Workload implications for clinic workflow with implementation of three-dimensional printed customized bolus for radiation therapy: A pilot study

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Abstract

Bolus is commonly used in radiation therapy to improve radiation dose distribution to the target volume, but commercially available products do not always conform well to the patient surface. Tumor control may be compromised, particularly for superficial tumors, if bolus does not conform well and air gaps exist between the patient surface and the bolus. Threedimensional (3D) printing technology allows the creation of highly detailed, variable shaped objects, making it an attractive and affordable option for customized, patient-specific bolus creation. The use of 3D printing in the clinical setting remains limited. Therefore, the objective of this study was to assess the implications on time and clinical fit using a workflow for 3D printing of customized bolus in companion animals with spontaneous tumors treated with radiation therapy. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the time required to create a clinical 3D printed bolus. The secondary aims were to evaluate the clinical fit of the bolus and to verify the skin surface dose. Time to segmentation and 3D printing were documented, while the clinical fit of the bolus was assessed in comparison to the bolus created in the treatment planner. The mean and median time from segmentation to generation of 3D printed boluses was 6.15 h and 5.25 h, respectively. The 3D printed bolus was significantly less deviated from the planned bolus compared to the conventional bolus (p = 0.0078) with measured dose under the bolus within 5% agreement of expected dose in 88% of the measurements. Clinically acceptable 3D printed customized bolus was successfully created for treatment within one working day. The most significant impact on time is the 3D printing itself, which therefore has minimal implications on personnel and staffing. Quality assurance steps are recommended when implementing a 3D printing workflow to the radiotherapy clinic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0204944
JournalPloS one
Volume13
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Ehler et al.

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