Development of 3D-printed bolus for head and neck radiotherapy

Author(s): Rhys Jenkins

Hospital: South West Wales Cancer Centre, Singleton Hospital

Reference: RAD Magazine, 49, 574, 21-22


Radiotherapy bolus refers to tissue-equivalent material placed on the patient’s external surface that alters the dose delivery to superficial areas, such as skin. It is used commonly in head and neck (H&N) treatments, mainly to boost dose to this region and ensure target volumes delineated by clinicians are receiving the desired levels of dose and not lacking dose because of the distance taken for the radiation build-up effect. For H&N patients receiving photon treatment, the bolus is modelled on the thermoplastic shell within the treatment planning software (TPS) by radiotherapy physics technologists, delineated as a region of interest (ROI) grown from the patient’s external contour and set to a physical density of 1.0g/cm, ie water density. The radiotherapy plan is then produced including this bolus, with dose calculated and analysed to the bolus and the superficial target volumes immediately beneath.

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