To evaluate variability in the definition of preoperative radiotherapy gross tumor volume (GTV) and clinical target volume (CTV) delineated by sarcoma radiation oncologists.
Extremity sarcoma planning CT images along with the corresponding diagnostic MRI from 2 patients were distributed to 10 RTOG sarcoma radiation oncologists with instructions to define GTV and CTV, using standardized guidelines. The CT data with contours were then returned for central analysis. Contours representing statistically-corrected 95% (V95) and 100% (V100) agreement were computed for each structure.
For the GTV, the minimum, maximum, mean (SD) volumes (mL) were 674, 798, 752±35 for the lower extremity case and 383, 543, 447±46 for the upper extremity case. The volume (cc) of the union, V95 and V100 were 882, 761, and 752 for the lower, and 587, 461, and 455 for the upper extremity, respectively. The overall GTV agreement was judged to be almost perfect in both lower and upper extremity cases [kappa =0.9 (p<0.0001) and kappa =0.86 (p<0.0001)]. For the CTV, the minimum, maximum, mean (SD) volumes (mL) were 1145, 1911, 1605±211 for the lower extremity case and 637, 1246, 1006±180 for the upper extremity case. The volume (cc) of the union, V95 and V100 were 2094, 1609, and 1593 for the lower, and 1533, 1020, and 965 for the upper extremity cases, respectively. The overall CTV agreement was judged to be almost perfect in the lower extremity case [kappa=0.85 (p<0.0001)], but only substantial in the upper extremity case [kappa=0.77 (p<0.0001)].
Almost perfect agreement existed in the GTV of these two representative cases. There was no significant disagreement in the CTV of the lower extremity, but variation in the CTV of upper extremity was seen, perhaps related to the positional differences between the planning CT and the diagnostic MRI.
Keywords: Sarcoma, target definition, radiotherapy