Document Type: Original Paper
M.Sc. in Medical Radiation Engineering, Medical Radiation Dept., Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Assistant Professor, Radiotherapy and Oncology Dept., Center of Research in Medical Physics and Engineering, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
Assistant Professor, Nuclear Engineering, Center of Radiation Research, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Professor, Radiotherapy and Oncology Dept., Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
M.Sc., Nuclear Engineering, Center of Radiation Research, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Associate Professor, Nuclear Engineering, Center of Radiation Research, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Introduction: In brachytherapy, radioactive sources are placed close to the tumor, therefore, small changes in their positions can cause large changes in the dose distribution. This emphasizes the need for computerized treatment planning. The usual method for treatment planning of cervix brachytherapy uses conventional radiographs in the Manchester system. Nowadays, because of their advantages in locating the source positions and the surrounding tissues, CT and MRI images are replacing conventional radiographs. In this study, we used CT images in Monte Carlo based dose calculation for brachytherapy treatment planning, using an interface software to create the geometry file required in the MCNP code. The aim of using the interface software is to facilitate and speed up the geometry set-up for simulations based on the patient’s anatomy. This paper examines the feasibility of this method in cervix brachytherapy and assesses its accuracy and speed.
Material and Methods: For dosimetric measurements regarding the treatment plan, a pelvic phantom was made from polyethylene in which the treatment applicators could be placed. For simulations using CT images, the phantom was scanned at 120 kVp. Using an interface software written in MATLAB, the CT images were converted into MCNP input file and the simulation was then performed.
Results: Using the interface software, preparation time for the simulations of the applicator and surrounding structures was approximately 3 minutes; the corresponding time needed in the conventional MCNP geometry entry being approximately 1 hour. The discrepancy in the simulated and measured doses to point A was 1.7% of the prescribed dose. The corresponding dose differences between the two methods in rectum and bladder were 3.0% and 3.7% of the prescribed dose, respectively. Comparing the results of simulation using the interface software with those of simulation using the standard MCNP geometry entry showed a less than 1% difference of the prescribed dose at 67% of the studied points (minimum <0.01%, maximum 4.8%).
Discussion and Conclusions: Using the interface software reduces the overall simulation time. Comparison of the results of the measurements, simulation using the interface software and simulation using standard MCNP geometry entry shows that the use of tomographic images and transforming them into MCNP input file for dose calculation in brachytherapy is feasible and reasonably accurate.