International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics vol:18 issue:5 pages:1239-1244
Inappropriate positioning of interstitial Iridium 192 implants, used as booster dose in the breast conserving treatment of mammary cancer, may cause disturbing teleangiectasia of the breast skin, when high radiation doses are delivered on the dermal blood vessels. Based on the localization of the vascular plexuses in human breast skin, and on the dose distribution around different types of interstitial implants, a method is described to avoid overlap between the high dose area of the implant and the blood vessels in the skin. The latter are demonstrated to run within the first 5 mm under the epiderm. For source lengths varying from 5 to 8 cm, simple mathematical relations exist between the maximal security margin (MSM) and intersource distance (E) for single plane implants (MSM = 0.4 (E + 1)), double plane square implants (MSM = 0.4 E) and double plane triangular implants (MSM = 0.4 (E - 1)). We developed a device to measure precisely the distance between the radioactive wires and the overlying skin, along the whole source trajectory. Using this method, the occurrence of teleangiectasia in the breast skin after interstitial implants with Ir 192 may be significantly reduced.