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

Öğretici A., Çakir A., Akbaş U., Köksal C., KALAFAT Ü., Tambaş M., ...More

JOURNAL OF MEDICAL PHYSICS, vol.42, no.3, pp.128-132, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.4103/jmp.jmp_133_16
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.128-132


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 32(nd) slice of the phantom to cover all possible locations of a fetus up to 8(th) 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.