Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) simulations using a Stereotactic Body Frame (SBF: Elekta, Stockholm, Sweden) were expanded to include 18F-deoxyglucosone positron-emission tomography (FDG PET) for treatment planning. Because of the length of time that staff members are in close proximity to the patient, concerns arose over the radiation safety issues associated with these simulations. The present study examines the radiation exposures of the staff performing SBRT simulations, and provides some guidance on limiting staff exposure during these simulations. Fifteen patients were simulated with PET/CT using the SBF. Patients were immobilized in the SBF before the FDG was administered. The patients were removed from the frame, injected with FDG, and allowed to uptake for approximately 45 minutes. After uptake, the patients were repositioned in the SBF. During the repositioning, exposure rates were recorded at the patient's surface, at the SBF surface, and at 15 cm, 30 cm, and 1 m from the SBF. Administered dose and the approximate time spent on patient repositioning were also recorded. The estimated dose to staff was compared with the dose to staff performing conventional diagnostic PET studies. The average length of time spent in close proximity (<50 cm) to the patient after injection was 11.7 minutes, or more than twice the length of time reported for diagnostic PET staff. That time yielded an estimated average dose to the staff of 26.5mSv per simulation. The annual occupational exposure limit is 50 mSv. Based on dose per simulation, staff would have to perform nearly 1900 SBRT simulations annually to exceed the occupational limit. Therefore, at the current rate of 50-100 simulations annually, the addition of PET studies to SBRT simulations is safe for our staff. However, ALARA ("as low as reasonably achievable") principles still require some radiation safety considerations during SBRT simulations. The PET/CT-based SBRT simulations are safe and important for treatment planning that optimizes biologic dose distribution with highly accurate and reproducible target definition.
- Positron-emission tomography
- Radiation safety
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging