SU-E-T-297: Dosimetric Assessment of An Air-Filled Balloon Applicator in HDR Vaginal Cuff Brachytherapy Using the Monte Carlo Method




As an alternative to cylindrical applicators, air inflated balloon applicators have been introduced into HDR vaginal cuff brachytherapy treatment to achieve sufficient dose to vagina mucosa as well as to spare rectum and bladder. In general, TG43 formulae based treatment planning systems do not take into account tissue inhomogeneity, and air in the balloon applicator can cause higher delivered dose to mucosa than treatment plan reported. We investigated dosimetric effect of air in balloon applicator using the Monte Carlo method.


The thirteen-catheter Capri applicator with a Nucletron Ir-192 seed was modeled for various balloon diameters (2cm to 3.5cm) using the MCNP Monte Carlo code. Ir-192 seed was placed in both central and peripheral catheters to replicate real patient situations. Existence of charged particle equilibrium (CPE) with air balloon was evaluated by comparing kerma and dose at various distances (1mm to 70mm) from surface of air-filled applicator. Also mucosa dose by an air-filled applicator was compared with by a water-filled applicator to evaluate dosimetry accuracy of planning system without tissue inhomogeneity correction.


Beyond 1mm from air/tissue interface, the difference between kerma and dose was within 2%. CPE (or transient CPE) condition was deemed existent, and in this region no electron transport was necessary in Monte Carlo simulations. At 1mm or less, the deviation of dose from kerma became more apparent. Increase of dose to mucosa depended on diameter of air balloon. The increment of dose to mucosa was 2.5% and 4.3% on average for 2cm and 3.5cm applicators, respectively.


After introduction of air balloon applicator, CPE fails only at the proximity of air/tissue interface. Although dose to mucosa is increased, there is no significant dosimetric difference (<5%) between air and water filled applicators. Tissue inhomogeneity correction is not necessary for air-filled applicators.