Combined radiotherapy and concurrent tumor treating fields (TTFields) for glioblastoma : Dosimetric consequences on non-coplanar IMRT as initial results from a phase I trial

Background: Glioblastoma is a rapidly proliferating tumor. Patients bear an inferior prognosis with a median survival time of 14-16 months. Proliferation and repopulation are a major resistance promoting factor for conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. Tumor-Treating-Fields (TTFields) are an antimitotic modality applying low-intensity (1-3 V/cm), intermediate-frequency (100-300 kHz) alternating electric-fields. More recently interference of TTFields with DNA-damage-repair and synergistic effects with radiotherapy were reported in the preclinical setting. This study aims at examining the dosimetric consequences of TTFields applied during the course of radiochemotherapy.

Methods: Cone-beam-computed-tomography (CBCT)-data from the first seven patients of the PriCoTTF-phase-I-trial were used in a predefined way for dosimetric verification and dose-accumulation of the non-coplanar-intensity-modulated-radiotherapy (IMRT)-treatment-plans as well as geometric analysis of the transducer-arrays by which TTFields are applied throughout the course of treatment. Transducer-array-position and contours were obtained from the low-dose CBCT's routinely made for image-guidance. Material-composition of the electrodes was determined and a respective Hounsfield-unit was assigned to the electrodes. After 6D-fusion with the planning-CT, the dose-distribution was recalculated using a Boltzmann-equation-solver (Acuros XB) and a Monte-Carlo-dose-calculation-engine.

Results: Overdosage in the scalp in comparison to the treatment plan without electrodes stayed below 8.5% of the prescribed dose in the first 2 mm below and also in deeper layers outside 1cm2 at highest dose as obtained from dose-volume-histogram comparisons. In the clinical target volume (CTV), underdosage was limited to 2.0% due to dose attenuation by the electrodes in terms of D95 and the effective-uniform-dose. Principal-component-analysis (PCA) showed that the first principal-position-component of the variation of repeated array-placement in the direction of the largest variations and the perpendicular second-component spanning a tangential plane on the skull had a standard deviation of 1.06 cm, 1.23 cm, 0.96 cm, and 1.11 cm for the frontal, occipital, left and right arrays for the first and 0.70 cm, 0.71 cm, 0.79 cm, and 0.68 cm, respectively for the second-principal-component. The variations did not differ from patient-to-patient (p > 0.8, Kruskal-Wallis-tests). This motion led to a diminution of the dosimetric effects of the electrodes.

Conclusion: From a dosimetric point of view, dose deviations in the CTV due to transducer-arrays were not clinically significant in the first 7 patients and confirmed feasibility of combined adjuvant radiochemotherapy and concurrent TTFields.


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