A commercially available bolus (commercial-bolus) would not completely contact with the irregular shape of a patient's skin. The purposes of this study were to customize a patient specific three-dimensional (3D) bolus using a 3D printer (3D-bolus) and to evaluate its clinical feasibility for photon radiotherapy.
The 3D-bolus was designed using a treatment planning system (TPS) in DICOM-RT format. To print the 3D bolus, the file was converted into stereolithography format. To evaluate its physical characteristics, plans were created for water equivalent phantoms without the bolus, with the 3D-bolus printed in a flat form, and with the virtual bolus which supposed a commercial-bolus. These plans were compared with the percent depth dose (PDD) measured from the TPS. Furthermore, to evaluate its clinical feasibility, the treatment plans were created for RANDO phantoms without the bolus and with the 3D-bolus which was customized for contacting with the surface of the phantom. Both plans were compared with the dose volume histogram (DVH) of the target volume.
In the physical evaluation, dmax of the plan without the bolus, with the 3D-bolus, and with the virtual bolus were 2.2 cm, 1.6 cm, and 1.7 cm, respectively. In the evaluation of clinical feasibility, for the plan without the bolus, Dmax, Dmin, Dmean, D90%, and V90% of the target volume were 102.6 %, 1.6 %, 88.8 %, 57.2 %, and 69.3 %, respectively. By using the 3D-bolus, the prescription dose could be delivered to at least 90 % of the target volume, Dmax, Dmin, Dmean, D90%, and V90% of the target volume were 104.3 %, 91.6 %, 92.1 %, 91.7 %, and 98.0 %, respectively. The 3D-bolus has the potential to be useful for providing effective dose coverage in the buildup region.
A 3D-bolus produced using 3D printing technique is comparable to a commercially available bolus.