J Cancer 2018; 9(14):2443-2450. doi:10.7150/jca.24887

Research Paper

Dosimetric Effects of Head and Neck Immobilization Devices on Multi-field Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Li Chen1*, Ying-Lin Peng1*, Shi-Yong Gu2, Hui Shen3, Dan-Dan Zhang1, Wen-Zhao Sun1, Jian-Hua Wu1, Xiao-Wu Deng1✉

1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou 510060, China;
2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Wuhan General Hospital of Guangzhou Military, No. 627, Wuluo Road, Hongshan District, Wuhan 430064, China;
3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Yangjiang Hospital, No.42, Dongshan Road, Jiangcheng District, Yangjiang 529599, China.
*These authors contributed equally to the paper.


Background: In practice, the dose perturbation effect of head and neck immobilization devices is often overlooked in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Purpose of this study is to verify and analyze the dosimetric effect of head and neck immobilization devices on NPC multi-field IMRT.

Methods: Ten patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma were randomly selected. Two sets of body contours were established for each patient. One set of body contours did not contain the immobilization device, and the other contour set included the immobilization device. For each patient, dose calculations were conducted for the two sets of contours using the same 9-field IMRT plan, which were recorded as Plan- and Plan+. The dose difference caused by the head and neck immobilization devices was assessed by comparing the dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameter results and by plan subtraction. The gafchromic EBT3 film and anthropomorphic phantom were used to verify the calculated doses.

Results: The target coverage and average dose of Plan+ were lower than those of Plan- : the prescription dose coverage rates for PTVnx, PTVnd, PTV1 and PTV2 decreased by 2.4%, 9.9%, 1.5%, and 3.6%, respectively, and the mean doses were reduced by 0.9%, 1.9%, 1.1%, and 1.5%, respectively. Doses in the organs at risk showed no significant differences or slight reductions (the maximum reduction in mean dose was 1.7%). From the EBT3 measurements, the skin dose on the posterior neck was increased by approximately 53%.

Conclusion: The attenuation and bolus effects of the head and neck immobilization device reduce dose coverage rate and average dose of the planning target volumes in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and lead to an increase in the skin dose. During treatment planning and dose calculation, the immobilization device should be included within body contour to account for the dose attenuation and skin dose increment.

Keywords: Head and neck immobilization device, Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Intensity modulated radiation therapy, Dose attenuation, Skin dose

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How to cite this article:
Chen L, Peng YL, Gu SY, Shen H, Zhang DD, Sun WZ, Wu JH, Deng XW. Dosimetric Effects of Head and Neck Immobilization Devices on Multi-field Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. J Cancer 2018; 9(14):2443-2450. doi:10.7150/jca.24887. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v09p2443.htm