Development of a semi-customized tongue displacement device using a 3D printer for head and neck IMRT
Chae-Seon Hong, Dongryul Oh, Sang Gyu Ju, Yong Chan Ahn, Cho Hee Na, Dong Yeol Kwon & Cheol Chong Kim
Purpose To reduce radiation doses to the tongue, a patient-specific semi-customized tongue displacement device (SCTDD) was developed using a 3D printer (3DP) for head and neck (H&N) radiation therapy (RT). Dosimetric characteristics of the SCTDD were compared with those of a standard mouthpiece (SMP). Materials and methods The SCTDD consists of three parts: a mouthpiece, connector with an immobilization mask, and tongue displacer, which can displace the tongue to the contralateral side of the planning target volume. Semi-customization was enabled by changing the thickness and length of the SCTDD. The instrument was printed using a 3DP with a biocompatible material. With the SCTDD and SMP, two sets of planning computed tomography (CT) and tomotherapy plans were obtained for seven H&N cancer patients. Dosimetric and geometric characteristics were compared. Results Using the SCTDD, the tongue was effectively displaced from the planning target volume without significant tongue volume change compared to the SMP. The median tongue dose was significantly reduced (29.6 Gy vs. 34.3 Gy). The volumes of the tongue receiving a dose of 15 Gy, 30 Gy, 35 Gy, 45 Gy, and 60 Gy were significantly lower than using the SMP. Conclusion The SCTDD significantly decreased the radiation dose to the tongue compared to the SMP, which may potentially reduce RT-related tongue toxicity.