The limits of radiation tolerance, which often deter the use of large doses, have been a major challenge to the treatment of bulky primary and metastatic cancers. A novel technique using spatial modulation of megavoltage therapy beams, commonly referred to as spatially fractionated radiation therapy (SFRT) (e.g., GRID radiation therapy), which purposefully maintains a high degree of dose heterogeneity across the treated tumor volume, has shown promise in clinical studies as a method to improve treatment response of advanced, bulky tumors. Compared to conventional uniform-dose radiotherapy, the complexities of megavoltage GRID therapy include its highly heterogeneous dose distribution, very high prescription doses, and the overall lack of experience among physicists and clinicians. Since only a few centers have used GRID radiation therapy in the clinic, wide and effective use of this technique has been hindered. To date, the mechanisms underlying the observed high tumor response and low toxicity are still not well understood. To advance SFRT technology and planning, the Physics Working Group of the Radiosurgery Society (RSS) GRID/Lattice, Microbeam and Flash Radiotherapy Working Groups, was established after an RSS-NCI Workshop. One of the goals of the Physics Working Group was to develop consensus recommendations to standardize dose prescription, treatment planning approach, response modeling and dose reporting in GRID therapy. The objective of this report is to present the results of the Physics Working Group's consensus that includes recommendations on GRID therapy as an SFRT technology, field dosimetric properties, techniques for generating GRID fields, the GRID therapy planning methods, documentation metrics and clinical practice recommendations. Such understanding is essential for clinical patient care, effective comparisons of outcome results, and for the design of rigorous clinical trials in the area of SFRT. The results of well-conducted GRID radiation therapy studies have the potential to advance the clinical management of bulky and advanced tumors by providing improved treatment response, and to further develop our current radiobiology models and parameters of radiation therapy design.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging