• 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.
    • IMRT dose fractionation for head and neck cancer: variation in current approaches will make standardisation difficult.

      Ho, Kean F; Fowler, Jack F; Sykes, Andrew J; Yap, Beng K; Lee, Lip W; Slevin, Nicholas J; Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Manchester, Christie Hospital, Wilmslow Road, Manchester, UK. (2009)
      INTRODUCTION: Altered fractionation has demonstrated clinical benefits compared to the conventional 2 Gy/day standard of 70 Gy. When using synchronous chemotherapy, there is uncertainty about optimum fractionation. IMRT with its potential for Simultaneous Integrated Boost (SIB) adds further to this uncertainty. This survey will examine international practice of IMRT fractionation and suggest possible reasons for diversity in approach. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Fourteen international cancer centres were surveyed for IMRT dose/fractionation practised in each centre. RESULTS: Twelve different types of dose fractionation were reported. Conventional 70-72 Gy (daily 2 Gy/fraction) was used in 3/14 centres with concurrent chemotherapy while 11/14 centres used altered fractionation. Two centres used >1 schedule. Reported schedules and number of centres included 6 fractions/week DAHANCA regime (3), modest hypofractionation (< or =2.2 Gy/fraction) (3), dose-escalated hypofractionation (> or =2.3 Gy/fraction) (4), hyperfractionation (1), continuous acceleration (1) and concomitant boost (1). Reasons for dose fractionation variability include (i) dose escalation; (ii) total irradiated volume; (iii) number of target volumes; (iv) synchronous systemic treatment; (v) shorter overall treatment time; (vi) resources availability; (vii) longer time on treatment couch; (viii) variable GTV margins; (ix) confidence in treatment setup; (x) late tissue toxicity and (xi) use of lower neck anterior fields. CONCLUSIONS: This variability in IMRT fractionation makes any meaningful comparison of treatment results difficult. Some standardization is needed particularly for design of multi-centre randomized clinical trials.
    • Radical chemoradiotherapy for adenocarcinoma of the distal oesophagus and oesophagogastric junction: what planning margins should we use?

      Whitfield, Gillian A; Jackson, Andrew; Moore, Christopher J; Price, Patricia M; Academic Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK. gillian.whitfield@manchester.ac.uk (2008-12)
      Distal oesophageal and Type I-II oesophagogastric junctional adenocarcinomas have a poor prognosis. In radical chemoradiotherapy, consensus is lacking on radiotherapy margins. Here, we review the effect of common imaging modalities on the extent of the gross tumour volume (GTV) and the evidence for margins. To do this, papers were identified from PubMed, and geometric uncertainties were combined using the British Institute of Radiology formula. CT and endoscopic ultrasound were best for GTV delineation, but the role of positron emission tomography is uncertain. Evidence suggests 3 cm proximal and 5 cm distal GTV-CTV (clinical target volume) margins (along the mucosa) for advanced tumours, but is lacking for early tumours and radial margins. Nodal spread, present in most pT2 tumours, is strongly prognostic and is initially to regional nodes (not wholly covered by typical radiotherapy). Calculated CTV-PTV (planning target volume) margins for three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy using literature estimates of tumour motion and set-up errors with bony online set-up correction, ignoring delineation errors, are 2.2 cm superiorly (sup) and inferiorly (inf) and 1.2-1.3 cm radially (1.3 cm sup-inf; 0.8 cm radially if the tumour's mid-position is known). As these margins may risk excessive toxicity, we propose treating microscopic disease for potentially curable tumours (cT2N0, some cT3N0), but gross disease only for advanced tumours. Recommended GTV-CTV margins are a maximum of 3 cm proximally and 5 cm distally up to cT2N0; 3 cm proximally and 5 cm distally for cT3N0 if anticipated toxicity allows; and 0 cm for cT4 and most node-positive tumours. The CTV-PTV margins above must be added to this for all stages. Methods of including elective nodal areas close to the GTV should be researched, e.g. nodal maps and intensity-modulated radiotherapy.
    • 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.
    • Suboptimal use of intravenous contrast during radiotherapy planning in the UK.

      Kim, Su Woon; Russell, Wanda; Price, Patricia M; Saleem, Azeem; Department of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital, Manchester, UK. (2008-12)
      We aimed to evaluate the use of intravenous (IV) contrast during acquisition of radiotherapy planning (RTP) scans and to compare current usage with the Royal College of Radiologists' (RCR) recommendations. Questionnaires were circulated via the Academic Clinical Oncology and Radiobiology Research Network (ACORRN) website, email and post to 60 UK radiotherapy centre managers. Questions were asked regarding the (i) tumour sites where IV contrast was used, (ii) person administering the contrast, (iii) availability of dynamic pump, (iv) tumour sites that centres wished to use contrast, (v) reasons for not using contrast and (vi) awareness of RCR recommendations. 50 (83%) centres responded to the questionnaire, of which 27 responded via the ACCORN website and 18 by e-mail. Despite 38 out of 50 responding centres using IV contrast, and accessibility to dynamic pumps existing in 39 centres, IV contrast usage was suboptimal, with more than half of the centres (27/50; 54%) wishing to use it at more tumour sites. IV contrast was most often used during RTP of the brain, with suboptimal usage in lung tumours. None of the 50 centres administered IV contrast during RTP scan acquisition in all of the 8 RCR recommended tumour sites. Radiographers were mainly responsible for contrast administration, and a lack of staff was cited as the main reason for suboptimal contrast usage. Disappointingly, only 35 of the 50 radiotherapy managers (70%) were aware of the RCR recommendations. Redress of the underlying reasons for suboptimal IV contrast administration during RTP, including acquisition of the necessary skill mix by staff and implementation of RCR recommendations, would help standardize UK practice.