TU-AB-201-07: Image Guided Endorectal HDR Brachytherapy Using a Compliant Balloon Applicator




High dose rate endorectal brachytherapy is an option to deliver a focal, high-dose radiotherapy to rectal tumors for patients undergoing non-operative management. We investigate a new multichannel, MR compatible applicator with a novel balloon-based design to provide improved treatment geometry. We report on the initial clinical experience using this applicator.


Patients were enrolled on an IRB-approved, dose-escalation protocol evaluating the use of the anorectal (AR-1) applicator (Ancer Medical, Hialeah, FL), a multichannel applicator with two concentric balloons. The inner balloon supports 8 source lumens; the compliant outer balloon expands to separate the normal rectal wall and the source lumens, yet deforms around a firm, exophytic rectal mass, leading to dose escalation to tumor while sparing normal rectum. Under general anesthesia, gold fiducial markers were inserted above and below the tumor, and the AR applicator was placed in the rectum. MRI-based treatment plans were prepared to deliver 15 Gy in 3 weekly fractions to the target volume while sparing healthy rectal tissue, bladder, bowel and anal muscles. Prior to each treatment, CBCT/Fluoroscopy were used to place the applicator in the treatment position and confirm the treatment geometry using rigid registration of the CBCT and planning MRI. After registration of the applicator images, positioning was evaluated based on the match of the gold markers.


Highly conformal treatment plans were achieved. MR compatibility of the applicator enabled good tumor visualization. In spite of the non-rigid nature of the applicators and the fact that a new applicator was used at each treatment session, treatment geometry was reproducible to within 2.5 mm.


This is the first report on using the AR applicator in patients. Highly conformal plans, confidence in MRI target delineation, in combination with reproducible treatment geometry provide encouraging feedback for continuation with dose escalation in these patients.