A Novel Framework for the Optimization of Simultaneous ThermoBrachyTherapy

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In high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) for prostate cancer treatment, interstitial hyperthermia (IHT) is applied to sensitize the tumor to the radiation (RT) dose, aiming at a more efficient treatment. Simultaneous application of HDR-BT and IHT is anticipated to provide maximum radiosensitization of the tumor. With this rationale, the ThermoBrachyTherapy applicators have been designed and developed, enabling simultaneous irradiation and heating. In this research, we present a method to optimize the three-dimensional temperature distribution for simultaneous HDR-BT and IHT based on the resulting equivalent physical dose (EQDphys) of the combined treatment. First, the temperature resulting from each electrode is precomputed. Then, for a given set of electrode settings and a precomputed radiation dose, the EQDphys is calculated based on the temperature-dependent linear-quadratic model. Finally, the optimum set of electrode settings is found through an optimization algorithm. The method is applied on implant geometries and anatomical data of 10 previously irradiated patients, using reported thermoradiobiological parameters and physical doses. We found that an equal equivalent dose coverage of the target can be achieved with a physical RT dose reduction of 20% together with a significantly lower EQDphys to the organs at risk (p-value < 0.001), even in the least favorable scenarios. As a result, simultaneous ThermoBrachy-Therapy could lead to a relevant therapeutic benefit for patients with prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1425
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by Elekta, grant number 106932, task 4.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


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