Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 42  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 128-132

A phantom study on fetal dose reducing factors in pregnant patients with breast cancer during radiotherapy treatment

1 Department of Basic Oncology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Okmeydani Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Akın Ogretici
Yenisehir Mahallesi, Millet Caddesi, Leylak Sokak, Cevik Sitesi, E Blok D: 35, Kurtkoy/Pendik, Istanbul
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmp.JMP_133_16

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Purpose: This study aims to investigate the factors that reduce fetal dose in pregnant patients with breast cancer throughout their radiation treatment. Two main factors in a standard radiation oncology center are considered as the treatment planning systems (TPSs) and simple shielding for intensity modulated radiation therapy technique. Materials and Methods: TPS factor was evaluated with two different planning algorithms: Anisotropic analytical algorithm and Acuros XB (external beam). To evaluate the shielding factor, a standard radiological purpose lead apron was chosen. For both studies, thermoluminescence dosimeters were used to measure the point dose, and an Alderson RANDO-phantom was used to simulate a female pregnant patient in this study. Thirteen measurement points were chosen in the 32nd slice of the phantom to cover all possible locations of a fetus up to 8th week of gestation. Results: The results show that both of the TPS algorithms are incapable of calculating the fetal doses, therefore, unable to reduce them at the planning stage. Shielding with a standard lead apron, however, showed a slight radiation protection (about 4.7%) to the fetus decreasing the mean fetal dose from 84.8 mGy to 80.8 mGy, which cannot be disregarded in case of fetal irradiation. Conclusions: Using a lead apron for shielding the abdominal region of a pregnant patient during breast irradiation showed a minor advantage; however, its possible side effects (i.e., increased scattered radiation and skin dose) should also be investigated further to solidify its benefits.

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