Author(s): Bentel GC, Marks LB, Krishnamurthy R
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Abstract PURPOSE: To compare the setup accuracy during fractionated radiation therapy for two patient groups with lung cancer treated with and without an immobilization cradle. METHODS: Three hundred ninety-seven port films from 30 patients immobilized in the Alpha Cradle were compared with 329 port films from 30 patients who were not immobilized with the cradle. All patients were treated with curative intent for nonmetastatic lung cancer. The frequency of physician-requested isocenter shifts were compared in the two groups using a two-tailed chi-square test. Initial port films taken on the first day of treatment, routine films taken usually weekly during radiation therapy, and requested films taken after a requested shift were considered separately. The immobilization device consisted of a custom-made foam cradle that extended from above the head to the knees. Patients were generally treated with their arms above their heads, and treatment setup marks in the immobilized patients were placed on both the patients' skin and the immobilization cradle. For the noncradle patients, setup marks were placed only on the patients' skin. RESULTS: For the routine films, the frequency of physician-requested isocenter shifts was lower in immobilized patients than in the nonimmobilized group (p = 0.139). Most of this reduction was seen on oblique fields (p = 0.038). No benefits were seen among initial or requested films. The two groups were well balanced with regard to stage, age, field size, and total dose. CONCLUSIONS: The use of aggressive immobilization improves the setup reproducibility in patients receiving external beam radiation therapy for lung cancer, especially during treatment with oblique fields. This improvement in treatment accuracy might improve the therapeutic ratio.
This article was published in Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
and referenced in Atherosclerosis: Open Access