Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) variations are thought to be one of the primary causes of unexpected normal-tissue toxicities during tumor treatments with charged particles. Unlike carbon therapy, where treatment planning is optimized on the basis of the RBE-weighted dose, a constant RBE value of 1.1 is currently used in proton therapy. Assuming a uniform value can lead to under- or over-dosage, not just to the tumor but also to surrounding normal tissue. RBE changes have been linked with dose/fraction, the biological endpoint and beam properties. Understanding radiation quality and the associated RBE can improve the prediction of normal-tissue toxicities. In this study, we exploited microdosimetry for characterizing radiation quality in proton therapy in-field, and off-beam at 20 (beam edge), 50 (close out-of-field) and 100 (far out-of-field) mm from the beam center. We measured the lineal energy y spectra in a water phantom irradiated with 152 MeV protons, from which beam quality as well as the physical dose could be obtained. Taking advantage of the linear quadratic model and a modified version of the microdosimetric kinetic model, the microdosimetric data were combined with radiobiological parameters (α and β) of human salivary gland tumor cells for assessing cell survival RBE and RBE-weighted dose. The results indicate that if a dose of 60 Gy is delivered to the peak, the beam edge receives up to 6 Gy while the close and far out-of-field regions receive doses on the order of 10-3 Gy and 10-4 Gy, respectively. The RBE estimate in-beam shows large variations, ranging from 1.0 0.2 at the entrance channel to 2.51 0.15 at the tail. The beam edge follows a similar trend but the RBE calculated at the Bragg peak depth is 2.27 0.17, i.e. twice the RBE in-beam (1.05 0.15). Out-of-field, the estimated RBE is always significantly higher than 1.1 and increases with increasing lateral distance, reaching the overall highest value of 3.4 0.3 at a depth of 206 mm and a lateral distance of 10 mm. The combination of RBE and dose into the biological dose points to the beam edge and the end-of-range in-beam as the areas with the highest risk of potential toxicities.

Microdosimetric measurements as a tool to assess potential in-field and out-of-field toxicity regions in proton therapy / Missiaggia, M.; Cartechini, G.; Scifoni, E.; Rovituso, M.; Tommasino, F.; Verroi, E.; Durante, M.; La Tessa, C.. - In: PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0031-9155. - 65:24(2020), pp. 245024.1-245024.16. [10.1088/1361-6560/ab9e56]

Microdosimetric measurements as a tool to assess potential in-field and out-of-field toxicity regions in proton therapy

Missiaggia M.;Cartechini G.;Scifoni E.;Tommasino F.;La Tessa C.
2020

Abstract

Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) variations are thought to be one of the primary causes of unexpected normal-tissue toxicities during tumor treatments with charged particles. Unlike carbon therapy, where treatment planning is optimized on the basis of the RBE-weighted dose, a constant RBE value of 1.1 is currently used in proton therapy. Assuming a uniform value can lead to under- or over-dosage, not just to the tumor but also to surrounding normal tissue. RBE changes have been linked with dose/fraction, the biological endpoint and beam properties. Understanding radiation quality and the associated RBE can improve the prediction of normal-tissue toxicities. In this study, we exploited microdosimetry for characterizing radiation quality in proton therapy in-field, and off-beam at 20 (beam edge), 50 (close out-of-field) and 100 (far out-of-field) mm from the beam center. We measured the lineal energy y spectra in a water phantom irradiated with 152 MeV protons, from which beam quality as well as the physical dose could be obtained. Taking advantage of the linear quadratic model and a modified version of the microdosimetric kinetic model, the microdosimetric data were combined with radiobiological parameters (α and β) of human salivary gland tumor cells for assessing cell survival RBE and RBE-weighted dose. The results indicate that if a dose of 60 Gy is delivered to the peak, the beam edge receives up to 6 Gy while the close and far out-of-field regions receive doses on the order of 10-3 Gy and 10-4 Gy, respectively. The RBE estimate in-beam shows large variations, ranging from 1.0 0.2 at the entrance channel to 2.51 0.15 at the tail. The beam edge follows a similar trend but the RBE calculated at the Bragg peak depth is 2.27 0.17, i.e. twice the RBE in-beam (1.05 0.15). Out-of-field, the estimated RBE is always significantly higher than 1.1 and increases with increasing lateral distance, reaching the overall highest value of 3.4 0.3 at a depth of 206 mm and a lateral distance of 10 mm. The combination of RBE and dose into the biological dose points to the beam edge and the end-of-range in-beam as the areas with the highest risk of potential toxicities.
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Missiaggia, M.; Cartechini, G.; Scifoni, E.; Rovituso, M.; Tommasino, F.; Verroi, E.; Durante, M.; La Tessa, C.
Microdosimetric measurements as a tool to assess potential in-field and out-of-field toxicity regions in proton therapy / Missiaggia, M.; Cartechini, G.; Scifoni, E.; Rovituso, M.; Tommasino, F.; Verroi, E.; Durante, M.; La Tessa, C.. - In: PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY. - ISSN 0031-9155. - 65:24(2020), pp. 245024.1-245024.16. [10.1088/1361-6560/ab9e56]
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