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Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has revolutionised the way head and neck cancers can be treated. It allows for a more conformal treatment plan when compared to 3D conformal radiation therapy. In paediatric patients, however, IMRT continues to deliver higher doses than desirable. Proton beam therapy on the other hand has the potential to further spare organs-at-risk.
A 16-year-old boy with a left-sided paraganglioma of the left base of skull manifested by headaches, neck pain and tongue cramping was simulated, planned and treated with proton therapy with significant contralateral organ-at-risk sparing.
For this patient, dosimetric plan comparison between photon and proton plans clearly showed better sparing of contralateral organs-at-risk with protons. The contralateral parotid gland received a mean dose of 386·3 cGy with photons, whereas it received 1·3 cGy (CGE) in the proton plan.
The dosimetric advantage of proton beam over photon beam therapy has successfully been demonstrated in this case study for a paediatric patient with a head and neck tumour. Sparing of contralateral structures is especially important in paediatric patients who are at a greater risk of secondary malignancies due to possible long life expectancy.
Vaginal cancer is a rare malignancy that poses a challenge to treat and cure, as surgical excision requires life-changing procedures because of the proximity and involvement of rectum, bladder and anus. We report in this case study the successful delivery of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for a patient with vaginal cancer after previous radiotherapy.
A 71-year-old white female who presented with dyspareunia and irritative urinary symptoms proven by biopsy was our candidate patient. Subsequent PET/CT revealed a hypermetabolic 3 cm lesion at the 12–1 o’clock position in the distal vagina involving the clitoris. The patient was initially treated with volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) with simultaneous integrated boost technique to the involved nodes, and later upon recurrence treated with SABR using 30 Gy in six fractions.
To our knowledge, this is the first report of a vaginal cylinder used to physically distance organs at risk from the treatment target and also as a localising device with image guidance for the delivery of SABR using an external beam.
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