3D-conformal radiation therapy in prostate cancer. Technical considerations after 5 years of experience and 334 patients treated at the Istituto Europeo di Oncologia of Milan, Italy

M. Ghilezan, G. Ivaldi, F. Cattani, C. Greco, S. Castiglioni, M. C. Leonardi, G. Tosi, H. Marsiglia, R. Orecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims and background: To report the technique of 3D-conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) currently used at our Institute for the treatment of prostate cancer with a curative intent. A critical review of the technical aspects of the technique is provided. Methods and study design: Between December 1995 and October 2000, 334 patients with biopsy-proven adenocarcinoma of the prostate were treated with 3D-CRT. All patients were treated in a prone position with 15 MV X-ray beams and a 6-field technique for all but 20 patients, who were treated with a 3-field technique. Patients were simulated with the rectum and bladder empty. To ensure reproducible positioning, custom-made polyurethane foam or thermoplastic casts were produced for each patient. Subsequently, consecutive CT scan slices were obtained. The clinical target volume and critical organs (rectum and bladder) were identified on each CT slice. The beam's eye view technique was used to spatially display these structures, and the treatment portals were manually shaped based on the images obtained. The beam apertures were initially realized by conventional Cerrobend blocks (48 patients), which were replaced in October 1997 by a computer-driven multi-leaf collimator. The total target dose prescribed at the ICRU point is 76 Gy, delivered in 38 fractions and 54 days. The seminal vesicles are excluded at 70 Gy. Dose-volume histograms were obtained for all patients. If more than 30% of the bladder and/or more than 20% of the rectum receive >95% of the prescribed total dose, the treatment plan is judged as unsatisfactory and is adjusted. The dose-volume histogram can be improved by changing the beam's arrangement and/or weights or by introducing or modifying the wedge filters. Conclusions: 3D-CRT in prostate cancer patients is a highly sophisticated and time-consuming method of dose delivery. Important technical issues remain to be clarified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-323
Number of pages7
JournalTumori
Volume87
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • 3D-conformal radiation therapy
  • Prostate cancer
  • Technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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