Publication Details

Kelly, A, Hardcastle, N, Metcalfe, PE, Cutajar, DL, Quinn, A, Foo, KY, Cardoso, M, Barlin, S & Rozenfeld, A, Surface dosimetry for breast radiotherapy in the presence of immobilization cast material, Physics in Medicine and Biology, 56(4), 2011, pp 1001-1013.


Curative breast radiotherapy typically leaves patients with varying degrees of cosmetic damage. One problem interfering with cosmetically acceptable breast radiotherapy is the external contour for large pendulous breasts which often results in high doses to skin folds. Thermoplastic casts are often employed to secure the breasts to maintain setup reproducibility and limit the presence of skin folds. This paper aims to determine changes in surface dose that can be attributed to the use of thermoplastic immobilization casts. Skin dose for a clinical hybrid conformal/IMRT breast plan was measured using radiochromic film and MOSFET detectors at a range ofwater equivalent depths representative of the different skin layers. The radiochromic film was used as an integrating dosimeter, while the MOSFETs were used for real-time dosimetry to isolate the contribution of skin dose from individual IMRT segments. Strips of film were placed at various locations on the breast and the MOSFETs were used to measure skin dose at 16 positions spaced along the film strips for comparison of data. The results showed an increase in skin dose in the presence of the immobilization cast of up to 45.7% and 62.3% of the skin dose without the immobilization cast present as measured with Gafchromic EBT film and MOSFETs, respectively. The increase in skin dose due to the immobilization cast varied with the angle of beam incidence and was greatest when the beam was normally incident on the phantom. The increase in surface dose with the immobilization cast was greater under entrance dose conditions compared to exit dose conditions.

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