Indexed on: 25 Jul '17Published on: 25 Jul '17Published in: Brachytherapy
Current high-dose-rate brachytherapy skin treatments with the Freiburg flap (FF) applicator are planned with treatment planning systems based on the American Association of Physicists in Medicine TG-43 data sets, which assume full backscatter conditions in dose calculations. The aim of this work is to describe an experimental method based on radiochromic film dosimetry to evaluate dose calculation accuracy during surface treatments with the FF applicator at different depths and bolus thicknesses.Absolute doses were measured using a reference EBT3 radiochromic film dosimetry system within a Solid Water phantom at different depths (0, 0.5, 1, 2, and 3 cm) with respect to the phantom surface. The impact of bolus (up to 3-cm thickness) placed on top of the applicator was investigated for two clinical loadings created using Oncentra MasterPlan: 5 cm × 5 cm and 11 cm × 11 cm.For smaller loading and depths beyond 2 cm and for larger loading and depths beyond 1 cm, the dose difference was less than 3% (±4%). At shallower depths, differences of up to 6% (±4%) at the surface were observed if no bolus was added. The addition of 2-cm bolus for the smaller loading and 1 cm for larger loading minimized the difference to less than 3% (±4%).For typical FF applicator loading sizes, the actual measured dose was 6% (±4%) lower at the skin level when compared with TG-43. Additional bolus above the FF was shown to decrease the dose difference. The consideration of change in clinical practice should be carefully investigated in light of clinical reference data.