Comparative Treatment Planning in Radiotherapy and Clinical Impact of Proton Relative Biological Effectiveness
Sammanfattning: The development of new irradiation techniques is presently a very active field of research with increased availability of more sophisticated modalities such as intensity modulated photons (IMRT), protons and light ions. The primary aim of this work is to evaluate if the dose-distributions using IMRT and protons contribute to clinical advantages. A secondary aim is to investigate the potential clinical implication of the increased relative biological effect (RBE) for protons at the end of the Bragg peak. The potential benefits are evaluated using physical dose measures and dose-response models for normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and tumour control probability (TCP). Comparative treatment planning was performed using three locally advanced tumour types, left-sided node positive breast cancer, hypopharyngeal cancer, and rectal cancer. All studies showed that both IMRT and protons could improve the dose distributions compared to 3D-CRT, and significantly improve treatment results with lower NTCPs and, concerning hypopharyngeal cancer, higher TCP. Protons always resulted in smaller volumes receiving intermediate and low radiation doses.Using protons or IMRT for left-sided node-positive breast cancer, the advantage is a significantly decreased risk for cardiac mortality (from 6.7% to 1%) and radiation induced pneumonitis (from 28.2% to less than 3%) compared to 3D-CRT. For hypopharyngeal cancer, protons and IMRT provide more selective treatment plans, higher TCP since a simultaneous boost technique is feasible, and better parotid gland sparing for several patients. For locally advanced rectal cancer, the NTCP for small bowel is potentially reduced by approximately 50% using IMRT or protons; protons have an even greater potential if the structure of the small bowel is parallel.A variable RBE correction is developed and applied to a clinical proton treatment plan. A significant difference is obtained compared to the commonly accepted RBE correction of 1.1. This indicates that a variable RBE may be of importance in future proton treatment planning.This thesis provides support for increased use both IMRT and proton radiotherapy, although stronger for protons. Therefore, investments in proton facilities with capacity for large clinical trials can be supported.
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