Department of Radiation Oncology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
Worldwide, brachytherapy dose calculations are based on the Task Group 43 (TG-43) dosimetry protocol by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). This formulism uses common equations across all treatment planning system (TPS) platforms to permit consistent derivation of brachytherapy dose. The equations permit accounting for source orientation when indicated with medical imaging (i.e., the 2D formulism) or when the locations of sources are known but their orientations are not (i.e., the 1D formulism). Components to TG-43 formulism include the brachytherapy source strength, dose-rate constant, geometry function, radial dose function, and either the 1D or 2D anisotropy function. The presentation will describe these dosimetry parameters and explain how they come together towards permitting brachytherapy dose calculations. Tips will be given on how to perform acceptance testing for a brachytherapy source already present in a clinical TPS. An important aspect of the TG-43 formulism is to measure the source strength of a particular brachytherapy source preceding clinical use. Measurement techniques and associated uncertainties will be covered, indicating best practice-standards according to recommendations by the AAPM and the Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie-European Society for Radiotherapy & Oncology (GEC-ESTRO).
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