Potential dosimetric benefits of adaptive tumor tracking over the internal target volume concept for stereotactic body radiation therapy of pancreatic cancer.
ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy for pancreatic cancer has two major challenges: (I) the tumor is adjacent to several critical organs and, (II) the mobility of both, the tumor and its surrounding organs at risk (OARs). A treatment planning study simulating stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for pancreatic tumors with both the internal target volume (ITV) concept and the tumor tracking approach was performed. The two respiratory motion-management techniques were compared in terms of doses to the target volume and organs at risk.Two volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment plans (5 × 5 Gy) were created for each of the 12 previously treated pancreatic cancer patients, one using the ITV concept and one the tumor tracking approach. To better evaluate the overall dose delivered to the moving tumor volume, 4D dose calculations were performed on four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) scans. The resulting planning target volume (PTV) size for each technique was analyzed. Target and OAR dose parameters were reported and analyzed for both 3D and 4D dose calculation.Tumor motion ranged from 1.3 to 11.2 mm. Tracking led to a reduction of PTV size (max. 39.2%) accompanied with significant better tumor coverage (p<0.05, paired Wilcoxon signed rank test) both in 3D and 4D dose calculations and improved organ at risk sparing. Especially for duodenum, stomach and liver, the mean dose was significantly reduced (p<0.05) with tracking for 3D and 4D dose calculations.By using an adaptive tumor tracking approach for respiratory-induced pancreatic motion management, a significant reduction in PTV size can be achieved, which subsequently facilitates treatment planning, and improves organ dose sparing. The dosimetric benefit of tumor tracking is organ and patient-specific.
Project description:PURPOSE/OBJECTIVES:For lung stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), real-time tumor tracking (RTT) allows for less radiation to normal lung compared to the internal target volume (ITV) method of respiratory motion management. To quantify the advantage of RTT, we examined the difference in radiation pneumonitis risk between these two techniques using a normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) model. MATERIALS/METHOD:20 lung SBRT treatment plans using RTT were replanned with the ITV method using respiratory motion information from a 4D-CT image acquired at the original simulation. Risk of symptomatic radiation pneumonitis was calculated for both plans using a previously derived NTCP model. Features available before treatment planning that identified significant increase in NTCP with ITV versus RTT plans were identified. RESULTS:Prescription dose to the planning target volume (PTV) ranged from 22 to 60 Gy in 1-5 fractions. The median tumor diameter was 3.5 cm (range 2.1-5.5 cm) with a median volume of 14.5 mL (range 3.6-59.9 mL). The median increase in PTV volume from RTT to ITV plans was 17.1 mL (range 3.5-72.4 mL), and the median increase in PTV/lung volume ratio was 0.46% (range 0.13-1.98%). Mean lung dose and percentage dose-volumes were significantly higher in ITV plans at all levels tested. The median NTCP was 5.1% for RTT plans and 8.9% for ITV plans, with a median difference of 1.9% (range 0.4-25.5%, pairwise P < 0.001). Increases in NTCP between plans were best predicted by increases in PTV volume and PTV/lung volume ratio. CONCLUSIONS:The use of RTT decreased the risk of radiation pneumonitis in all plans. However, for most patients the risk reduction was minimal. Differences in plan PTV volume and PTV/lung volume ratio may identify patients who would benefit from RTT technique before completing treatment planning.
Project description:This study provides a proof of concept for real-time 4D dose reconstruction for lung stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) with multileaf collimator (MLC) tracking and assesses the impact of tumor tracking on the size of target margins.The authors have implemented real-time 4D dose reconstruction by connecting their tracking and delivery software to an Agility MLC at an Elekta Synergy linac and to their in-house treatment planning software (TPS). Actual MLC apertures and (simulated) target positions are reported to the TPS every 40 ms. The dose is calculated in real-time from 4DCT data directly after each reported aperture by utilization of precalculated dose-influence data based on a Monte Carlo algorithm. The dose is accumulated onto the peak-exhale (reference) phase using energy-mass transfer mapping. To investigate the impact of a potentially reducible safety margin, the authors have created and delivered treatment plans designed for a conventional internal target volume (ITV) + 5 mm, a midventilation approach, and three tracking scenarios for four lung SBRT patients. For the tracking plans, a moving target volume (MTV) was established by delineating the gross target volume (GTV) on every 4DCT phase. These were rigidly aligned to the reference phase, resulting in a unified maximum GTV to which a 1, 3, or 5 mm isotropic margin was added. All scenarios were planned for 9-beam step-and-shoot IMRT to meet the criteria of RTOG 1021 (3 × 18 Gy). The GTV 3D center-of-volume shift varied from 6 to 14 mm.Real-time dose reconstruction at 25 Hz could be realized on a single workstation due to the highly efficient implementation of dose calculation and dose accumulation. Decreased PTV margins resulted in inadequate target coverage during untracked deliveries for patients with substantial tumor motion. MLC tracking could ensure the GTV target dose for these patients. Organ-at-risk (OAR) doses were consistently reduced by decreased PTV margins. The tracked MTV + 1 mm deliveries resulted in the following OAR dose reductions: lung V20 up to 3.5%, spinal cord D2 up to 0.9 Gy/Fx, and proximal airways D2 up to 1.4 Gy/Fx.The authors could show that for patient data at clinical resolution and realistic motion conditions, the delivered dose could be reconstructed in 4D for the whole lung volume in real-time. The dose distributions show that reduced margins yield lower doses to healthy tissue, whilst target dose can be maintained using dynamic MLC tracking.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>To assess the potential dosimetric benefits associated with the CyberKnife (CK) tumor tracking capability, wherein an extra margin for respiratory tumor motion is not required, when compared to respiratory-gated volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).<h4>Methods</h4>Twenty-nine HCC patients previously treated with double-arc VMAT were enrolled. In each VMAT plan, the individual internal target volume (ITV) margin around the tumor was determined by measuring its motion over 30-70% of respiratory phases using four-dimensional computed tomography, followed by a 5-mm isotropic margin for the planning target volume (PTV). For each VMAT plan, two CK plans were generated using the original (CKoriginal, ITV included) and modified PTVs (CKmodified, ITV excluded) for comparison. In each case, the CKoriginal and CKmodified plans were compared to the original VMAT plan in terms of the dosimetric parameters including the conformity index (CI), PTV coverage (CO), organs at risk (OAR) doses, and normal liver tissue sparing.<h4>Results</h4>The original PTVs with median 24 cc (range, 9-65 cc) were significantly reduced to median 12 cc (range, 5-41 cc) in the CKmodified plans. Statistically significant differences in plan qualities were observed between the VMAT and the CK plans: mean CI, 1.05 in VMAT vs. 1.17 in both CK plans (p < 0.001); and mean CO, 93.0% in VMAT vs. 96.6% in CKoriginal and 96.9% in CKmodified (p < 0.001). The average volume of normal liver tissue receiving > 15 Gy was significantly decreased in the CKmodified plan, as compared to that in the VMAT and CKoriginal plans, by 1.75- and 1.61-fold, respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The tumor tracking capability of the CK system can significantly decrease the volume of normal liver tissue receiving > 15 Gy, while maintaining high precision in target localization, conformity, tumor coverage, and dose sparing of the OAR. Therefore, it can be a valuable SBRT option, particularly for HCC patients with poor liver function.
Project description:The objective of this study was to quantify respiratory motion-induced dose uncertainty at the planning stage for step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) using an analytical technique.Ten patients with stage II∕III lung cancer who had undergone a planning four-dimensional (4D) computed tomographic scan and step-and-shoot IMRT planning were selected with a mix of motion and tumor size for this retrospective study. A step-and-shoot IMRT plan was generated for each patient. The maximum and minimum doses with respiratory motion were calculated for each plan, and the mean deviation from the 4D dose was calculated, taking delivery time, fractionation, and patient breathing cycle into consideration.For all patients evaluated in this study, the mean deviation from the 4D dose in the planning target volume (PTV) was <2.5%, with a standard deviation <1.2%, and maximum point dose variation from the 4D dose was <6.2% in the PTV assuming delivery dose rate of 200 MU∕min and patient breathing cycle of 8 s. The motion-induced dose uncertainty is a function of motion, fractionation, MU (plan modulation), dose rate, and patient breathing cycle.Respiratory motion-induced dose uncertainty varies from patient to patient. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the dose uncertainty on a patient-specific basis, which could be useful for plan evaluation and treatment strategy determination for selected patients.
Project description:Emission guided radiation therapy (EGRT) is a new modality that uses PET emissions in real-time for direct tumor tracking during radiation delivery. Radiation beamlets are delivered along positron emission tomography (PET) lines of response (LORs) by a fast rotating ring therapy unit consisting of a linear accelerator (Linac) and PET detectors. The feasibility of tumor tracking and a primitive modulation method to compensate for attenuation have been demonstrated using a 4D digital phantom in our prior work. However, the essential capability of achieving dose modulation as in conventional intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments remains absent. In this work, the authors develop a planning scheme for EGRT to accomplish sophisticated intensity modulation based on an IMRT plan while preserving tumor tracking.The planning scheme utilizes a precomputed LOR response probability distribution to achieve desired IMRT planning modulation with effects of inhomogeneous attenuation and nonuniform background activity distribution accounted for. Evaluation studies are performed on a 4D digital patient with a simulated lung tumor and a clinical patient who has a moving breast cancer metastasis in the lung. The Linac dose delivery is simulated using a voxel-based Monte Carlo algorithm. The IMRT plan is optimized for a planning target volume (PTV) that encompasses the tumor motion using the MOSEK package and a Pinnacle3™ workstation (Philips Healthcare, Fitchburg, WI) for digital and clinical patients, respectively. To obtain the emission data for both patients, the Geant4 application for tomographic emission (GATE) package and a commercial PET scanner are used. As a comparison, 3D and helical IMRT treatments covering the same PTV based on the same IMRT plan are simulated.3D and helical IMRT treatments show similar dose distribution. In the digital patient case, compared with the 3D IMRT treatment, EGRT achieves a 15.1% relative increase in dose to 95% of the gross tumor volume (GTV) and a 31.8% increase to 50% of the GTV. In the patient case, EGRT yields a 15.2% relative increase in dose to 95% of the GTV and a 20.7% increase to 50% of the GTV. The organs at risk (OARs) doses are kept similar or lower for EGRT in both cases. Tumor tracking is observed in the presence of planning modulation in all EGRT treatments.As compared to conventional IMRT treatments, the proposed EGRT planning scheme allows an escalated target dose while keeping dose to the OARs within the same planning limits. With the capabilities of incorporating planning modulation and accurate tumor tracking, EGRT has the potential to greatly improve targeting in radiation therapy and enable a practical and effective implementation of 4D radiation therapy for planning and delivery.
Project description:To compare retrospectively generated gated plans to conventional internal target volume (ITV)-based plans and to evaluate whether gated radiotherapy provides clinically relevant dosimetric improvements to organs-at-risk (OARs).Evaluation was performed of 150 stereotactic ablative radiotherapy treatment plans delivered to 128 early-stage (T1-T3 (<5 cm)) NSCLC patients. To generate gated plans, original ITV-based plans were re-optimized and re-calculated on the end-exhale phase and using gated planning target volumes (PTV). Gated and ITV-based plans were produced for 3?×?18 Gy and 4?×?12 Gy fractionation regimens. Dose differences between gated and ITV-based plans were analyzed as a function of both three-dimensional motion and tumor volume. OARs were analyzed using RTOG and AAPM dose constraints.Differences between gated and ITV-based plans for all OAR indices were largest for the 3?×?18 Gy regimen. For this regimen, MLD differences calculated by subtracting the gated values from the ITV-based values (ITV vs. Gated) were 0.10?±?0.56 Gy for peripheral island (N?=?57), 0.16?±?0.64 Gy for peripheral lung-wall seated (N?=?57), and 0.10?±?0.64 Gy for central tumors (N?=?36). Variations in V20 were similarly low, with the greatest differences occurring in peripheral tumors (0.20?±?1.17 %). Additionally, average differences (in 2Gy-equivalence) between ITV and gated lung indices fell well below clinical tolerance values for all fractionation regimens, with no clinically meaningful differences observed from the 4?×?12 Gy regimen and rarely for the 3?×?18 Gy regimen (<2 % of cases). Dosimetric differences between gated and ITV-based methods did generally increase with increasing tumor motion and decreasing tumor volume. Dose to ribs and bronchial tree were slightly higher in gated plans compared to ITV-based plans and slightly lower for esophagus, heart, spinal cord, and trachea.Analysis of 150 SABR-based lung cancer treatment plans did not show a substantial benefit for the gating regimen when compared to ITV-based treatment plans. Small benefits were observed only for the largest tumor motion (exceeding 2 cm) and the high dose treatment regimen (3?×?18 Gy), though these benefits did not appear to be clinically relevant.
Project description:To explore the benefit of using 4D multimodal visualization and interaction techniques for defined radiotherapy planning tasks over a treatment planning system used in clinical routine (C-TPS) without dedicated 4D visualization.We developed a 4D visualization system (4D-VS) with dedicated rendering and fusion of 4D multimodal imaging data based on a list of requirements developed in collaboration with radiation oncologists. We conducted a user evaluation in which the benefits of our approach were evaluated in comparison to C-TPS for three specific tasks: assessment of internal target volume (ITV) delineation, classification of tumor location in peripheral or central, and assessment of dose distribution. For all three tasks, we presented test cases for which we measured correctness, certainty, consistency followed by an additional survey regarding specific visualization features.Lower quality of the test ITVs (ground truth quality was available) was more likely to be detected using 4D-VS. ITV ratings were more consistent in 4D-VS and the classification of tumor location had a higher accuracy. Overall evaluation of the survey indicates 4D-VS provides better spatial comprehensibility and simplifies the tasks which were performed during testing.The use of 4D-VS has improved the assessment of ITV delineations and classification of tumor location. The visualization features of 4D-VS have been identified as helpful for the assessment of dose distribution during user testing.
Project description:To develop a novel four-dimensional (4D) intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning methodology based on dynamic virtual patient models.The 4D model-based planning (4DMP) is a predictive tracking method which consists of two main steps: (1) predicting the 3D deformable motion of the target and critical structures as a function of time during treatment delivery; (2) adjusting the delivery beam apertures formed by the dynamic multi-leaf collimators (DMLC) to account for the motion. The key feature of 4DMP is the application of a dynamic virtual patient model in motion prediction, treatment beam adjustment, and dose calculation. A lung case was chosen to demonstrate the feasibility of the 4DMP. For the lung case, a dynamic virtual patient model (4D model) was first developed based on the patient's 4DCT images. The 4D model was capable of simulating respiratory motion of different patterns. A model-based registration method was then applied to convert the 4D model into a set of deformation maps and 4DCT images for dosimetric purposes. Based on the 4D model, 4DMP treatment plans with different respiratory motion scenarios were developed. The quality of 4DMP plans was then compared with two other commonly used 4D planning methods: maximum intensity projection (MIP) and planning on individual phases (IP).Under regular periodic motion, 4DMP offered similar target coverage as MIP with much better normal tissue sparing. At breathing amplitude of 2 cm, the lung V20 was 23.9% for a MIP plan and 16.7% for a 4DMP plan. The plan quality was comparable between 4DMP and IP: PTV V97 was 93.8% for the IP plan and 93.6% for the 4DMP plan. Lung V20 of the 4DMP plan was 2.1% lower than that of the IP plan and Dmax to cord was 2.2 Gy higher. Under a real time irregular breathing pattern, 4DMP had the best plan quality. PTV V97 was 90.4% for a MIP plan, 88.6% for an IP plan and 94.1% for a 4DMP plan. Lung V20 was 20.1% for the MIP plan, 17.8% for the IP plan and 17.5% for the 4DMP plan. The deliverability of the real time 4DMP plan was proved by calculating the maximum leaf speed of the DMLC.The 4D model-based planning, which applies dynamic virtual patient models in IMRT treatment planning, can account for the real time deformable motion of the tumor under different breathing conditions. Under regular motion, the quality of 4DMP plans was comparable with IP and superior to MIP. Under realistic motion in which breathing amplitude and period change, 4DMP gave the best plan quality of the three 4D treatment planning techniques.
Project description:Positron emission tomography (PET) of lung tumors suffers from breathing-motion induced blurring. Respiratory-correlated PET ameliorates motion blurring and enables visualization of lung tumor functional uptake throughout the breathing cycle but has achieved limited clinical use in radiotherapy planning. In this work, the authors propose a process for generating a gated PET maximum intensity projection (MIP), a breathing-phase projection of the 4D image set comprising gated PET images, as a technique to quantitatively and efficiently incorporate respiratory-correlated PET information into radiotherapy treatment planning.4D-CT and respiratory-gated PET using [(18)F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) were acquired of three patients with a total of four small (4-18 cc), clearly defined lower-lobe lung tumors. Internal target volumes (ITVs) for the lung tumors were generated by threshold-based segmentation of PET-MIP images and ungated PET images (ITV(PET-MIP) and ITV(3D-PET), respectively), and by manual contouring of CT-MIP and end-exhale and end-inhale phases of 4D-CT (ITV(CT-MIP)) by a radiation oncologist. Because of the sensitivity of tumor segmentation to threshold value, several different thresholds were tested for ITV generation, including 40%, 30%, and 20% of maximum standardized uptake value (SUV(max)) for FDG as well as absolute SUV thresholds of 2.5 and 3.0. The normalized overlap and relative volumes of ITV(PET-MIP) and ITV(3D-PET) with respect to ITV(CT-MIP) were compared. The images were also visually compared. ITV(CT-MIP) was considered a gold standard for these tumors with CT-visible morphology.The mean and standard deviation normalized overlap and relative volumes between ITV(PET-MIP) and ITV(CT-MIP) were 0.68 ± 0.07 and 1.07 ± 0.42, respectively, averaged over all four tumors and all five threshold values. The mean and standard deviation normalized overlap and relative volumes of ITV(3D-PET) and ITV(CT-MIP) were 0.47 ± 0.12 and 0.69 ± 0.56, respectively.PET-MIP images better match CT-MIP images for this sample of four small CT-visible tumors as compared to ungated PET images, based on the metrics of volumetric overlap and relative volumes as well as visual interpretation. The PET-MIP is a way to incorporate 4D-PET imaging into the process of lung tumor contouring that is time-efficient for the radiation oncologist and involves minimal effort to implement in treatment planning software, because it requires only a single PET image beyond contouring on CT alone.
Project description:Dose-rate-regulated tracking (DRRT) is a tumor tracking strategy that programs the MLC to track the tumor under regular breathing and adapts to breathing irregularities during delivery using dose rate regulation. Constant-dose-rate tracking (CDRT) is a strategy that dynamically repositions the beam to account for intrafractional 3D target motion according to real-time information of target location obtained from an independent position monitoring system. The purpose of this study is to illustrate the differences in the effectiveness and delivery accuracy between these two tracking methods in the presence of breathing irregularities.Step-and-shoot IMRT plans optimized at a reference phase were extended to remaining phases to generate 10-phased 4D-IMRT plans using segment aperture morphing (SAM) algorithm, where both tumor displacement and deformation were considered. A SAM-based 4D plan has been demonstrated to provide better plan quality than plans not considering target deformation. However, delivering such a plan requires preprogramming of the MLC aperture sequence. Deliveries of the 4D plans using DRRT and CDRT tracking approaches were simulated assuming the breathing period is either shorter or longer than the planning day, for 4 IMRT cases: two lung and two pancreatic cases with maximum GTV centroid motion greater than 1 cm were selected. In DRRT, dose rate was regulated to speed up or slow down delivery as needed such that each planned segment is delivered at the planned breathing phase. In CDRT, MLC is separately controlled to follow the tumor motion, but dose rate was kept constant. In addition to breathing period change, effect of breathing amplitude variation on target and critical tissue dose distribution is also evaluated.Delivery of preprogrammed 4D plans by the CDRT method resulted in an average of 5% increase in target dose and noticeable increase in organs at risk (OAR) dose when patient breathing is either 10% faster or slower than the planning day. In contrast, DRRT method showed less than 1% reduction in target dose and no noticeable change in OAR dose under the same breathing period irregularities. When ±20% variation of target motion amplitude was present as breathing irregularity, the two delivery methods show compatible plan quality if the dose distribution of CDRT delivery is renormalized.Delivery of 4D-IMRT treatment plans, stemmed from 3D step-and-shoot IMRT and preprogrammed using SAM algorithm, is simulated for two dynamic MLC-based real-time tumor tracking strategies: with and without dose-rate regulation. Comparison of cumulative dose distribution indicates that the preprogrammed 4D plan is more accurately and efficiently conformed using the DRRT strategy, as it compensates the interplay between patient breathing irregularity and tracking delivery without compromising the segment-weight modulation.