Medical physics | 2021
Recommendations for intraoperative mesh brachytherapy: Report of AAPM Task Group No. 222.
Mesh brachytherapy is a special type of a permanent brachytherapy implant: it uses low-energy radioactive seeds in an absorbable mesh that is sutured onto the tumor bed immediately after a surgical resection. This treatment offers low additional risk to the patient as the implant procedure is carried out as part of the tumor resection surgery. Mesh brachytherapy utilizes identification of the tumor bed through direct visual evaluation during surgery or medical imaging following surgery through radiographic imaging of radio-opaque markers within the sources located on the tumor bed. Thus, mesh brachytherapy is customizable for individual patients. Mesh brachytherapy is an intraoperative procedure involving mesh implantation and potentially real-time treatment planning while the patient is under general anesthesia. The procedure is multidisciplinary and requires the complex coordination of multiple medical specialties. The pre-implant dosimetry calculation can be performed days beforehand or expediently in the operating room with the use of lookup tables. In this report, the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) guidelines are presented on the physics aspects of mesh brachytherapy. It describes the selection of radioactive sources, design and preparation of the mesh, pre-implant treatment planning using a Task Group (TG) 43-based lookup table, and post-implant dosimetric evaluation using the TG-43 formalism or advanced algorithms. It introduces quality metrics for the mesh implant and presents an example of a risk-analysis based on the AAPM TG-100 report. Recommendations include that the pre-implant treatment plan be based upon the TG-43 dose calculation formalism with the point source approximation, and the post-implant dosimetric evaluation be performed by using either the TG-43 approach, or preferably the newer model-based algorithms (viz., TG-186 report) if available to account for effects of material heterogeneities. To comply with the written directive and regulations governing the medical use of radionuclides, this report recommends that the prescription and written directive be based upon the implanted source strength, not target-volume dose coverage. The dose delivered by mesh implants can vary and depends upon multiple factors, such as post-surgery recovery and distortions in the implant shape over time. For the sake of consistency necessary for outcome analysis, prescriptions based on the lookup table (with selection of the intended dose, depth, and treatment area) are recommended, but the use of more advanced techniques that can account for real situations, such as material heterogeneities, implant geometric perturbations, and changes in source orientations, are encouraged in the dosimetric evaluation. The clinical workflow, logistics, and precautions are also presented. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.