Document Type: Original Paper
Medical Physics Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Radiation Oncology Department, Omid Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
Radiotherapy is regarded as the first treatment of choice for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Despite the advantages of radiotherapy, patients may suffer from a wide range of side-effects due to the presence of many sensitive normal tissues in these regions. If the absorbed dose exceeds the tolerance level in parotid glands and the spinal cord, myelopathy, Lhermitte's sign and xerostomia cannot be avoided.
Materials and Methods
The head and neck of a RANDO phantom (reference man), which was regarded as a hypothetical patient with nasopharyngeal carcinoma was evaluated. The full course of treatment consisted of three phases. At the beginning of each phase, an oncologist marked conventional fields on the RANDO phantom using a simulator. For measuring the absorbed dose, Thermoluminescent Dosimeters(TLD) chips (TLD-100) were utilized.The absorbed dose by TLDs was read by Harshaw 3500 TLD reader.
The total absorbed dose was calculated by measuring the absorbed dose in each phase, multiplied by the fraction numbers of each phase; the obtained values were summed up. The results showed that the received doses by spinal cord ranged from 15.24 to 54.56 Gy. Also, the absorbed dose of parotid glands was approximately 39.23 Gy.
Considering the minimum tolerance dose the absorbed doses in the spinal cord and parotid glands were above the tolerance level. The incidence rate of xerostomia and myelopathy were higher in patients, treated by conventional methods.