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A Study on Skin Dose Changes with Changes in Body Weight From Tomotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer
Background/Objectives: When receiving radiation treatment in form of tomotherapy, most head and neck cancer patients show symptoms of weight loss caused by stomatitis and esophagitis, and skin burns. Weight loss may lead to a closer distance between the skin and the target, causing a change in the measured skin dose. This study was conducted to analyze such changes during the radiation treatment period. Methods/Statistical Analysis: The study also analyzed whether factors such as patient gender, age, diagnosis type, and treatment regimen, including surgery or chemotherapy in addition to radiotherapy, might influence the weight changes in patients, and collected values for changes in skin dose using thermoluminescence dosimeters. Findings: The study considered 20 patients with head and neck cancer, and all of these patients showed weight loss and an increase in measured skin dose. In addition, the gender or age of the patients had no direct relationship with their weight changes. Patients who hadn't undergone surgery prior to concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy showed a substantial weight loss. In comparison, the patients who had undergone surgery prior to concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy displayed the least amount of weight loss. As the amount of weight loss became larger, so did the skin dose that was measured during tomotherapy (p<.05). Application/Improvements: It appeared that greater weight loss led to an increase in measured skin dose, From this study, it is implied patients with large weight loss may benefit with an adjustment of their radiotherapy parameters while maintaining their target doses.
Chemotherapy, Thermoluminescence Dosimeter, Tomotherapy, Surgery, Weight Loss.
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