SU-F-P-61: Does It Matter Not to Use Optimization Points at the Apex for Vaginal Cylinder HDR Brachytherapy Planning?




To test the impact of the use of apex optimization points for new vaginal cylinder (VC) applicators.


New “ClickFit” single channel VC applicators (Varian) that have a different top thicknesses but the same diameters as the old VC applicators (2.3 cm diameter, 2.6 cm, 3.0 cm, and 3.5 cm) were compared using phantom studies. Old VC applicator plans without apex optimization points were also compared to the plans with the optimization points. The apex doses were monitored at 5 mm depth doses (8 points) where a prescription dose (Rx) of 6Gy was prescribed. VC surface doses (8 points) were also analyzed.


The new VC applicator plans without apex optimization points presented significantly lower 5mm depth doses than Rx (on average −31 ± 7%, p <0.00001) due to their thicker VC tops (3.4 ± 1.1 mm thicker with the range of 1.2 to 4.4 mm) than the old VC applicators. Old VC applicator plans also showed a statistically significant reduction (p <0.00001) due to Ir-192 source anisotropic effect at the apex region but the % reduction over Rx was only −7 ± 9%. However, by adding apex optimization points to the new VC applicator plans, the plans improved 5 mm depth doses (−7 ± 9% over Rx) that were not statistically different from old VC plans (p = 0.923), along with apex VC surface doses (−22 ± 10% over old VC versus −46 ± 7% without using apex optimization points).


The use of apex optimization points are important in order to avoid significant additional cold doses (−24 ± 2%) at the prescription depth (5 mm) of apex, especially for the new VC applicators that have thicker tops.