Viola, A., Major, T. and Julow, J. Comparison of 125I Stereotactic Brachytherapy and LINAC Radiosurgery Modalities based on Physical Dose Distribution and Radiobiological Efficacy. Radiat. Res. 165, 695–702 (2006).
The goal of this study was to make a comparison between stereotactic brachytherapy implants and linear accelerator-based radiosurgery of brain tumors with respect to physical dose distributions and radiobiological efficacy. Twenty-four treatment plans made for irradiation of brain tumors with low-dose-rate 125I brachytherapy and multiple-arc LINAC-based radiosurgery were analyzed. Using the dose–volume histograms and the linear-quadratic model, the brachytherapy doses were compared to the brachytherapy-equivalent LINAC radiosurgery doses with respect to the predicted late effects of radiation on normal brain tissue. To characterize the conformity and homogeneity of dose distributions, the conformal index, external volume index, and relative homogeneity index were calculated for each dose plan and the mean values were compared. The average tumor volume was 5.6 cm3 (range: 0.1–19.3 cm3). At low doses, the calculated radiobiological late effect on normal tissue was equivalent for external-beam and brachytherapy dose delivery. For brachytherapy at doses greater than 30 Gy, the calculated equivalent dose to normal tissues was less than for external-beam radiosurgery. However, the dose-calculated homogeneity was better for the LINAC radiosurgery, with a mean relative homogeneity index of 0.62 compared to the calculated value of 0.19 for the brachytherapy (P = 0.0002). These results are only predictions based on calculations concerning normal tissue tolerance. More data and research are needed to understand the clinical relevance of these findings.