Background and purpose: Creating an individualized tissue equivalent material build-up (i.e. bolus) for electron beam radiation therapy is complex and highly labour-intensive. We implemented a new clinical workflow in which 3D printing technology is used to create the bolus.
Material and methods: A patient-specific bolus is designed in the treatment planning system (TPS) and a shell around it is created in the TPS. The shell is printed and subsequently filled with silicone rubber to make the bolus. Before clinical implementation we performed a planning study with 11 patients to evaluate the difference in tumour coverage between the designed 3D-print bolus and the clinically delivered plan with manually created bolus. For the first 15 clinical patients a second CT scan with the 3D-print bolus was performed to verify the geometrical accuracy.
Results: The planning study showed that the V85% of the CTV was on average 97% (3D-print) vs 88% (conventional). Geometric comparison of the 3D-print bolus to the originally contoured bolus showed a high similarity (DSC=0.89). The dose distributions on the second CT scan with the 3D print bolus in position showed only small differences in comparison to the original planning CT scan.
Conclusions: The implemented workflow is feasible, patient friendly, safe, and results in high quality dose distributions. This new technique increases time efficiency.
Keywords: 3D printing; Bolus; Clinical application; Electron beam radiotherapy; Non-melanoma skin cancer; Workflow.
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