Applied Radiobiology and Bioeffect Planning

Author:  David Wigg
ISBN:  9781930524057      ISBN10:  1930524056
Published:  2001 | 486 | Hardcover



Cancer Forum  |  July 2002


"This erudite volume is a tribute to the intellect and scholarship of its author, David Wigg. Although he has never worked directly with experimental radiobiologists, he displays a mastery of the subject that is acknowledged in one of the forewords by no lesser luminary than Professor Jack Fowler, who states: 'This book provides the most comprehensive source of both methods and data available anywhere.'

"In his opus magnum, Dr. Wigg reviews existing models of bio-effect (time, dose fractionation and volume effects) and explains how, with all the caveats surrounding the imperfections of the models and the uncertainties of the parameters applied to them, such models can be clinically useful.

"The book is not for the mathematical faint-hearted, and it is unfortunately probable that most clinicians will be put off by the complex equations that punctuate the text and clutter the figures. If, however, like me, they assume the equations to be valid and just concentrate on the text, there is a wealth of information of value to clinicians to be found. The book consists of 10 chapters followed by two appendices of published work. In the first six chapters, Dr. Wigg reviews existing bio-effect models and develops methods for extending them to brachytherapy and chemoradiotherapy. Chapter seven is potentially the most controversial of the book in challenging current dogma. In it, he argues that, based on a derived / ratio of 10 Gy or more for obliteration of arterio-venous malformations (AVM), single dose stereotactic radiosurgery may not be the optimal way to treat AVMs, especially those located in critical areas of the central nervous system.

"I personally found the last three chapters of the book to be the most rewarding. Chapter eight summarises the most plausible parameter values for normal tissues and tumors for application in predictive models and bio-effect planning. Chapter nine describes the use of such models to predict tumor control probability and late effects risk for a variety of well-established treatment protocols. The final chapter describes the clinical utility of a real time interactive bio-effect planning system developed by Dr. Wigg and his physicists in Adelaide, and points out some of the pit-falls that may beset those who plan on the basis of physical dose distributions alone. The treatise concludes with a light-hearted poem entitled Shades of Gray, to re-enforce the point that physical dose is only the first layer of complexity in optimising radiotherapy treatment planning.

"This book is published by Medical Physics Publishing in Madison, Wisconsin and is available from them at a cost of US$180.00. As a treasure trove of information, it would seem to me a bargain at this price for all radiation oncology and radiation physics department libraries. It is a shame that the computer program to support the Adelaide Bio-Effect Planning System is not also offered."

L. Peters AM

Dept. of Radiation Oncology

Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute

East Melbourne, Vic