• Chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer: a radiotherapy dose escalation and organ motion study.

      Henry, Ann M; Ryder, W David J; Moore, Christopher J; Sherlock, David J; Geh, J I; Dunn, P; Price, Patricia M; Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Manchester, Department of Medical Statistics, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, UK. (2008-09)
      AIMS: To determine the efficacy of radiation dose escalation and to examine organ motion during conformal radiotherapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty-nine patients who were consecutively treated with chemoradiotherapy were studied. Fifteen patients, treated from 1993 to 1997, received 50 Gy in 20 fractions (group I). Twenty-four patients, treated from 1997 to 2003, received an escalated dose of 55 Gy in 25 fractions (group II). Intra-fraction pancreatic tumour motion was assessed in three patients using megavoltage movies during radiation delivery to track implanted radio-opaque markers. RESULTS: Improved survival rates were seen in latterly treated group II patients (P=0.083), who received escalated radiotherapy to smaller treatment volumes due to advances in verification. Worse toxicity effects (World Health Organization grade 3-4) were reported by some patients (<10%), but treatment compliance was similar in both groups, indicating equivalent tolerance. Substantial intra-fraction tumour displacement due to respiratory motion was observed: this was greatest in the superior/inferior (mean=6.6 mm) and anterior/posterior (mean=4.75 mm) directions. Lateral displacements were small (<2 mm). CONCLUSIONS: Dose escalation is feasible in pancreatic cancer, particularly when combined with a reduction in irradiated volume, and enhanced efficacy is indicated. Large, globally applied margins to compensate for pancreatic tumour motion during radiotherapy may be inappropriate. Strategies to reduce respiratory motion, and/or the application of image-guided techniques that incorporate individual patients' respiratory motion into radiotherapy planning and delivery, will probably improve pancreatic radiotherapy.
    • Evaluation of larynx-sparing techniques with IMRT when treating the head and neck.

      Webster, Gareth J; Rowbottom, Carl G; Ho, Kean F; Slevin, Nicholas J; Mackay, Ranald I; North Western Medical Physics, Christie Hospital National Health Service Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK. Gareth.Webster@physics.cr.man.ac.uk (2008-10-01)
      PURPOSE: Concern exists that widespread implementation of whole-field intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for the treatment of head-and-neck cancer has resulted in increased levels of dysphagia relative to those seen with conventional planning. Other investigators have suggested an alternative junctioned-IMRT (J-IMRT) method, which matches an IMRT plan to a centrally blocked neck field to restrict the laryngeal dose and reduce dysphagia. The effect on target coverage and sparing of organs at risk, including laryngeal sparing, in the optimization was evaluated and compared with that achieved using a J-IMRT technique. METHODS AND MATERIALS: A total of 13 oropharyngeal cancer whole-field IMRT plans were planned with and without including laryngeal sparing in the optimization. A comparison of the target coverage and sparing of organs at risk was made using the resulting dose-volume histograms and dose distribution. The nine plans with disease located superior to the level of the larynx were replanned using a series of J-IMRT techniques to compare the two laryngeal-sparing techniques. RESULTS: An average mean larynx dose of 29.1 Gy was achieved if disease did not extend to the level of the larynx, with 38.8 Gy for disease extending inferiorly and close to the larynx (reduced from 46.2 and 47.7 Gy, respectively, without laryngeal sparing). Additional laryngeal sparing could be achieved with J-IMRT (mean dose 24.4 Gy), although often at the expense of significantly reduced coverage of the target volume and with no improvement to other areas of the IMRT plan. CONCLUSION: The benefits of J-IMRT can be achieved with whole-field IMRT if laryngeal sparing is incorporated into the class solution. Inclusion of laryngeal sparing had no effect on other parameters in the plan.
    • The impact of clinical factors on the development of late radiation toxicity: results from the Medical Research Council RT01 trial (ISRCTN47772397).

      Barnett, G C; De Meerleer, G; Gulliford, S L; Sydes, M R; Elliott, Rebecca M; Dearnaley, D; University of Cambridge, Department of Oncology, Oncology Centre, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridge, UK. (2011-11)
      A variety of dosimetric parameters have been shown to influence the incidence of late radiation toxicity. The effect of other treatment- and patient-related factors is less well established. The aim of this study was to elucidate the influence of such factors in the development of late symptoms after radical radiotherapy to the prostate.
    • The role of PET in target localization for radiotherapy treatment planning.

      Rembielak, Agata; Price, Patricia M; Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, Division of Cancer Studies, The University of Manchester, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom. agata.rembielak@manchester.ac.uk (2008-02)
      Positron emission tomography (PET) is currently accepted as an important tool in oncology, mostly for diagnosis, staging and restaging purposes. It provides a new type of information in radiotherapy, functional rather than anatomical. PET imaging can also be used for target volume definition in radiotherapy treatment planning. The need for very precise target volume delineation has arisen with the increasing use of sophisticated three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy techniques and intensity modulated radiation therapy. It is expected that better delineation of the target volume may lead to a significant reduction in the irradiated volume, thus lowering the risk of treatment complications (smaller safety margins). Better tumour visualisation also allows a higher dose of radiation to be applied to the tumour, which may lead to better tumour control. The aim of this article is to review the possible use of PET imaging in the radiotherapy of various cancers. We focus mainly on non-small cell lung cancer, lymphoma and oesophageal cancer, but also include current opinion on the use of PET-based planning in other tumours including brain, uterine cervix, rectum and prostate.