Author(s): Wojcicka JB, Lasher DE, Malcom R, Fortier G
MammoSite balloon brachytherapy is a relatively new technique for partial breast irradiation. The present paper focuses on the treatment planning, dosimetry, and quality assurance aspects of that treatment, based on the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0413 randomized prospective trial (RTOG 0413) protocol. We investigate the usefulness of evaluating implants for treatment appropriateness according to the full set of RTOG criteria as compared with the manufacturer's guidelines. We describe our methods to improve MammoSite balloon implants that would otherwise not comply with the protocol. The initially acquired computed tomography (CT) images are evaluated for tissue conformance, balloon surface-to-skin distance, and balloon symmetry. If the implant fails to meet the foregoing criteria, corrective action such as delay in the CT scan, balloon manipulation, or fluid volume adjustment is taken, and the patient is re-scanned. If the corrective action appears to be successful, three dimensional treatment planning and dose-volume histogram analysis is performed to evaluate the geometric and dosimetric parameters with regard to the RTOG 0413 protocol. The evaluated parameters include, volume ratio of the lumpectomy cavity to the ipsilateral breast, target volume coverage, tissue-balloon conformance, balloon symmetry, minimal balloon surface-to-skin distance, maximum skin dose, and normal breast tissue dose-volume parameters V150 and V200. Among our implants, 21.7% did not initially meet the RTOG 0413 acceptance criteria. Asymmetry and poor conformance values reduce the target volume coverage, and so an implant with moderate conformance and asymmetry can be within the manufacturer's guidelines, but still not meet the RTOG criteria. Our intervention corrected all but one of the implants that failed to meet the criteria. Manipulating the cavity and adjusting the balloon volume may salvage an implant and meet the strict geometric and dosimetric criteria imposed by the RTOG 0413 protocol.