The amount of radiation used in photon radiation therapy is measured in gray (Gy), and varies depending on the type and stage of cancer being treated. For curative cases, the typical dose for a solid epithelial tumor ranges from 60 to 80 Gy, while lymphomas are treated with 20 to 40 Gy.
Preventive (adjuvant) doses are typically around 45–60 Gy in 1.8–2 Gy fractions (for breast, head, and neck cancers.) Many other factors are considered by radiation oncologists when selecting a dose, including whether the patient is receiving chemotherapy, patient comorbidities, whether radiation therapy is being administered before or after surgery, and the degree of success of surgery.
Delivery parameters of a prescribed dose are determined during treatment planning (part of dosimetry). Treatment planning is generally performed on dedicated computers using specialized treatment planning software. Depending on the radiation delivery method, several angles or sources may be used to sum to the total necessary dose. The planner will try to design a plan that delivers a uniform prescription dose to the tumor and minimizes dose to surrounding healthy tissues.
In radiation therapy, three-dimensional dose distributions are often evaluated using the dosimetry technique known as gel dosimetry.
This section only applies to photon radiotherapy although other types of radiation therapy may be fractionated
The total dose is fractionated (spread out over time) for several important reasons. Fractionation allows normal cells time to recover, while tumor cells are generally less efficient in repair between fractions. Fractionation also allows tumor cells that were in a relatively radio-resistant phase of the cell cycle during one treatment to cycle into a sensitive phase of the cycle before the next fraction is given. Similarly, tumor cells that were chronically or acutely hypoxic (and therefore more radioresistant) may reoxygenate between fractions, improving the tumor cell kill.
Fractionation regimens are individualised between different radiation therapy centers and even between individual doctors. In North America, Australia, and Europe, the typical fractionation schedule for adults is 1.8 to 2 Gy per day, five days a week. In some cancer types, prolongation of the fraction schedule over too long can allow for the tumor to begin repopulating, and for these tumor types, including head-and-neck and cervical squamous cell cancers, radiation treatment is preferably completed within a certain amount of time. For children, a typical fraction size may be 1.5 to 1.8 Gy per day, as smaller fraction sizes are associated with reduced incidence and severity of late-onset side effects in normal tissues.
In some cases, two fractions per day are used near the end of a course of treatment. This schedule, known as a concomitant boost regimen or hyperfractionation, is used on tumors that regenerate more quickly when they are smaller. In particular, tumors in the head-and-neck demonstrate this behavior.
Patients receiving palliative radiation to treat uncomplicated painful bone metastasis should not receive more than a single fraction of radiation. A single treatment gives comparable pain relief and morbidity outcomes to multiple-fraction treatments, and for patients with limited life expectancy, a single treatment is best to improve patient comfort.
Schedules for fractionation
One fractionation schedule that is increasingly being used and continues to be studied is hypofractionation. This is a radiation treatment in which the total dose of radiation is divided into large doses. Typical doses vary significantly by cancer type, from 2.2 Gy/fraction to 20 Gy/fraction. The logic behind hypofractionation is to lessen the possibility of the cancer returning by not giving the cells enough time to reproduce and also to exploit the unique biological radiation sensitivity of some tumors. One commonly treated site where there is very good evidence for such treatment is in breast cancer. Short course hypofractionated treatments over 3–4 weeks e.g. 40 Gy in 15 fractions or 42.5 Gy in 16 fractions, have been shown to be as effective as more protracted 5-6 week treatments with respect to both cancer control and cosmesis (UK START and Canadian trials).
One of the best-known alternative fractionation schedules is Continuous Hyperfractionated Accelerated Radiation therapy (CHART). CHART, used to treat lung cancer, consists of three smaller fractions per day. Although reasonably successful, CHART can be a strain on radiation therapy departments.
Another increasingly well-known alternative fractionation schedule, used to treat breast cancer, is called Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation (APBI). APBI can be performed with either brachytherapy or with external beam radiation. APBI normally involves two high-dose fractions per day for five days, compared to whole breast irradiation, in which a single, smaller fraction is given five times a week over a six-to-seven-week period. An example of APBI where the entire dose is delivered in a single fraction is TARGIT.
Implants can be fractionated over minutes or hours, or they can be permanent seeds which slowly deliver radiation until they become inactive.
دیدگاه خود را ثبت کنیدتمایل دارید در گفتگوها شرکت کنید؟
در گفتگو ها شرکت کنید.