MO-D-213-04: The Proximity to the Skin of PTV Affects PTV Coverage and Skin Dose for TomoTherapy




The proximity to the skin surface of the PTV for the patients with skin disease could be a concern in terms of the PTV coverage and actual surface dose (SD). IMRT optimization algorithms increase the beam intensity close to the skin in order to compensate for lack of scattering material, leading to enhanced SD but potential hot spots. This study aims to investigate the effect of PTV proximity to the skin on planning and measured SD


All measurements were done for 6 MV X-ray beam of Helical TomoTherapy. An anthropomorphic phantom was scanned in a CT simulator in a routine manner with thermoplastic mask immobilization. PTVs were created with varying distances to the skin of 0 mm -(PTV1), 1 mm- (PTV2), 2 mm-(PTV3) and 3 mm-(PTV4). Also, a 5 mm bolus was used with PTV1 (PTV5). All planning constraints were kept the same in all studies (hard constraint: 95% of the prescription dose covered 95% of the PTV). Gafchromic film (EBT3) was placed under the mask on the phantom surface, and the resulting dose was estimated using RIT software.


Optimizing the dose using different PTVs lead to average planned target doses of 10.8, 10.3, 10.2, 10.3 and 10.0 Gy, with maximum doses 12.2, 11.2, 11.1, 11.1 and 10.0 Gy for PTV1, PTV2, PTV3, PTV4 and PTV5, respectively. EBT3 measurements indicated a significant decrease of SD with skin distance by 12.7% (PTV1), 21.9% (PTV2), 24.8% (PTV3) and 28.4% (PTV4) comparing to prescription dose. Placement of a 5 mm bolus on the phantom surface resulted in a SD close to prescribed (+0.5%).


This work provides a clear demonstration of the relationship between the skin dose and the PTV to the skin distance. The results indicate the necessity of a bolus even for TomoTherapy when high skin dose is required.