To quantify the radiobiological advantages obtained by an Improved Forward Planning technique (IFP) and two IMRT techniques using different fractionation schemes for the irradiation of head and neck tumours. The conventional radiation therapy technique (CONVT) was used here as a benchmark.
Seven patients with head and neck tumours were selected for this retrospective planning study. The PTV1 included the primary tumour, PTV2 the high risk lymph nodes and PTV3 the low risk lymph nodes. Except for the conventional technique where a maximum dose of 64.8 Gy was prescribed to the PTV1, 70.2 Gy, 59.4 Gy and 50.4 Gy were prescribed respectively to PTV1, PTV2 and PTV3. Except for IMRT2, all techniques were delivered by three sequential phases. The IFP technique used five to seven directions with a total of 15 to 21 beams. The IMRT techniques used five to nine directions and around 80 segments. The first, IMRT1, was prescribed with the conventional fractionation scheme of 1.8 Gy per fraction delivered in 39 fractions by three treatment phases. The second, IMRT2, simultaneously irradiated the PTV2 and PTV3 with 59.4 Gy and 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions, respectively, while the PTV1 was boosted with six subsequent fractions of 1.8 Gy. Tissue response was calculated using the relative seriality model and the Poisson Linear-Quadratic-Time model to simulate repopulation in the primary tumour.
The average probability of total tumour control increased from 38% with CONVT to 80% with IFP, to 85% with IMRT1 and 89% with IMRT2. The shorter treatment time and larger dose per fraction obtained with IMRT2 resulted in an 11% increase in the probability of control in the PTV1 with respect to IFP and 7% relatively to IMRT1 (p < 0.05). The average probability of total patient complications was reduced from 80% with CONVT to 61% with IFP and 31% with IMRT. The corresponding probability of complications in the ipsilateral parotid was 63%, 42% and 20%; in the contralateral parotid it was 50%, 20% and 9%; in the oral cavity it was 2%, 15% and 4% and in the mandible it was 1%, 5% and 3%, respectively.
A significant improvement in treatment outcome was obtained with IMRT compared to conventional radiation therapy. The practical and biological advantages of IMRT2, employing a shorter treatment time, may outweigh the small differences obtained in the organs at risk between the two IMRT techniques. This technique is therefore presently being used in the clinic for selected patients with head and neck tumours. A significant improvement in the quality of the dose distribution was obtained with IFP compared to CONVT. Thus, this beam arrangement is used in the clinical routine as an alternative to IMRT.
The radiobiological models describe the effects of the radiation treatment on cancer and healthy cells, and the radiobiological effects are generally characterized by the tumor control probability (TCP) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP).
The purpose of this study was to assess the radiobiological impact of RapidArc planning techniques for prostate cancer in terms of TCP and normal NTCP.
Subjects and Methods:
A computed tomography data set of ten cases involving low-risk prostate cancer was selected for this retrospective study. For each case, two RapidArc plans were created in Eclipse treatment planning system. The double arc (DA) plan was created using two full arcs and the single arc (SA) plan was created using one full arc. All treatment plans were calculated with anisotropic analytical algorithm. Radiobiological modeling response evaluation was performed by calculating Niemierko's equivalent uniform dose (EUD)-based Tumor TCP and NTCP values.
For prostate tumor, the average EUD in the SA plans was slightly higher than in the DA plans (78.10 Gy vs. 77.77 Gy; P = 0.01), but the average TCP was comparable (98.3% vs. 98.3%; P = 0.01). In comparison to the DA plans, the SA plans produced higher average EUD to bladder (40.71 Gy vs. 40.46 Gy; P = 0.03) and femoral heads (10.39 Gy vs. 9.40 Gy; P = 0.03), whereas both techniques produced NTCP well below 0.1% for bladder (P = 0.14) and femoral heads (P = 0.26). In contrast, the SA plans produced higher average NTCP compared to the DA plans (2.2% vs. 1.9%; P = 0.01). Furthermore, the EUD to rectum was slightly higher in the SA plans (62.88 Gy vs. 62.22 Gy; P = 0.01).
The SA and DA techniques produced similar TCP for low-risk prostate cancer. The NTCP for femoral heads and bladder was comparable in the SA and DA plans; however, the SA technique resulted in higher NTCP for rectum in comparison with the DA technique.
Equivalent uniform dose; Normal tissue complication probability; Prostate cancer; RapidArc planning; Tumor control probability
Dosimeteric and radiobiological comparison of two radiation schedules in localized carcinoma prostate: Standard Three-Dimensional Conformal Radiotherapy (3DCRT) followed by Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) boost (sequential-IMRT) with Simultaneous Integrated Boost IMRT (SIB-IMRT).
Material and Methods:
Thirty patients were enrolled. In all, the target consisted of PTV P + SV (Prostate and seminal vesicles) and PTV LN (lymph nodes) where PTV refers to planning target volume and the critical structures included: bladder, rectum and small bowel. All patients were treated with sequential-IMRT plan, but for dosimetric comparison, SIB-IMRT plan was also created. The prescription dose to PTV P + SV was 74 Gy in both strategies but with different dose per fraction, however, the dose to PTV LN was 50 Gy delivered in 25 fractions over 5 weeks for sequential-IMRT and 54 Gy delivered in 27 fractions over 5.5 weeks for SIB-IMRT. The treatment plans were compared in terms of dose–volume histograms. Also, Tumor Control Probability (TCP) and Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) obtained with the two plans were compared.
The volume of rectum receiving 70 Gy or more (V > 70 Gy) was reduced to 18.23% with SIB-IMRT from 22.81% with sequential-IMRT. SIB-IMRT reduced the mean doses to both bladder and rectum by 13% and 17%, respectively, as compared to sequential-IMRT. NTCP of 0.86 ± 0.75% and 0.01 ± 0.02% for the bladder, 5.87 ± 2.58% and 4.31 ± 2.61% for the rectum and 8.83 ± 7.08% and 8.25 ± 7.98% for the bowel was seen with sequential-IMRT and SIB-IMRT plans respectively.
For equal PTV coverage, SIB-IMRT markedly reduced doses to critical structures, therefore should be considered as the strategy for dose escalation. SIB-IMRT achieves lesser NTCP than sequential-IMRT.
Carcinoma prostate; intensity-modulated radiotherapy; normal tissue complication probability; simultaneous integrated boost; sequential intensity-modulated radiotherapy; tumor control probability
Recent developments enable to deliver rotational IMRT with standard C-arm gantry based linear accelerators. This upcoming treatment technique was benchmarked in a multi-center treatment planning study against static gantry IMRT and rotational IMRT based on a ring gantry for a complex parotid gland sparing head-and-neck technique.
Treatment plans were created for 10 patients with head-and-neck tumours (oropharynx, hypopharynx, larynx) using the following treatment planning systems (TPS) for rotational IMRT: Monaco (ELEKTA VMAT solution), Eclipse (Varian RapidArc solution) and HiArt for the helical tomotherapy (Tomotherapy). Planning of static gantry IMRT was performed with KonRad, Pinnacle and Panther DAO based on step&shoot IMRT delivery and Eclipse for sliding window IMRT. The prescribed doses for the high dose PTVs were 65.1Gy or 60.9Gy and for the low dose PTVs 55.8Gy or 52.5Gy dependend on resection status. Plan evaluation was based on target coverage, conformity and homogeneity, DVHs of OARs and the volume of normal tissue receiving more than 5Gy (V5Gy). Additionally, the cumulative monitor units (MUs) and treatment times of the different technologies were compared. All evaluation parameters were averaged over all 10 patients for each technique and planning modality.
Depending on IMRT technique and TPS, the mean CI values of all patients ranged from 1.17 to 2.82; and mean HI values varied from 0.05 to 0.10. The mean values of the median doses of the spared parotid were 26.5Gy for RapidArc and 23Gy for VMAT, 14.1Gy for Tomo. For fixed gantry techniques 21Gy was achieved for step&shoot+KonRad, 17.0Gy for step&shoot+Panther DAO, 23.3Gy for step&shoot+Pinnacle and 18.6Gy for sliding window.
V5Gy values were lowest for the sliding window IMRT technique (3499 ccm) and largest for RapidArc (5480 ccm). The lowest mean MU value of 408 was achieved by Panther DAO, compared to 1140 for sliding window IMRT.
All IMRT delivery technologies with their associated TPS provide plans with satisfying target coverage while at the same time respecting the defined OAR criteria. Sliding window IMRT, RapidArc and Tomo techniques resulted in better target dose homogeneity compared to VMAT and step&shoot IMRT. Rotational IMRT based on C-arm linacs and Tomotherapy seem to be advantageous with respect to OAR sparing and treatment delivery efficiency, at the cost of higher dose delivered to normal tissues. The overall treatment plan quality using Tomo seems to be better than the other TPS technology combinations.
AIM: To establish the feasibility of simultaneous modulated accelerated radiation therapy (SMART) in esophageal cancer (EC).
METHODS: Computed tomography (CT) datasets of 10 patients with upper or middle thoracic squamous cell EC undergoing chemoradiotherapy were used to generate SMART, conventionally-fractionated three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (cf-IMRT) plans, respectively. The gross target volume (GTV) of the esophagus, positive regional lymph nodes (LN), and suspected lymph nodes (LN±) were contoured for each patient. The clinical target volume (CTV) was delineated with 2-cm longitudinal and 0.5- to 1.0-cm radial margins with respect to the GTV and with 0.5-cm uniform margins for LN and LN(±). For the SMART plans, there were two planning target volumes (PTVs): PTV66 = (GTV + LN) + 0.5 cm and PTV54 = CTV + 0.5 cm. For the 3DCRT and cf-IMRT plans, there was only a single PTV: PTV60 = CTV + 0.5 cm. The prescribed dose for the SMART plans was 66 Gy/30 F to PTV66 and 54 Gy/30 F to PTV54. The dose prescription to the PTV60 for both the 3DCRT and cf-IMRT plans was set to 60 Gy/30 F. All the plans were generated on the Eclipse 10.0 treatment planning system. Fulfillment of the dose criteria for the PTVs received the highest priority, followed by the spinal cord, heart, and lungs. The dose-volume histograms were compared.
RESULTS: Clinically acceptable plans were achieved for all the SMART, cf-IMRT, and 3DCRT plans. Compared with the 3DCRT plans, the SMART plans increased the dose delivered to the primary tumor (66 Gy vs 60 Gy), with improved sparing of normal tissues in all patients. The Dmax of the spinal cord, V20 of the lungs, and Dmean and V50 of the heart for the SMART and 3DCRT plans were as follows: 38.5 ± 2.0 vs 44.7 ± 0.8 (P = 0.002), 17.1 ± 4.0 vs 25.8 ± 5.0 (P = 0.000), 14.4 ± 7.5 vs 21.4 ± 11.1 (P = 0.000), and 4.9 ± 3.4 vs 12.9 ± 7.6 (P = 0.000), respectively. In contrast to the cf-IMRT plans, the SMART plans permitted a simultaneous dose escalation (6 Gy) to the primary tumor while demonstrating a significant trend of a lower irradiation dose to all organs at risk except the spinal cord, for which no significant difference was found.
CONCLUSION: SMART offers the potential for a 6 Gy simultaneous escalation in the irradiation dose delivered to the primary tumor of EC and improves the sparing of normal tissues.
Simultaneous modulated accelerated radiation therapy; Three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy; Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Esophageal cancer; Feasibility
To quantify and compare expected local tumor control and expected normal tissue toxicities between selective boosting IMRT and homogeneous dose escalation IMRT for the case of prostate cancer.
Four different selective boosting scenarios and three different high-risk tumor subvolume geometries were designed to compare selective boosting and homogeneous dose escalation IMRT plans delivering the same equivalent uniform dose (EUD) to the entire PTV. For each scenario, differences in tumor control probability between both boosting strategies were calculated for the high-risk tumor subvolume and remaining lower-risk PTV, and were visualized using voxel based iso-TCP maps. Differences in expected rectal and bladder complications were quantified using radiobiological indices (generalized EUD (gEUD) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP)) as well as %-volumes.
For all investigated scenarios and high-risk tumor subvolume geometries, selective boosting IMRT improves expected TCP compared to homogeneous dose escalation IMRT, especially when lack of control of the high-risk tumor subvolume could be the cause for tumor recurrence. Employing, selective boosting IMRT significant increases in expected TCP can be achieved for the high-risk tumor subvolumes. The 3 conventional selective boosting IMRT strategies, employing physical dose objectives, did not show significant improvement in rectal and bladder sparing as compared to their counterpart homogeneous dose escalation plans. However, risk-adaptive optimization, utilizing radiobiological objective functions, resulted in reduction in NTCP for the rectum when compared to its corresponding homogeneous dose escalation plan.
Selective boosting is a more effective method than homogeneous dose escalation for achieving optimal treatment outcomes. Furthermore, risk-adaptive optimization increases the therapeutic ratio as compared to conventional selective boosting IMRT.
Functional imaging; selective boosting; dose painting; TCP; IMRT
Our aim was to improve dose distribution to the left breast and to determine the dose received by the ipsilateral lung, heart, contralateral lung and contralateral breast during primary left-sided breast irradiation by using intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) techniques compared to conventional tangential techniques (CTT). At the same time, different beams of IMRT plans were compared to each other in respect to CI, HI and organs at risk (OAR) dose.
Conventional early breast cancer treatment consists of lumpectomy followed by whole breast radiation therapy. CTT is a traditional method used for whole breast radiotherapy and includes standard wedged tangents (two opposed wedged tangential photon beams). The IMRT technique has been widely used for many treatment sites, allowing both improved sparing of normal tissues and more conformal dose distributions. IMRT is a new technique for whole breast radiotherapy. IMRT is used to improve conformity and homogeneity and used to reduce OAR doses.
Materials and methods
Thirty patients with left-sided breast carcinoma were treated between 2005 and 2008 using 6, 18 or mixed 6/18 MV photons for primary breast irradiation following breast conserving surgery (BCS). The clinical target volume [CTV] was contoured as a target volume and the contralateral breast, ipsilateral lung, contralateral lung and heart tissues as organs at risk (OAR). IMRT with seven beams (IMRT7), nine beams (IMRT9) and 11 beams (IMRT11) plans were developed and compared with CTT and among each other. The conformity index (CI), homogeneity index (HI), and doses to OAR were compared to each other.
All of IMRT plans significantly improved CI (CTT: 0.76; IMRT7: 0.84; IMRT9: 0.84; IMRT11: 0.85), HI (CTT: 1.16; IMRT7: 1.12; IMRT9: 1.11; IMRT11: 1.11), volume of the ipsilateral lung receiving more than 20 Gy (>V20 Gy) (CTT: 14.6; IMRT7: 9.08; IMRT9: 8.10; IMRT11: 8.60), and volume of the heart receiving more than 30 Gy (>V30 Gy) (CTT: 6.7; IMRT7: 4.04; IMRT9: 2.80; IMRT11: 2.98) compared to CTT. All IMRT plans were found to significantly decrease >V20 Gy and >V30 Gy volumes compared to conformal plans. But IMRT plans increased the volume of OAR receiving low dose radiotherapy: volume of contralateral lung receiving 5 and 10 Gy (CTT: 0.0–0.0; IMRT7: 19.0–0.7; IMRT9: 17.2–0.66; IMRT11: 18.7–0.58, respectively) and volume of contralateral breast receiving 10 Gy (CTT: 0.03; IMRT7: 0.38; IMRT9: 0.60; IMRT11: 0.68). The differences among IMRT plans with increased number of beams were not statistically significant.
IMRT significantly improved conformity and homogeneity index for plans. Heart and lung volumes receiving high doses were decreased, but OAR receiving low doses was increased.
Breast cancer; IMRT; Left breast; Whole breast radiotherapy; IMRT; Conventional techniques comparison
AIM: To compare the volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans with conventional sliding window intensity-modulated radiotherapy (c-IMRT) plans in esophageal cancer (EC).
METHODS: Twenty patients with EC were selected, including 5 cases located in the cervical, the upper, the middle and the lower thorax, respectively. Five plans were generated with the eclipse planning system: three using c-IMRT with 5 fields (5F), 7 fields (7F) and 9 fields (9F), and two using VMAT with a single arc (1A) and double arcs (2A). The treatment plans were designed to deliver a dose of 60 Gy to the planning target volume (PTV) with the same constrains in a 2.0 Gy daily fraction, 5 d a week. Plans were normalized to 95% of the PTV that received 100% of the prescribed dose. We examined the dose-volume histogram parameters of PTV and the organs at risk (OAR) such as lungs, spinal cord and heart. Monitor units (MU) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) of OAR were also reported.
RESULTS: Both c-IMRT and VMAT plans resulted in abundant dose coverage of PTV for EC of different locations. The dose conformity to PTV was improved as the number of field in c-IMRT or rotating arc in VMAT was increased. The doses to PTV and OAR in VMAT plans were not statistically different in comparison with c-IMRT plans, with the following exceptions: in cervical and upper thoracic EC, the conformity index (CI) was higher in VMAT (1A 0.78 and 2A 0.8) than in c-IMRT (5F 0.62, 7F 0.66 and 9F 0.73) and homogeneity was slightly better in c-IMRT (7F 1.09 and 9F 1.07) than in VMAT (1A 1.1 and 2A 1.09). Lung V30 was lower in VMAT (1A 12.52 and 2A 12.29) than in c-IMRT (7F 14.35 and 9F 14.81). The humeral head doses were significantly increased in VMAT as against c-IMRT. In the middle and lower thoracic EC, CI in VMAT (1A 0.76 and 2A 0.74) was higher than in c-IMRT (5F 0.63 Gy and 7F 0.67 Gy), and homogeneity was almost similar between VMAT and c-IMRT. V20 (2A 21.49 Gy vs 7F 24.59 Gy and 9F 24.16 Gy) and V30 (2A 9.73 Gy vs 5F 12.61 Gy, 7F 11.5 Gy and 9F 11.37 Gy) of lungs in VMAT were lower than in c-IMRT, but low doses to lungs (V5 and V10) were increased. V30 (1A 48.12 Gy vs 5F 59.2 Gy, 7F 58.59 Gy and 9F 57.2 Gy), V40 and V50 of heart in VMAT was lower than in c-IMRT. MUs in VMAT plans were significantly reduced in comparison with c-IMRT, maximum doses to the spinal cord and mean doses of lungs were similar between the two techniques. NTCP of spinal cord was 0 for all cases. NTCP of lungs and heart in VMAT were lower than in c-IMRT. The advantage of VMAT plan was enhanced by doubling the arc.
CONCLUSION: Compared with c-IMRT, VMAT, especially the 2A, slightly improves the OAR dose sparing, such as lungs and heart, and reduces NTCP and MU with a better PTV coverage.
Esophageal cancer; Treatment planning; Intensity modulated radiotherapy; Volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy; Normal tissue complication probability
The purpose of this work is to present the results of a margin reduction study involving dosimetric and radiobiologic assessment of cumulative dose distributions, computed using an image guided adaptive radiotherapy based framework. Eight prostate cancer patients, treated with 7–9, 6 MV, intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) fields, were included in this study. The workflow consists of cone beam CT (CBCT) based localization, deformable image registration of the CBCT to simulation CT image datasets (SIMCT), dose reconstruction and dose accumulation on the SIM-CT, and plan evaluation using radiobiological models. For each patient, three IMRT plans were generated with different margins applied to the CTV. The PTV margin for the original plan was 10 mm and 6 mm at the prostate/anterior rectal wall interface (10/6 mm) and was reduced to: (a) 5/3 mm, and (b) 3 mm uniformly. The average percent reductions in predicted tumor control probability (TCP) in the accumulated (actual) plans in comparison to the original plans over eight patients were 0.4%, 0.7% and 11.0% with 10/6 mm, 5/3 mm and 3 mm uniform margin respectively. The mean increase in predicted normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for grades 2/3 rectal bleeding for the actual plans in comparison to the static plans with margins of 10/6, 5/3 and 3 mm uniformly was 3.5%, 2.8% and 2.4% respectively. For the actual dose distributions, predicted NTCP for late rectal bleeding was reduced by 3.6% on average when the margin was reduced from 10/6 mm to 5/3 mm, and further reduced by 1.0% on average when the margin was reduced to 3 mm. The average reduction in complication free tumor control probability (P+) in the actual plans in comparison to the original plans with margins of 10/6, 5/3 and 3 mm was 3.7%, 2.4% and 13.6% correspondingly. The significant reduction of TCP and P+ in the actual plan with 3 mm margin came from one outlier, where individualizing patient treatment plans through margin adaptation based on biological models, might yield higher quality treatments.
To evaluate the performance of volumetric arc modulation with RapidArc against conventional IMRT for head and neck cancers.
RapidArc is a novel technique that has recently been made available for clinical use. Planning study was done for volumetric arc modulation with RapidArc against conventional IMRT for head and neck cancers.
Materials and methods
Ten patients with advanced tumors of the nasopharynx, oropharynx, and hypopharynx were selected for the planning comparison study. PTV was delineated for two different dose levels and planning was done by means of simultaneously integrated boost technique. A total dose of 70 Gy was delivered to the boost volume (PTV boost) and 57.7 Gy to the elective PTV (PTV elective) in 35 equal treatment fractions. PTV boost consisted of the gross tumor volume and lymph nodes containing visible macroscopic tumor or biopsy-proven positive lymph nodes, whereas the PTV elective consisted of elective nodal regions. Planning was done for IMRT using 9 fields and RapidArc with single arc, double arc. Beam was equally placed for IMRT plans. Single arc RapidArc plan utilizes full 360° gantry rotation and double arc consists of 2 co-planar arcs of 360° in clockwise and counter clockwise direction. Collimator was rotated from 35 to 45° to cover the entire tumor, which reduced the tongue and groove effect during gantry rotation. All plans were generated with 6 MV X-rays for CLINAC 2100 Linear Accelerator. Calculations were done in the Eclipse treatment planning system (version 8.6) using the AAA algorithm.
Double arc plans show superior dose homogeneity in PTV compared to a single arc and IMRT 9 field technique. Target coverage was almost similar in all the techniques. The sparing of spinal cord in terms of the maximum dose was better in the double arc technique by 4.5% when compared to the IMRT 9 field and single arc techniques. For healthy tissue, no significant changes were observed between the plans in terms of the mean dose and integral dose. But RapidArc plans showed a reduction in the volume of the healthy tissue irradiated at V15 Gy (5.81% for single arc and 4.69% for double arc) and V20 Gy (7.55% for single arc and 5.89% for double arc) dose levels when compared to the 9-Field IMRT technique. For brain stem, maximum dose was similar in all the techniques. The average MU (±SD) needed to deliver the dose of 200 cGy per fraction was 474 ± 80 MU and 447 ± 45 MU for double arc and single arc as against 948 ± 162 MU for the 9-Field IMRT plan. A considerable reduction in maximum dose to the mandible by 6.05% was observed with double arc plan. Double arc shows a reduction in the parotid mean dose when compared with single arc and IMRT plans.
RapidArc using double arc provided a significant sparing of OARs and healthy tissue without compromising target coverage compared to IMRT. The main disadvantage with IMRT observed was higher monitor units and longer treatment time.
RapidArc; IMRT; Planning study; Head and neck cancers
The present study is aimed at comparing the planning and delivery efficiency between three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT), field-in-field, forward planned, intensity modulated radiotherapy (FIF-FP-IMRT), and inverse planned intensity modulated radiotherapy (IP-IMRT). Treatment plans of 20 patients with left-sided breast cancer, 10 post-mastectomy treated to a prescribed dose of 45 Gy to the chest wall in 20 fractions, and 10 post-breast-conserving surgery to a prescribed dose of 50 Gy to the whole breast in 25 fractions, with 3D-CRT were selected. The FiF-FP-IMRT plans were created by combining two open fields with three to four segments in two tangential beam directions. Eight different beam directions were chosen to create IP-IMRT plans and were inversely optimized. The homogeneity of dose to planning target volume (PTV) and the dose delivered to heart and contralateral breast were compared among the techniques in all the 20 patients. All the three radiotherapy techniques achieved comparable radiation dose delivery to PTV-95% of the prescribed dose covering > 95% of the breast PTV. The mean volume of PTV receiving 105% (V105) of the prescribed dose was 1.7% (range 0-6.8%) for IP-IMRT, 1.9% for FP-IMRT, and 3.7% for 3D-CRT. The homogeneity and conformity indices (HI and CI) were similar for 3D-CRT and FP-IMRT, whereas the IP-IMRT plans had better conformity index at the cost of less homogeneity. The 3D-CRT and FiF-FP-IMRT plans achieved similar sparing of critical organs. The low-dose volumes (V5Gy) in the heart and lungs were larger in IP-IMRT than in the other techniques. The value of the mean dose to the ipsilateral lung was higher for IP-IMRT than the values for with FiF-FP-IMRT and 3D-CRT. In the current study, the relative volume of contralateral breast receiving low doses (0.01, 0.6, 1, and 2Gy) was significantly lower for the FiF-FP-IMRT and 3D-CRT plans than for the IP-IMRT plan. Compared with 3D-CRT and IP-IMRT, FiF-FP-IMRT proved to be a simple and efficient planning technique for breast irradiation. It provided dosimetric advantages, significantly reducing the size of the hot spot and minimally improving the coverage of the target volume. In addition, it was felt that FiF-FP-IMRT required less planning time and easy field placements.
Breast cancer; contralateral breast; field in field breast plan; intensity-modulated radiation therapy
Background and Purpose
To investigate combining unmodulated electron beams with intensity-modulated radiation therapy to improve dose distributions for superficial head and neck cancers, and to compare mixed beam plans with helical tomotherapy.
Materials and methods
Mixed beam and helical tomotherapy dose plans were developed for two patients with parotid gland tumors and two patients with nasal cavity tumors. Mixed beam plans consisted of various weightings of a enface electron beam and IMRT, which was optimized after calculation of the electron dose to compensate for heterogeneity in the electron dose distribution within the target volume.
Helical tomotherapy plans showed dose conformity and homogeneity in the target volume that was equal to or better than the mixed beam plans. Electron-only plans tended to show the lowest doses to normal tissues, but with markedly worse dose conformity and homogeneity than in the other plans. However, adding a 20% IMRT dose fraction (i.e., IMRT:electron weighting = 1:4) to the electron plan restored target conformity and homogeneity to values comparable to helical tomotherapy plans, while maintaining lower normal tissue dose.
Mixed beam treatments offer some dosimetric advantages over IMRT or helical tomotherapy for target depths that do not exceed the useful range of the electron beam. Adding a small IMRT component (e.g., IMRT:electron weighting = 1:4) to electron beam plans markedly improved target dose homogeneity and conformity for the cases examined in this study.
electron beam therapy; intensity modulated radiation therapy; helical tomotherapy; mixed beam therapy; head and neck cancer
To investigate the clinical usage of dose verification of Helical Tomotherapy plans by using 2D-array ion chambers, and to develop an efficient way to validate the dose delivered for the patients during treatments.
Materials and Methods:
A pixel-segmented ionisation chamber device, IMRT MatriXX™ and Multicube™ phantom from IBA were used on ten selected Tomotherapy IMRT/IGRT head and neck plans in this study. The combined phantom was set up to measure the dose distribution from coronal and sagittal planes. The setup of phantom was guided for verifying the correction position by pre-treatment Tomotherapy MVCT images. After the irradiation, the measured dose distributions of coronal and sagittal planes were compared with those from calculation by the planning system for cross verification. The results were evaluated by the absolute and relative doses as well as Gamma (γ) function. The feasibility of the different measuring methods was studied for this rotational treatment technique.
The dose distributions measured by the MatriXX 2D array were in good agreements with plans calculated by Tomotherapy planning system. The discrepancy between the measured dose and predicted dose in the selected points was within ±3%. In the comparison of the pixel-segmented ionisation chamber versus treatment planning system using the 3 mm/3% γ-function criteria, the mean passing rates of 2 mm dose grid with γ-parameter ≤1 were 97.37% and 96.91%, in two orthogonal planes (coronal and sagittal directions), respectively.
MatriXX with Multicube is a new system created for rotational delivery quality assurance (QA) and found to be reliable to measure both absolute dose and relative dose distributions, simultaneously. It achieves the goal of an efficient and accurate dosimetry validation method of the helical delivery pattern for the Helical Tomotherapy IMRT planning.
Tomotherapy; dose verification; IMRT; radiation therapy; QA
The aim of this study was to compare three-dimensional (3D) conformal radiotherapy and the two different forms of IMRT in lung cancer radiotherapy.
Cases of four lung cancer patients were investigated by developing a 3D conformal treatment plan, a linac MLC-based step-and-shoot IMRT plan and an HT plan for each case. With the use of the complication-free tumour control probability (P+) index and the uniform dose concept as the common prescription point of the plans, the different treatment plans were compared based on radiobiological measures.
The applied plan evaluation method shows the MLC-based IMRT and the HT treatment plans are almost equivalent over the clinically useful dose prescription range; however, the 3D conformal plan inferior. At the optimal dose levels, the 3D conformal treatment plans give an average P+ of 48.1% for a effective uniform dose to the internal target volume (ITV) of 62.4 Gy, whereas the corresponding MLC-based IMRT treatment plans are more effective by an average ΔP+ of 27.0% for a Δ effective uniform dose of 16.3 Gy. Similarly, the HT treatment plans are more effective than the 3D-conformal plans by an average ΔP+ of 23.8% for a Δ effective uniform dose of 11.6 Gy.
A radiobiological treatment plan evaluation can provide a closer association of the delivered treatment with the clinical outcome by taking into account the dose–response relations of the irradiated tumours and normal tissues. The use of P – effective uniform dose diagrams can complement the traditional tools of evaluation to compare and effectively evaluate different treatment plans.
High grade gliomas (HGG) are typically treated with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Three dimensional (3D) conformal radiotherapy treatment planning is still the main stay of treatment for these patients. New treatment planning methods suggest better dose distributions and organ sparing but their clinical benefit is unclear. The purpose of the current study was to compare normal tissue sparing and tumor coverage using four different radiotherapy planning methods in patients with high grade glioma.
Three dimensional conformal (3D), sequential boost IMRT, integrated boost (IB) IMRT and Tomotherapy (TOMO) treatment plans were generated for 20 high grade glioma patients. T1 and T2 MRI abnormalities were used to define GTV and CTV with 2 and 2.5 cm margins to define PTV1 and PTV2 respectively.
The mean dose to PTV2 but not to PTV1 was less then 95% of the prescribed dose with IB and IMRT plans. The mean doses to the optic chiasm and the ipsilateral globe were highest with 3D plans and least with IB plans. The mean dose to the contralateral globe was highest with TOMO plans. The mean of the integral dose (ID) to the brain was least with the IB plan and was lower with IMRT compared to 3D plans. The TOMO plans had the least mean D10 to the normal brain but higher mean D50 and D90 compared to IB and IMRT plans. The mean D10 and D50 but not D90 were significantly lower with the IMRT plans compared to the 3D plans.
No single treatment planning method was found to be superior to all others and a personalized approach is advised for planning and treating high-grade glioma patients with radiotherapy. Integral dose did not reflect accurately the dose volume histogram (DVH) of the normal brain and may not be a good indicator of delayed radiation toxicity.
Test the feasibility of a planned phase I study of image-guided adaptive radiotherapy in locally advanced lung cancer.
Methods and Materials
Weekly 4D FBCTs of ten lung cancer patients undergoing concurrent radiochemotherapy were used to simulate adaptive radiotherapy: After an initial IMRT plan (0–30 Gy/2 Gy), adaptive replanning was performed on week 2 (30 to 50 Gy/2 Gy) and week 4 scans (50 to 66 Gy/2 Gy) to adjust for volume and shape changes of primary tumors and lymph nodes. Week 2 and 4 clinical target volumes (CTV) were deformably warped from the initial planning scan to adjust for anatomical changes. On week 4 scan a simultaneous integrated volume-adapted boost was created to the shrunken PT with dose increases in five 0.4 Gy steps from 66 Gy to 82 Gy in two scenarios: Plan A. lung isotoxicity and B. normal tissue tolerance. Cumulative dose was assessed by deformably mapping and accumulating biologically equivalent dose normalized to 2 Gy-fractions (EQD2).
The 82 Gy level was achieved in 1/10 patients in scenario A resulting in a 13.4 Gy EQD2 increase and a 22.1% increase in tumor control probability (TCP) compared to the 66 Gy plan. In scenario B, 2 patients reached the 82 Gy level with a 13.9 Gy EQD2 and 23.4% TCP increase.
The tested IGART strategy enabled relevant increases in EQD2 and TCP. Normal tissue was often dose limiting, indicating a need to modify the present study design prior to clinical implementation.
The aim of this study was to compare patient-specific radiobiological parameters with population averages in predicting the clinical outcome after radiotherapy (RT) using a tumour control probability (TCP) model based on the biological effective dose (BED).
A previously published study of 46 head and neck carcinomas with individually identified radiobiological parameters, radiosensitivity and potential doubling time (Tpot), and known tumour size was investigated. These patients had all been treated with external beam RT, and the majority had also received brachytherapy. The TCP for each individual based on the BED using patient-specific radiobiological parameters was compared with the TCP based on the BED using average radiobiological parameters (α=0.3 Gy−1, Tpot=3 days).
43 patients remained in the final analysis. There was only a weak trend for increasing local tumour control with increasing BED in both groups. However, when the TCP was calculated, the use of patient-specific parameters was better for identifying local control correctly. The sensitivity and specificity for tumour-specific parameters were 63% and 80%, respectively. The corresponding values for population-based averages were 0% and 91%, respectively. The positive predictive value was 92% when tumour-specific parameters were used compared with 0% for population-based averages. A receiver operating characteristic curve confirmed the superiority of patient-specific parameters over population averages in predicting local control.
Individual radiobiological parameters are better than population-derived averages when used in a mathematical model to predict TCP after curative RT in head and neck carcinomas.
Advances in knowledge:
TCP based on individual radiobiological parameters is better than TCP based on population-based averages for identifying local control correctly.
Radiotherapy in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (HL) is currently evolving with new attempts to further reduce radiation volumes to the involved-node concept (Involved Nodes Radiation Therapy, INRT) and with the use of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Currently, IMRT can be planned and delivered with several techniques, and its role is not completely clear. We designed a planning study on a typical dataset drawn from clinical routine with the aim of comparing different IMRT solutions in terms of plan quality and treatment delivery efficiency.
A total of 10 young female patients affected with early stage mediastinal HL and treated with 30 Gy INRT after ABVD-based chemotherapy were selected from our database. Five different treatment techniques were compared: 3D-CRT, VMAT (single arc), B-VMAT (“butterfly”, multiple arcs), Helical Tomotherapy (HT) and Tomodirect (TD). Beam energy was 6 MV, and all IMRT planning solutions were optimized by inverse planning with specific dose-volume constraints on OAR (breasts, lungs, thyroid gland, coronary ostia, heart). Dose-Volume Histograms (DVHs) and Conformity Number (CN) were calculated and then compared, both for target and OAR by a statistical analysis (Wilcoxon’s Test).
PTV coverage was reached for all plans (V95% ≥ 95%); highest mean CN were obtained with HT (0.77) and VMAT (0.76). B-VMAT showed intermediate CN mean values (0.67), while the lowest CN were obtained with TD (0.30) and 3D-CRT techniques (0.30). A trend of inverse correlation between higher CN and larger healthy tissues volumes receiving low radiation doses was shown for lungs and breasts. For thyroid gland and heart/coronary ostia, HT, VMAT and B-VMAT techniques allowed a better sparing in terms of both Dmean and volumes receiving intermediate-high doses compared to 3D-CRT and TD.
IMRT techniques showed superior target coverage and OAR sparing, with, as an expected consequence, larger volumes of healthy tissues (lungs, breasts) receiving low doses. Among the different IMRT techniques, HT and VMAT showed higher levels of conformation; B-VMAT and HT emerged as the planning solutions able to achieve the most balanced compromise between higher conformation around the target and smaller volumes of OAR exposed to lower doses (typical of 3D-CRT).
Dosimetric comparisons between RapidArc (RA) and conventional Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) techniques for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were performed to address differences in dose coverage of the target, sparing of organs-at-risk (OARs), delivery of monitor units (MUs) and time, to assess whether the RA technique was more beneficial for treatment of NPC. Eight NPC patients (Stages I–IV), who had completed RA treatment, were selected for this study. Computed tomography data sets were re-planned using 7-fields fixed beam IMRT. Quantitative measurements of dose-endpoint values on the dose-volume histograms were carried out for evaluation of: (i) dose homogeneity (D5% – D95%); (ii) degree of conformity (CI95%); (iii) tumor control probability (TCP); (iv) doses to OARs; (v) normal tissue complication probability (NTCP); (vi) treatment time; and (vii) MUs. RA plans achieved better dose conformity and TCP in planning target volumes (PTVs). Target dose homogeneity was not as high as for IMRT plans. Doses to tempero-mandibular joints, clavicles, parotid glands and posterior neck, and their NTCPs were significantly lower in RA plans (P < 0.05). Mean doses to the brainstem and spinal cord were slightly lower in IMRT plans. RA plans allowed for a mean reduction in MUs by 78% (P = 0.006), and a four-fold reduction in treatment delivery times, relative to IMRT plans. RA plans showed superior, or comparable, target coverage and dose conformity in PTVs, but at the expense of inferior dose homogeneity. RA plans also achieved significant improvements in dose reduction to OARs and healthy tissue sparing. A significant reduction in treatment delivery time for RA treatment technique was also noted.
nasopharyngeal carcinoma; RapidArc; IMRT; dosimetry; planning
Whole pelvis intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is increasingly being used to treat cervical cancer aiming to reduce side effects. Encouraged by this, some groups have proposed the use of simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) to target the tumor, either to get a higher tumoricidal effect or to replace brachytherapy. Nevertheless, physiological organ movement and rapid tumor regression throughout treatment might substantially reduce any benefit of this approach.
To evaluate the clinical target volume - simultaneous integrated boost (CTV-SIB) regression and motion during chemo-radiotherapy (CRT) for cervical cancer, and to monitor treatment progress dosimetrically and volumetrically to ensure treatment goals are met.
Methods and materials
Ten patients treated with standard doses of CRT and brachytherapy were retrospectively re-planned using a helical Tomotherapy - SIB technique for the hypothetical scenario of this feasibility study. Target and organs at risk (OAR) were contoured on deformable fused planning-computed tomography and megavoltage computed tomography images. The CTV-SIB volume regression was determined. The center of mass (CM) was used to evaluate the degree of motion. The Dice’s similarity coefficient (DSC) was used to assess the spatial overlap of CTV-SIBs between scans. A cumulative dose-volume histogram modeled estimated delivered doses.
The CTV-SIB relative reduction was between 31 and 70%. The mean maximum CM change was 12.5, 9, and 3 mm in the superior-inferior, antero-posterior, and right-left dimensions, respectively. The CTV-SIB-DSC approached 1 in the first week of treatment, indicating almost perfect overlap. CTV-SIB-DSC regressed linearly during therapy, and by the end of treatment was 0.5, indicating 50% discordance. Two patients received less than 95% of the prescribed dose. Much higher doses to the OAR were observed. A multiple regression analysis showed a significant interaction between CTV-SIB reduction and OAR dose increase.
The CTV-SIB had important regression and motion during CRT, receiving lower therapeutic doses than expected. The OAR had unpredictable shifts and received higher doses. The use of SIB without frequent adaptation of the treatment plan exposes cervical cancer patients to an unpredictable risk of under-dosing the target and/or overdosing adjacent critical structures. In that scenario, brachytherapy continues to be the gold standard approach.
Cervical cancer; IMRT-tomotherapy; Simultaneous integrated boost; SIB; Organ motion
Background and Purpose
Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging with [F-18] fluoromisonidazole (FMISO) has been validated as a hypoxic tracer [1, 2]. Head and neck cancer exhibits hypoxia, inducing aggressive biologic traits that impart resistance to treatment. Delivery of modestly higher radiation doses to tumors with stable areas of chronic hypoxia can improve tumor control . Advanced radiation treatment planning (RTP) and delivery techniques such as Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) can deliver higher doses to a small volume without increasing morbidity. We investigated the utility of co-registered FMISO-PET and CT images to develop clinically feasible RTPs with higher tumor control probabilities (TCP).
FMISO-PET images were used to determine hypoxic sub-volumes for boost planning. Example plans were generated for ten of the patients in the study who exhibited significant hypoxia. We created an IMRT plan for each patient with a simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) to the hypoxic sub-volumes. We also varied the boost for two patients.
A significant (mean 17%, median 15%) improvement in TCP is predicted when the modest additional boost dose to the hypoxic sub-volume is included.
Combined FMISO-PET imaging and IMRT planning permits delivery of higher doses to hypoxic regions, increasing the predicted TCP (mean 17%) without increasing expected complications.
Hypoxia; FDG-PET; IMRT; FMISO-PET
To examine the feasibility of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) for post mastectomy radiotherapy (PMRT).
Methods and materials
Fifteen PMRT patients previously treated at our clinic with helical tomotherapy (HT) were identified for the study. Planning target volumes (PTV) included the chest wall and regional lymph nodes. A systematic approach to constructing VMAT that met the clinical goals was devised. VMAT plans were then constructed for each patient and compared with HT plans with which they had been treated. The resulting plans were compared on the basis of PTV coverage; dose homogeneity index (DHI) and conformity index (CI); dose to organs at risk (OAR); tumor control probability (TCP), normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and secondary cancer complication probability (SCCP); and treatment delivery time. Differences were tested for significance using the paired Student’s t-test.
Both modalities produced clinically acceptable PMRT plans. VMAT plans showed better CI (p < 0.01) and better OAR sparing at low doses than HT plans, particularly at doses less than 5 Gy. On the other hand, HT plans showed better DHI (p < 0.01) and showed better OAR sparing at higher doses. Both modalities achieved nearly 100% tumor control probability and approximately 1% NTCP in the lungs and heart. VMAT showed lower SCCP than HT (p < 0.01), though both plans showed higher SCCP values than conventional mixed beam (electron-photon) plans reported by our group previously. VMAT plans required 66.2% less time to deliver than HT.
Both VMAT and HT provide acceptable treatment plans for PMRT. Both techniques are currently utilized at our institution.
Volumetric modulated arc therapy; Helical tomotherapy; Post mastectomy
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is the most common treatment technique for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Physical quantities such as dose/dose-volume parameters are used conventionally for IMRT optimization. The use of biological related models has been proposed and can be a new trend. This work was to assess the performance of the biologically based IMRT optimization model installed in a popular commercial treatment planning system (Eclipse) as compared to its dose/dose volume optimization model when employed in the clinical environment for NPC cases.
Ten patients of early stage NPC and ten of advanced stage NPC were selected for this study. IMRT plans optimized using biological related approach (BBTP) were compared to their corresponding plans optimized using the dose/dose volume based approach (DVTP). Plan evaluation was performed using both biological indices and physical dose indices such as tumor control probability (TCP), normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), target coverage, conformity, dose homogeneity and doses to organs at risk. The comparison results of the more complex advanced stage cases were reported separately from those of the simpler early stage cases.
The target coverage and conformity were comparable between the two approaches, with BBTP plans producing more hot spots. For the primary targets, BBTP plans produced comparable TCP for the early stage cases and higher TCP for the advanced stage cases. BBTP plans reduced the volume of parotid glands receiving doses of above 40 Gy compared to DVTP plans. The NTCP of parotid glands produced by BBTP were 8.0±5.8 and 7.9±8.7 for early and advanced stage cases, respectively, while those of DVTP were 21.3±8.3 and 24.4±12.8, respectively. There were no significant differences in the NTCP values between the two approaches for the serial organs.
Our results showed that the BBTP approach could be a potential alternative approach to the DVTP approach for NPC.
Background and purposes
To compare the dosimetry for the left-sided breast cancer treatment using five different radiotherapy techniques.
Materials and methods
Twenty patients with left sided breast cancer were treated with conservative surgery followed by radiotherapy. They were planned using five different radiotherapy techniques, including: 1) conventional tangential wedge-based fields (TW); 2) field-in-field (FIF) technique; 3) tangential inverse planning intensity-modulated radiation therapy (T-IMRT); 4) multi-field IMRT (M-IMRT); and 5) volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). The CTV, PTV and OARs including the heart, the regions of coronary artery (CA), the contralateral breast, the left and right lung were delineated. The PTV dose was prescribed 50Gy and V47.5≥95%. Same dose constraint was used for all five plans. The planned volumetric dose of PTV and PRV-OARs were compared and analyzed.
Except VMAT (Average V47.5 was 94.72%±1.2%), all the other four plans were able to meet the V95% (V47.5) requirement. T-IMRT plan improved the PTV dose homogeneity index (HI) by 0.02 and 0.03 when compared to TW plan and VMAT plan, and decreased the V5, V10 and V20 of all PRV-OARs. However, the high dose volume (≥ 30Gy) of the PRV-OARs in T-IMRT plan had no statistically significant difference compared with the other two inverse plans. In all five plans, the dose volume of coronary artery area showed a strong correlation to the dose volume of the heart (the correlation coefficients were 0.993, 0.996, 1.000, 0.995 and 0.986 respectively).
Compared to other techniques, the T-IMRT technology reduced radiation dose exposure to normal tissues and maintained reasonable target homogeneity, VMAT is not recommended for left-sided breast cancer treatment. In five techniques, the dose-volume histogram (DVH) of the heart can be used to predict the dose-volume histogram (DVH) of the coronary artery.
Left sided breast cancer; IMRT; Dosimetry; DVH
To estimate the benefit of introduction of image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) to prostate radiotherapy practice with current clinical target volume–planning target volume (PTV) margins of 5–10 mm.
Systematic error data collected from 50 patients were used together with a random error of σ=3.0 mm to model non-IGRT treatment. IGRT was modelled with residual errors of Σ=σ=1.5 mm. Population tumour control probability (TCPpop) was calculated for two three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy techniques: two-phase and concomitant boost. Treatment volumes and dose prescriptions were ostensibly the same. The relative field sizes of the treatment techniques, distribution of systematic errors and correlations between movement axes were examined.
The differences in TCPpop between the IGRT and non-IGRT regimes were 0.3% for the two-phase and 1.5% for the concomitant boost techniques. A 2-phase plan, in each phase of which the 95% isodose conformed to its respective PTV, required fields that were 3.5 mm larger than those required for the concomitant boost plan. Despite the larger field sizes, the TCP (without IGRT) in the two-phase plan was only 1.7% higher than the TCP in the concomitant boost plan. The deviation of craniocaudal systematic errors (p=0.02) from a normal distribution, and the correlation of translations in the craniocaudal and anteroposterior directions (p<0.0001) were statistically significant.
The expected population benefit of IGRT for the modelled situation was too small to be detected by a clinical trial of reasonable size, although there was a significant benefit to individual patients. For IGRT to have an observable population benefit, the trial would need to use smaller margins than those used in this study. Concomitant treatment techniques permit smaller fields and tighter conformality than two phases planned separately.