Characterisation of radiological properties of a brachytherapy moulding material

  • Scott B. CroweEmail author
  • Zac Pross
  • Sanna Nilsson
  • Jodi Dawes
  • Tanya Kairn
  • Craig M. Lancaster
Scientific Paper


The use of a non-water-equivalent personalised mould for gynaecological brachytherapy treatments can result in a substantial dose reduction at the treatment site, compared to calculated dose, in lieu of a dose calculation algorithm capable of modelling non-water-equivalent materials. This study describes the characterisation of the radiological properties of a brachytherapy applicator moulding material. Simple line source correction factors for an 192Ir source are obtained through Monte Carlo simulations and verified by film measurements. The dwell position corrections are used to estimate aggregate correction factors for dose deliveries that involve multiple dwell positions, in terms of treatment length, applicator radii and depth of reference dose. For the Fricotan moulding material used locally, the dose reductions varied from 1% for an applicator radius of 0.5 cm to > 4% for radii exceeding 2 cm. The method described in this paper could be used to develop correction factors for other non-water-equivalent moulding materials, in a TG-43UI dose calculation environment.


Radiation therapy Brachytherapy Vaginal mould Monte Carlo simulation 



The authors wish to thank the Queensland University of Technology’s Central Analytical Research Facility, particularly Charlotte Allen, for their assistance in characterising the composition of the Fricotan material. The authors also wish to thank staff involved with the brachytherapy program at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, Queensland, Australia.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human and animal participants

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


  1. 1.
    Nag S, Erickson B, Parikh S, Gupta N, Varia M, Glasgow G (2000) American Brachytherapy Society: The American Brachytherapy Society recommendations for high-dose-rate brachytherapy for carcinoma of the endometrium. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 48(3):779–790CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Small W Jr, Beriwal S, Demanes DJ, Dusenbery KE, Eifel P, Erickson B, Jones E, Rownd JJ, De Los Sangos JF, Viswanathan AN, Gaffney D (2012) American Brachytherapy Society consensus guidelines for adjuvant vaginal cuff brachytherapy after hysterectomy. Brachytherapy 11(1):58–67CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bertoni F, Bertoni G, Bignardi M (1983) Vaginal molds for intracavitary curietherapy: a new method of preparation. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 9(10):1579–1582CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Albano M, Dumas I, Haie-Meder C (2008) Brachytherapy at the Institut Gustave-Roussy: personalized vaginal mould applicator: technical modification and improvement. Cancer Radiother 12(8):822–826CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nilsson S, Moutrie Z, Cheuk R, Chan P, Lancaster C, Markwell T, Dawes J, Back P (2015) A unique approach to high-dose-rate vaginal mold brachytherapy of gynecologic malignancies. Brachytherapy 14(2):267–272CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rivard MJ, Coursey BM, DeWerd LA, Hanson WF, Saiful Huq M, Ibbott GS, Mitch MG, Nath R, Williamson JF (2004) Update of AAPM Task Group No. 43 Report: a revised AAPM protocol for brachytherapy dose calculations. Med Phys 31(3):633–674CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Beaulieu L, Carlsson Tedgren Å, Carrier JF, Davis SD, Mourtada F, Rivard MJ, Thomson RM, Verhaegen F, Wareing TA, Williamson JF (2012) Report of the Task Group 186 on model-based dose calculation methods in brachytherapy beyond the TG-43 formalism: current status and recommendations for clinical implementation. Med Phys 39(10):6208–6236CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hill R, Brown S, Baldock C (2008) Evaluation of the water equivalence of solid phantoms using gamma ray transmission measurements. Radiat Meas 43(7):1258–1264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hill R, Kuncic Z, Baldock C (2010) The water equivalence of solid phantoms for low energy photon beams. Med Phys 37(8):4355–4363CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yu PC, Chao TC, Lee CC, Wu CJ, Tung CJ (2010) A Monte Carlo dosimetry study using Henschke applicator for cervical brachytherapy. Nucl Instrum Methods Phys Res A 619(1):411–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Taylor REP, Rogers DWO (2008) EGSnrc monte carlo calculated dosimetry parameters for 192Ir and 169Yb brachytherapy sources. Med Phys 35(11):4933–4944CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Daskalov GM, Loffler E, Williamson JF (1998) Monte Carlo-aided dosimetry of a new high dose-rate brachytherapy source. Med Phys 25(11):2200–2208CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Ubrich F, Wulff J, Engenhart-Cabillic R, Zink K (2014) Correction factors for source strength determination in HDR brachytherapy using the in-phantom method. Zeitschrift für Medizinische Physik 24(2):138–152CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Poludniowski G, Landry G, DeBlois F, Evans P, Verhaegen F (2009) SpekCalc: a program to calculate photon spectra from tungsten anode X-ray tubes. Phys Med Biol 54(19):N433CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Peet SC, Wilks R, Kairn T, Trapp JV, Crowe SB (2016) Calibrating radiochromic film in beams of uncertain quality. Med Phys 43(10):5647–5652CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Aland T, Kairn T, Kenny J (2011) Evaluation of a Gafchromic EBT2 film dosimetry system for radiotherapy quality assurance. Australas Phys Eng Sci Med 34(2):251–260CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fonseca GP, Antunes PC, Reniers B, Yoriyaz H, Verhaegen F (2013) A brachytherapy model-based dose calculation algorithm-AMIGOBrachy. In: International Nuclear Atlantic Conference - INAC, RecifeGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Zourari K, Pantelis E, Moutsatsos A, Sakelliou L, Georgiou E, Karaiskos P, Papagiannis P (2013) Dosimetric accuracy of a deterministic radiation transport based 192Ir brachytherapy treatment planning system. Part III. Comparison to monte carlo simulation in voxelized anatomical computational models. Med Phys 40(1):011712CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pantelis E, Peppa V, Lahanas V, Pappas E, Papagiannis P (2015) BrachyGuide: a brachytherapy-dedicated dicom rt viewer and interface to monte carlo simulation software. J Appl Clin Med Phys 16(1):208–218CrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chamberland M, Taylor R, Rogers D, Thomson R (2016) TU-AB-BRC-08: Egs_brachy, a fast and versatile monte carlo code for brachytherapy applications. Med Phys 43(6):3731–3731CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott B. Crowe
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Zac Pross
    • 2
  • Sanna Nilsson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jodi Dawes
    • 1
  • Tanya Kairn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Craig M. Lancaster
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Care ServicesRoyal Brisbane & Women’s HospitalBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Nelune Comprehensive Cancer CentrePrince of Wales HospitalRandwickAustralia

Personalised recommendations