A technique for pediatric total skin electron irradiation

Qinan Bao, Brian A. Hrycushko, Joseph P. Dugas, Frederick H. Hager, Timothy D. Solberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: Total skin electron irradiation (TSEI) is a special radiotherapy technique which has generally been used for treating adult patients with mycosis fungoides. Recently, two infants presented with leukemia cutis isolated to the skin requiring TSEI. This work discusses the commissioning and quality assurance (QA) methods for implementing a modified Stanford technique using a rotating harness system to position sedated pediatric patients treated with electrons to the total skin.Methods and Results: Commissioning of pediatric TSEI consisted of absolute calibration, measurement of dosimetric parameters, and subsequent verification in a pediatric patient sized cylindrical phantom using radiographic film and optically stimulated luminance (OSL) dosimeters. The depth of dose penetration under TSEI treatment condition was evaluated using radiographic film sandwiched in the phantom and demonstrated a 2 cm penetration depth with the maximum dose located at the phantom surface. Dosimetry measurements on the cylindrical phantom and in-vivo measurements from the patients suggested that, the factor relating the skin and calibration point doses (i.e., the B-factor) was larger for the pediatric TSEI treatments as compared to adult TSEI treatments. Custom made equipment, including a rotating plate and harness, was fabricated and added to a standard total body irradiation stand and tested to facilitate patient setup under sedated condition. A pediatric TSEI QA program, consisting of daily output, energy, flatness, and symmetry measurements as well as in-vivo dosimetry verification for the first cycle was developed. With a long interval between pediatric TSEI cases, absolute dosimetry was also repeated as part of the QA program. In-vivo dosimetry for the first two infants showed that a dose of ± 10% of the prescription dose can be achieved over the entire patient body.Conclusion: Though pediatric leukemia cutis and the subsequent need for TSEI are rare, the ability to commission the technique on a modified TBI stand is appealing for clinical implementation and has been successfully used for the treatment of two pediatric patients at our institution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number40
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 20 2012


  • Commissioning
  • Leukemia cutis
  • Pediatric total skin electron irradiation
  • Quality assurance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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