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Patient-Specific Fetal Dose Determination for Multi-Target Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: Computational Model and Case Report.


A 42-year-old woman at 29 weeks gestation via in vitro fertilization who presented with eight metastatic brain lesions received Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery (GKSRS) at our institution. In this study, we report our clinical experience and a general procedure of determining the fetal dose from patient-specific treatment plans and we describe quality assurance measurements to guide the safe practice of multi-target GKSRS of pregnant patients. To estimate fetal dose pre-treatment, peripheral dose-to-focal dose ratios (PFRs) were measured in a phantom at the distance approximating the fundus of uterus. Post-treatment, fetal dose was calculated from the actual patient treatment plan. Quality assurance measurements were carried out via the extrapolation dosimetry method in a head phantom at increasing distances along the longitudinal axis. The measurements were then empirically fitted and the fetal dose was extracted from the curve. The computed and measured fetal dose values were compared with each other and associated radiation risk was estimated. Based on low estimated fetal dose from preliminary phantom measurements, the patient was accepted for GKSRS. Eight brain metastases were treated with prescription doses of 15-19 Gy over 143 min involving all collimator sizes as well as composite sector mixed shots. Direct fetal dose computation based on the actual patient's treatment plan estimated a maximum fetal dose of 0.253 cGy, which was in agreement with surface dose measurements at the level of the patient's uterine fundus during the actual treatment. Later phantom measurements also estimated fetal dose to be in the range of 0.21-0.28 cGy (dose extrapolation curve R2 = 0.998). Using the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) population-based model, we estimate the fetal risk of secondary malignancy, which is the primary toxicity after 25 weeks gestation, to be less than 0.01%. Of note, the patient delivered the baby via scheduled cesarean section at 36 weeks without complications attributable to the GKSRS procedure. GKSRS of multiple brain metastases was demonstrated to be safe and feasible during pregnancy. The applicability of a general patient-specific fetal dose determination method was also demonstrated for the first time for such a treatment.

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