniques are being employed. No single technique gained widespread acceptance as the optimum for the effective immobilisation of patients with large and/or pendulous breasts. Further evaluative research in the form of a multi-centre trial is warranted in order to clearly establish the most effective immobilisation methods/devices for this ever expanding, subgroup of cancer patients.
An image-guided radiotherapy capable linear accelerator was installed at our hospital which is equipped with an X-ray volumetric imaging (XVI) system. The aim of this study was to describe the results of acceptance tests which were carried out on the XVI facility to verify the manufacturer’s specification.
Materials and methods:
The commissioning test had six elements: system safety, geometric accuracy, image quality, registration and correction accuracy, X-ray tube and generator performance, and quality assurance (QA) procedures.
We had satisfactory results for all the tests. The system passed the safety testes, and the agreement of isocentres was found to be within the tolerance limit. Imaging quality was acceptable. Registration and correction accuracy was tasted with indigenously developed phantom and positioned accurately at isocentre. X-ray tube and generator test results showed that the tube was performing properly.
The described tests represent that the performance of the system is maintained at acceptable levels.
The objective of this article is to evaluate the dosimetric efficacy of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) in comparison to dynamic conformal arc therapy (DCAT) and 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) for very small volume (≤1 cc) and small volume (≤3 cc) tumours for flattened (FF) and unflattened (FFF) 6 MV beams.
Materials and methods:
A total of 21 patients who were treated with single-fraction stereotactic radiosurgery, using either VMAT, DCAT or 3DCRT, were included in this study. The volume categorisation was seven patients each in <1, 1–2 and 2–3 cc volume. The treatment was planned with 6 MV FF and FFF beams using three different techniques: VMAT/Rapid Arc (RA) (RA_FF and RA_FFF), dynamic conformal arc therapy (DCA_FF and DCA_FFF) and 3DCRT (Static_FF and Static_FFF). Plans were evaluated for target coverage (V100%), conformity index, homogeneity index, dose gradient for 50% dose fall-off, total MU and MU/dose ratio [intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) factor], normal brain receiving >12 Gy dose, dose to the organ at risk (OAR), beam ON time and dose received by 12 cc of the brain.
The average target coverage for all plans, all tumour volumes (TVs) and delivery techniques is 96·4 ± 4·5 (range 95·7 ± 6·1–97·5 ± 2·9%). The conformity index averaged over all volume ranges <1, 2, 3 cc> varies between 0·55 ± 0·08 and 0·68 ± 0·04 with minimum and maximum being exhibited by DCA_FFF for 1 cc and Static_FFF/RA_FFF for 3 cc tumours, respectively. Mean IMRT factor averaged over all volume ranges for RA_FF, DCA_FF and Static_FF are 3·5 ± 0·8, 2·0 ± 0·2 and 2·0 ± 0·2, respectively; 50% dose fall-off gradient varies in the range of 0·33–0·42, 0·35–0·40 and 0·38–0·45 for 1, 2 and 3 cc tumours, respectively.
This study establishes the equivalence between the FF and FFF beam models and different delivery techniques for stereotactic radiosurgery in small TVs in the range of ≤1 to ≤3 cc. Dose conformity, heterogeneity, dose fall-off characteristics and OAR doses show no or very little variation. FFF could offer only limited time advantage due to excess dose rate over an FF beam.
Concurrent chemoradiation is the definitive treatment for advanced cervical cancer. Pelvic radiation is known to damage the adjacent normal tissues thereby causing acute toxicities. The modern conformal radiation techniques like three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy are known to reduce the toxicities and improve clinical outcomes.
To retrospectively evaluate the frequency and severity of acute toxicities encountered during concurrent chemoradiation of locally advanced cancer cervix treated with 3D-CRT.
The medical case records of 174 cervical cancer patients treated between November 2015 and November 2018 were studied. One hundred and thirteen histologically proven locally advanced cancer cervix patients (Stage IIB–IIIB) treated with concurrent 3D conformal chemoradiation between were included in the study. Patients received 46 Gy in 23 fractions with concurrent weekly cisplatin (40 mg/m2) on days 1, 8, 15 and 22 of radiation. The study endpoints were treatment-related toxicities which were graded according to CTCAE version 5.0.
One hundred and thirteen patients were analysed for the study. Gastrointestinal toxicity was the predominant toxicity observed followed by haematological toxicity. 31·7% patients reported grade 1–2 diarrhoea and 39·7% reported grade 1–2 leucopenia. None of the patients reported grade 3 or higher toxicities. Treatment interruptions were noted due to these toxicities.
Concurrent chemoradiation is the definitive treatment for locally advanced carcinoma cervix with acceptable toxicities. Proper management measures should be undertaken for these toxicities to avoid treatment interruptions and ensure better treatment compliance.
Prostate cancer is one of the most common solid malignancies and has a high morbidity rate. The uncertainty of the prostate location compromises the overall treatment plan optimisation. To account for the location uncertainty, the radiation oncologist needs to expand the margin of the planning target volume (PTV), which may increase the radiation toxicity to organs in proximity.
Materials and methods:
In this study, we investigated the quality of treatment plans for a patient with different ring sizes (2 and 3 cm). A small ring-shaped structure circumferentially around the PTV helps in defining the location of PTV. Prostate and pelvic node plans were analysed with dose prescription to 99% of PTV.
Additional ring-shaped structures led to more conformal dose coverage for target with reduced radiation side effects to nearby organ at risk (OAR). Expected treatment time was slightly higher for 2 cm ring compared to 3 cm ring. In case of prostate, expected duration was 4% higher, while for node plan, expected duration for 2 cm ring was 16% higher compared to 3 cm ring plan.
It was observed that using a smaller size ring can lead to improved dose sparing to OAR with same target coverage as with larger dimension ring. The composite plans do not show any clinically significant difference in dose to OARs.
Treatment of metachronous second primary non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients already treated with definitive radiotherapy is a matter of debate, since most patients are excluded from surgical treatment, which remains a therapeutic standard for patients with isolated lung masses. Salvage chemotherapy or immunotherapy alone offers a low probability of disease control. The option of re-irradiation often remains the only viable, but the risks of severe acute or late toxicities affecting the surrounding normal tissues make this a real clinical challenge.
Materials and methods:
From January 2015 to April 2018, five patients (male/female: 4/1; age 54–81 years, median 68) with previously irradiated NSCLC presented with a second primary lung tumour.
A partial response was seen in four patients, one complete responses in the fifth. The toxicity was low: two patients experienced a grade 2 asymptomatic radiation pneumonitis after 6 and 12 months from the end of stereotactic body radiation therapy, resolved with cortisone therapy. No acute or late oesophageal or cardiac toxicity was found.
In this work, we present our initial experience about the use of stereotactic radiotherapy technique in already irradiated patients. We reported a local disease control in all cases with an acceptable toxicity.
The dosimetric impact of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) in lung cancer compared with 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) is well known. However, this improvement is often associated with an increase in low doses. The aim of this study is to quantify these results more accurately.
For each patient treated with 3DCRT, a second VMAT treatment plan was calculated. Usual dosimetric parameters such as target coverage or dose to the organs at risk were used to achieve the comparisons.
For planning target volume, homogeneity and conformity indices showed superiority of VMAT (respectively 0·07 and 0·87) compared to 3DCRT (0·11 and 0·57). For spinal cord planning organ at risk volume, the median maximum dose was 45·6 Gy in 3DCRT against 19·3 Gy in VMAT. Heart volume receiving at least 35 Gy (V35) decreased from 15·64% in 3DCRT to 8·28% in VMAT. Oesophagus V50 was higher in 3DCRT (25·45%) than in VMAT (14·03%). The mean lung dose was 17·9 Gy in 3DCRT versus 15·5 Gy in VMAT. Moreover, volumes receiving 5, 10 and 15 Gy were not significantly different between the two techniques when VMAT was performed with partial arcs.
All the dosimetric parameters were improved with VMAT compared to the 3DCRT without increasing low doses when using partial arcs.
Stereotactic body radiation therapy for lung tumours can expose patients to radiation pneumonitis (RP) (<6 months after irradiation) and lung fibrosis (beyond 6 months). The aim of this study was to describe post-irradiation radiographics appearances.
Materials and methods:
This retrospective study of 90 patients with a stage I non-small cell lung carcinoma reports a detailed description of the computed tomography (CT) or positron emission tomography/CT changes that can be observed after treatment, according to modified Kimura score for RP and Koenig’s classification for fibrosis. This evaluation was realised at 1 month and then every 3–4 months, with a median follow-up of 35 months.
The most common radiological RP pattern was diffuse consolidation. It appears in a mean time of 4 months and reaches its maximum at 9 months after radiotherapy. Seventy-three per cent of the RP evolved to fibrosis. Most of these findings were encompassed in the 35 Gy isodose.
Radiological parenchymal changes are frequent in the treatment region, which renders the tumour response monitoring by tumour size, particularly by response evaluation criteria in solid tumours, unsuitable.
To determine the frequency, factors and reasons of patient non-adherence to radiotherapy (RT) in a tertiary cancer centre.
Inadvertent treatment interruptions often lead to prolongation of planned treatment time. In the case of RT with a curative intent, prolongation of planned treatment has been associated with inferior clinical outcomes. Delay or prolongation of treatment is associated with a relative risk of local recurrence by up to 2% per day for specific malignancies. Thus, it is critical to understand key factors that influence non-adherence to RT.
Methods and Materials:
A retrospective observation audit was conducted comprising patients treated with radical, adjuvant or palliative RT at our centre from January 2018 to December 2018. Non-adherence was defined as premature permanent termination of planned treatment by the patient without recommendation or consultation from the treating clinician. All data were collected and analysed (retrospectively) with the help of Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22.
A total of 1,548 patients were included in the study of which 105 (6·7%) were non-adherent to planned RT. Of the total 105 patients, 44 (42%) were elderly (60 years and above). Treatment non-adherence was predominant in males (male:female = 1·85:1). More than 90% of non-adherent patients had stage III and IV cancer. A total of 77 patients (74%) out of 105 were more than 50 km away from our centre. A total of 66 (63%) out of 105 patients had completed more than 2 weeks of radiation (40% of planned RT) and then defaulted for radiation due to acute toxicities.
Treatment adherence is a major factor in determining successful outcomes among cancer patients treated with RT. This study reveals several factors that contribute to non-adherence to treatment.
To assess the relapse-free survival (RFS) and the factors influencing local recurrence in patients with desmoid fibromatosis (DF) treated at our centre and to determine the role of post-operative radiotherapy (RT) in improving local control.
A retrospective analysis of 51 patients treated for DF from January 2004 to December 2013 was undertaken. The RFS was calculated using the Kaplan–Meier curve. Univariate analysis was done to assess correlation with tumour size, site, the extent of surgery, margin status and adjuvant RT with RFS.
The median age was 28 years with a male:female ratio of 1:3. The most common location of the tumour was anterior abdominal wall (47%). The median tumour size was 10 cm. Wide local excision was done in most patients. Complete resection with negative margin was achieved in eight patients. Post-operative RT was indicated for 43 patients of whom 19 received RT. At a median follow-up of 37 months, RFS in the complete resection with margin negative group was 100%. RFS for the patients with positive or close margins who received RT was 79% and for those who did not receive RT, it was 87%.
Complete excision with negative margins gives the best local control in DF. The benefit of post-operative RT could not be ascertained.
Accuracy and reproducibility of the patient’s position is crucial for successful delivery of radiotherapy (RT). Data on palliative patients’ set-up uncertainties are sparse. The aim of this study was to calculate set-up errors observed for palliative patients positioned using one skin mark (Group 1) versus three skin marks (Group 2) and to assess the accuracy of both approaches.
Displacements in the left–right (L–R) and superior–inferior (S–I) directions were retrospectively analysed for 175 sites treated with a course of fractionated palliative RT. Population mean, systematic and random errors were calculated in both directions for patients positioned with one and three skin marks. Frequency of deviations was also examined for both groups.
The population mean, systematic and random errors for Group 1 and 2 for the L–R direction were 0·0, 4·4, 4·8 and 0·4, 3·1 and 3·3 mm, respectively, and in the S–I direction: 0·1, 3·4, 4·2 and 1·2, 2·7 and 3·3 mm, respectively. Frequency of images within the clinical tolerance of 5 mm was 47·1% for Group 1 and 65·9% for Group 2.
Three skin marks are recommended for patients receiving a fractionated course of palliative RT, as it reduces set-up error, reduces the number of gross displacements (>10 mm) and increases the number of displacements within the clinically acceptable tolerance of 5 mm.
The virtual environment for radiotherapy training (VERT) helps students to gain technical skills and understanding of 3D anatomy and dosimetry. It has potential as a tool for treatment plan evaluation, although little formal evidence currently supports this.
This paper reports findings from a plan evaluation workshop that facilitated comparison of VERT plan evaluation tools with those provided by conventional treatment planning software (TPS).
Students on a pre-registration Post-Graduate Diploma in Radiotherapy worked in small groups evaluating lung plans using both VERT and Eclipse TPS tools. All students were invited to provide ratings concerning how helpful each modality was for a range of evaluation parameters and preferences for use.
Most students (11 out of 14) found the session useful and expressed a desire to use VERT in future plan evaluation. The TPS was perceived to be more helpful with constraint-based evaluation while VERT was more helpful with evaluating plans for clinical set-up and delivery (p < 0·001).
Student therapeutic radiographers found VERT to be helpful as a plan evaluation tool alongside standard TPS tools, in particular for clinical set-up and delivery aspects of planning. Future work is ongoing to identify the specific impact of VERT as a plan evaluation tool for both students and qualified planners.
Breast cancer patients experience skin reactions during radiotherapy. Radiation-induced skin reactions can result in treatment delivery being interrupted. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the skincare management of patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer in order to inform best practice.
A literature search was undertaken using USearch and HONNI in support of the first-hand evidence gained from the supervised on-treatment review of patients receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer.
There is evidence to suggest that the skincare advice given to patients varies widely between departments in the UK with many not following nationally recommended guidelines. Studies demonstrate that there are ways to reduce skin reactions and that there are a range of effective management strategies being adopted. Prophylactic skincare has been explored to improve the resilience of the skin prior to commencing radiotherapy.
Further investigation is required in order to clearly establish the optimum national skincare management for breast cancer patients. More studies are required to test the effectiveness and viability of prophylactic measures. Skincare guidance needs to be robustly developed and effectively promoted by therapeutic radiographers for radiotherapy patients to benefit from reduced, radiation-induced, skin reactions.
This review evaluates whether brachytherapy can be considered as an alternative to whole breast irradiation (WBI) using criteria such as local recurrence rates, overall survival rates and quality of life (QoL) factors. This is an important issue because of a decline in local recurrence rates, suggesting that some women at very low risk of recurrence may be incurring the negative long-term side effects of WBI without benefitting from a reduction in local recurrence and greater overall survival. As such, the purpose of this literature review is to evaluate whether brachytherapy is a credible alternative to external beam radiation with a particular focus on the impact it has on patient QoL.
The search terms used were devised by using the Population Intervention Comparison Outcome framework, and a literature search was carried out using Boolean connectors and Medical Subject Headings in the PubMed database. The resultant articles were manually assessed for relevance and appraised using the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network tool. Additional papers were sourced from the citations of articles found using the search strategy. Government guidelines and regulations were also used following a manual search on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence website. This process resulted in a total of 30 sources being included as part of the review.
Three types of brachytherapy were the foundation for the majority of the papers found: interstitial multi-catheter brachytherapy, intra-cavity brachytherapy and permanent seed implantation. The key themes that arose from the literature were that brachytherapy is equivalent to WBI both in terms of 5-year local recurrence rates and overall survival rates at 10–12 years. The findings showed that brachytherapy was superior to WBI for some QoL factors such as being less time-consuming and equal in terms of others such as breast cosmesis. The results did also show that brachytherapy does come with its own local toxicities that could impact upon QoL such as the poor breast cosmesis associated with some brachytherapy techniques.
In conclusion, brachytherapy was deemed a safe or acceptable alternative to WBI, but there is a need for further research on the long-term local recurrence rates, survival rates and quality of life issues as the volume of evidence is still significantly smaller for brachytherapy than for WBI. Specifically, there needs to be further investigation as to which patients will benefit from being offered brachytherapy and the influence that factors such as co-morbidities, performance status and patient choice play in these decisions.
Cancer during pregnancy has an incidence of 1/1,000, and when diagnosed, the most common ones are breast cancer (1/10,000), Hodgkin’s lymphoma (1/6,000), and head and neck cancer (1/10,000). If a diagnosis is made during pregnancy, the treatment cannot wait until delivery, and there is concern about the effects that radiotherapy may have on the foetus. The multidisciplinary group has to assess and ethically make decisions with regard to the mother and foetus.
A 35-year-old female, a carrier of Behcet’s disease, underwent 5 years of treatment with hydroxychloroquine, prednisone and low-molecular-weight heparin (the patient being a carrier of Behcet’s disease, there is a high risk for cancer of the oral cavity and oropharynx with an HR of 2·11, so the cancer could be related to the tonsil). The patient’s oncological situation started on December 2017 with a volume increase in preauricular, parotid and right mandibular angle, with a progressive growth. At this time, the foetus was of 17·5 weeks of gestation. An oral cavity tumour that invaded the right retromolar triangle was observed, and upon biopsy, a basaloid squamous cell carcinoma was diagnosed.
Radiotherapy treatment was started at 22 weeks of gestation; intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) was planned with a dose of 69·96 Gy to the primary tumour and 59·4 Gy to ganglion levels II, III and IV, bilaterally in 33 fractions. At fraction 27 a significant decrease in tumour volume was noted, so adaptive radiotherapy was performed to complete the treatment. Currently the patient has no clinical evidence of tumour pathology.
The risk of radiation exposure in pregnant women (after 20 weeks of gestation), being treated for cancers of the tonsil, reaching the foetus is minimal, with a reduced risk of a few or no effects.
Radiotherapy in tonsil cancer has been shown to be effective in combination with chemotherapy for local control of the disease. In the case of this pregnant patient, radiotherapy, as the only modality, provided local control and little exposure of radiation to the foetus.
During the radiation therapy of tumoral breast, the contralateral breast (CB) will receive scattered doses. In the present study, the photon and thermal neutron dose values received by CB surface during breast cancer radiation therapy were measured.
Materials and methods:
The right breast region of RANDO phantom was considered as CB, and the measurements of photon and thermal neutron dose values were carried out on this region surface. The phantom was irradiated with 18 MV photon beams, and the dose values were measured with thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD-600 and TLD-700) chips for 11 × 13, 11 × 17 and 11 × 21 cm2 field sizes in the presence of physical and dynamic wedges.
The total dose values (photon + thermal neutron) received by the CB surface in the presence of physical wedge were 12·06%, 15·75% and 33·40% of the prescribed dose, respectively, for 11 × 13, 11 × 17 and 11 × 21 cm2 field sizes. The corresponding dose values for dynamic wedge were 9·18%, 12·92% and 29·26% of the prescribed dose, respectively. Moreover, the results showed that treatment field size and wedge type affect the received photon and thermal neutron doses at CB surface.
According to our results, the total dose values received at CB surface during breast cancer radiotherapy with high-energy photon beams are remarkable. In addition, the dose values received at CB surface when using a physical wedge were greater than when using a dynamic wedge, especially for medial tangential fields.