JRSBRT HomeIssue Contents

Application of the concept of biologically effective dose (BED) to patients with Vestibular Schwannomas treated by radiosurgery
John W. Hopewell, William T Millar, Christer Lindquist, Hakan Nordstrom, Par Lidberg and Jonas Garding

In the application of stereotactic radiosurgery, using the Gamma Knife, there are large variations in the overall treatment time for the same prescription dose, given in a single treatment session, for different patients. This is due to not only changes in the activity of the Cobolt-60 sources, but also to variations in the number of iso-centers used, the collimator size for a particular iso-center, and the time gap between the different iso-centers. Although frequently viewed as a single dose treatment the concept of biologically effective dose (BED), incorporating concurrent fast and a slow components of repair of sublethal damage, would imply potential variations in BED because of the influence of these different variables associated with treatment. This was investigated in 26 patients, treated for Vestibular Schwannomas, using the Series B Gamma-Knife, between 1999 and 2005. The iso-center number varied between 2 and 13, and the overall treatment time from 25.4–129.58 min. The prescription doses varied from 10–14 Gy. To obtain physical dose and dose-rates from each iso-center, in a number of locations in the region of interest, a prototype version of the Leksell GammaPlan® was used. For an individual patient, BED values varied by up to 15% for a given physical iso-dose. This was due to variation in the dose prescription at different locations on that iso-dose. Between patients there was a decline in the range of BED values as the overall treatment time increased. This increased treatment time was partly a function of the slow decline in the activity of the sources with time but predominantly due to changes in the number of iso-centers used. Thus, variations in BED values did not correlate with prescription dose but was modified by the overall treatment time.

Keywords: Biological effective dose (BED), Radiosurgery, Vestibular Schwannoma, Gamma Knife, Radiation parameters, normal tissue tolerance