RADIATION PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY
This work tackles the commissioning and validation of a novel combination of a synchrotron-based proton beam therapy system (Hitachi, Ltd.) for use with a Monte Carlo treatment planning system (TPS). Four crucial aspects in this configuration have been investigated: (1) Monte Carlo-based correction performed by the TPS to the measured integrated depth-dose curves (IDD), (2) circular spot modelling with a single Gaussian function to characterize the synchrotron physical spot, which is elliptical, (3) the modelling of the range shifter that enables using only one set of measurements in open beams, and (4) the Monte Carlo dose calculation model in small fields.Integrated depth-dose curves were measured with a PTW Bragg peak chamber and corrected, with a Monte Carlo model, to account for energy absorbed outside the detector. The elliptical spot was measured by IBA Lynx scintillator, EBT3 films and PTW microDiamond. The accuracy of the TPS (RayStation, RaySearch Laboratories) at spot modelling with a circular Gaussian function was assessed.The beam model was validated using spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) fields. We took single-point doses at several depths through the central axis using a PTW Farmer chamber, for fields between 2 x 2cm and 30 x 30cm. We checked the range-shifter modelling from open-beam data. We tested clinical cases with film and an ioni-zation chamber array (IBA Matrix).Sigma differences for spots fitted using 2D images and 1D profiles to elliptical and circular Gaussian models were below 0.22 mm. Differences between SOBP measurements at single points and TPS calculations for all fields between 5 x 5 and 30 x 30cm were below 2.3%. Smaller fields had larger differences: up to 3.8% in the 2 x 2cm field. Mean differences at several depths along the central axis were generally below 1%. Differences in range -shifter doses were below 2.4%. Gamma test (3%, 3 mm) results for clinical cases were generally above 95% for Matrix and film.Approaches for modelling synchrotron proton beams have been validated. Dose values for open and range -shifter fields demonstrate accurate Monte Carlo correction for IDDs. Elliptical spots can be successfully modelled using a circular Gaussian, which is accurate for patient calculations and can be used for small fields. A double-Gaussian spot can improve small-field calculations. The range-shifter modelling approach, which reduces clinical commissioning time, is adequate.
CLINICAL AND TRANSLATIONAL ONCOLOGY
1268 - 1276
Introduction: A rapid deploy of unexpected early impact of the COVID pandemic in Spain was described in 2020. Oncology practice was revised to facilitate decision-making regarding multimodal therapy for prevalent cancer types amenable to multidisciplinary treatment in which the radiotherapy component searched more efficient options in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, minimizing the risks to patients whilst aiming to guarantee cancer outcomes.
Methods: A novel Proton Beam Therapy (PBT), Unit activity was analyzed in the period of March 2020 to March 2021. Institutional urgent, strict and mandatory clinical care standards for early diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 infection were stablished in the hospital following national health-authorities' recommendations. The temporary trends of patients care and research projects proposals were registered.
Results: 3 out of 14 members of the professional staff involved in the PBR intra-hospital process had a positive test for COVID infection. Also, 4 out of 100 patients had positive tests before initiating PBT, and 7 out of 100 developed positive tests along the weekly mandatory special checkup performed during PBT to all patients. An update of clinical performance at the PBT Unit at CUN Madrid in the initial 500 patients treated with PBT in the period from March 2020 to November 2022 registers a distribution of 131 (26%) pediatric patients, 63 (12%) head and neck cancer and central nervous system neoplasms and 123 (24%) re-irradiation indications. In November 2022, the activity reached a plateau in terms of patients under treatment and the impact of COVID pandemic became sporadic and controlled by minor medical actions. At present, the clinical data are consistent with an academic practice prospectively (NCT05151952). Research projects and scientific production was adapted to the pandemic evolution and its influence upon professional time availability. Seven research projects based in public funding were activated in this period and preliminary data on molecular imaging guided proton therapy in brain tumors and post-irradiation patterns of blood biomarkers are reported.
Conclusions: Hospital-based PBT in European academic institutions was impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, although clinical and research activities were developed and sustained. In the post-pandemic era, the benefits of online learning will shape the future of proton therapy education.