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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-27

Prescribed dose versus calculated dose of spinal cord in standard head and neck irradiation assessed by 3-D plan

Department of Radiotherapy, Medical College Kolkata, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dipanjan Majumder
Department of Radiotherapy, Medical College Kolkata, Kolkata, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.126510

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Background and Purpose: Spinal cord toxicity can be dreaded complication while treating head and neck cancer by conventional radiotherapy. Cord sparing approach is applied by two phase planning in conventional head neck radiotherapy. In spite of cord sparing approach spinal cord still receives considerable scatter dose. Our study aims to do the volumetric analysis of spinal cord dosimetry and to correlate with the clinical findings. Materials and Methods: Treatment planning was done in two phases. First phase treatment fi elds include gross disease- both tumor and involved nodes. in the second phase, treatment field shrinkage was done to cover the gross disease sparing the spinal cord. These fields are termed as off-cord fields. 42 patients with histological proven squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck region were analysed with two groups. In Group A, 46 Gy was given in 23 fractions, and then tumor-boost with off-cord fi eld received 24 Gy in 12 fractions. In Group B 50 Gy was prescribed in 25 fractions initially, then off-cord fi eld given 20 Gy in 10 fractions to analyze theoutcome. Planning Computed tomography (CT) scan was done Philips Brilliance 16 slice CT scan machine, and contouring and dose calculation were done at ASHA treatment planning software. Results: Maximum dose and dose at 1 cm3, 2 cm3, and 5 cm3 were calculated. Maximum dose to cord was 52.6 Gy (range 48.1-49.7 Gy) in Group A and 54.3 Gy (range 51.48-52.33 Gy) in Group B initially. Off-cord fi elds received mean dose 8.07 Gy (85.85% of maximum) in Group A and 5.47 Gy (86.84% of maximum) in Group B. At the end of 6 months from the last date of radiotherapy, grade 1 spinal cord toxicity found in two patients in Group A and one patient in Group B respectively (P = 0.55). Both groups received additional dose, which are higher than the prescribed dose, but no patients show significant spinal cord toxicity after 6 month of follow-up. Conclusion: Spinal cord received scatter dose which much higher than the predicted dose in conventional radiotherapy of head neck cancer. Short term follow up failed to establish clinical correlation with volumetric dose of spinal cord. Two phase cord sparing head neck radiation planning if practiced should be used with caution.

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