This study aimed to quantify the effect of the dwell time deviation constraint (DTDC) on brachytherapy treatment for cervical cancer.
A retrospective study was carried out on 20 patients with radical cervical cancer. The DTDC values changed from 0.0 to 1.0 by a step size of 0.2. We adjusted the optimization objectives to ensure that all plans were optimized to a high-risk clinical target volume (HRCTV) (the dose to 90% of the HRCTV) = 6 Gy, while keeping the dose to the organs at risk as low as possible. The dose-volume histogram parameters and the dwell time data were compared between plans with different DTDC values.
The HRCTV volume covered by 150% of the prescription dose gradually increased with increasing DTDC values. As the DTDC value increased from 0.0 to 1.0, the effective dwell point proportion increased from 61.78% to 90.30%. The mean dwell time initially decreased with an increase in the DTDC value, reached the minimum value at DTDC = 0.8, then slightly increased at DTDC = 1.0.
When using inverse planning simulated annealing optimization for radical cervical cancer cases, the recommended DTDC value is approximately 0.6 if the organ dose needs to be limited.