Incidental Dose to Pelvic Nodes in Bladder-Only Radiotherapy: Is It Clinically Relevant?

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Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Although there is a strong biological rationale to electively treat the pelvic nodes during bladder preservation, its clinical benefit is uncertain. This may be explained by the incidental dose received by the nodal regions when treating the bladder alone. This study was conducted to investigate the doses received by the different pelvic nodal regions when the bladder alone is treated by standard conformal radiotherapy.

Methods and Materials:

The computed tomography data sets of 20 patients with node-negative muscle-invasive bladder cancer treated in a bladder preservation protocol were studied. Patients were originally treated with conformal radiotherapy to the bladder alone. Replanning was done with additional delineation of the pelvic nodal regions namely common iliac (upper and lower), presacral, internal iliac, obturator, and external iliac. Dose volume parameters such as Dmean, Dmax, D100%, D66%, D33%, V40, and V50 to each of the nodal regions were estimated for all patients.

Results:

The obturator nodes received the highest dose among all nodal regions. The mean dose received by obturator, external iliac, and internal iliac regions was 59, 45, and 36 Gy, respectively. The dose received by these 3 regions in the full bladder state was 63, 52, and 47 Gy, respectively. The dose received by all other pelvic nodal regions was low and not clinically relevant.

Conclusion:

The incidental dose received by obturator and external iliac nodes is clinically significant in bladder-only radiation, possibly enough to influence micrometastatic disease. This may be a reason for the lack of clear benefit seen with nodal irradiation in bladder cancer.

Advances in Knowledge:

This study highlights that the incidental dose received by obturator and external iliac nodes is clinically significant in bladder-only radiation. The obturator nodes received the highest dose among all nodal regions with mean dose of 59 Gy.

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