Total body irradiation in Australia and New Zealand: results of a practice survey

Lotte S. Fog, Andrew Wirth, Michael MacManus, Simon Downes, Michael Grace, Alicia Moggré, Koki Mugabe, Gabor Neveri, Lisa Nourbehesht, Vanessa Panettieri, Dane Pope, Lucy Sim, Cameron Stanton, Blair Steer, Allan Stewart, Elena Ungureanu, Tomas Kron

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Total body irradiation (TBI) is an important treatment modality for the preparation of patients for bone marrow transplants. It is technically challenging and the actual delivery may vary from clinic to clinic. Knowledge of the pattern of practice may be helpful for clinics to determine future practice. We carried out an email survey from April to September 2019 sending 48 TBI related questions to all radiotherapy clinics in Australia and New Zealand via the Australasian College of Physical Scientists in Medicine email distribution list. Centres not performing TBI were not expected to complete the survey and centres that had participated in a previous survey, or that were known to perform the treatment, were followed up if no response was received. Of a total of approximately 70 centres, 14 clinics responded to the survey. The vast majority of clinics use conventional lateral and/or anterior–posterior beams at extended SSD for TBI treatment delivery. However, treatment planning, ancillary equipment (used for immobilisation/modulation), beam energy and prescribed lung doses vary considerably—with some clinics delivering the prescription dose to the lungs and some aiming to deliver a lung dose which is lower than the prescription dose. Only one clinic reported using an advanced delivery technique with modulated arcs at extended SSD. Centres either said they had no access to outcome data or did not answer this question. Compared with an earlier survey from 2005, 3 clinics have lowered their linac dose rate and 7 are the same or similar. The TBI practice in Australia and New Zealand remains varied, with considerable differences in treatment planning, beam energy, accepted lung doses and delivered dose rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-835
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Australia
  • Bone marrow transplant
  • Lung dose
  • New zealand
  • Total body irradiation
  • Treatment planning

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