SU-C-16A-07: Sculpting Isodose Lines: Design of An Internally Shielded Tandem for Cervical Cancer Brachytherapy




With the prescription method moving from point A to 3D volume based in cervical cancer HDR brachytherapy, the traditional pear-shaped isodose lines are desired to be sculptured to conform to the irregular shaped target. The standard single channel tandem cannot generate asymmetric isodose lines. Most of the directionally shielded sources proposed in literature are challenging to manufacture and operate. In this study, we proposed a novel internally shielded tandem applicator design which gave users more freedom to manipulate isodose lines while planning.


The proposed tandem design has one centrally located lead cylindrical rod of 8 mm in diameter serving as the internal shield. Multiple source channels with the diameter of 2 mm are evenly spaced and engraved on the central cylindrical rod. The overall diameter of the tandem with polymer encapsulation was kept to be 10 mm. Various number of channels and engraving depths have been tested in the design process. Geant4 Monte Carlo toolkit was used for dose calculation assuming a Varian VS2000 source was placed inside the applicator. A Monte Carlo based planning system has been developed in-house to generate brachytherapy plans. Test plans by using this internally shielded tandem were generated for 3 clinical cases.


Water phantom results shown the dose distribution from a VS2000 source in the tandem was strongly distorted towards one direction due to the presence of shielding material. Conformal plans with asymmetric isodose distributions around the tandem can be generated by optimizing dwell times in different channels.


An effective and easy-to-use internally shielded tandem was developed. It gave user the freedom to sculpt isodose lines to generate conformal plans for cervical cancer brachytherapy.