Dosimetric evaluations of single and multiple liver tumours performed using intensity-modulated helical tomotherapy (HT) were quantitatively investigated. Step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiotherapy (SaS-IMRT) was used as a benchmark.
Sixteen patients separated into two groups with primary hepatocellular carcinomas or metastatic liver tumours previously treated using SaS-IMRT were examined and re-planned by HT. The dosimetric indices used included the conformity index (CI) and homogeneity index (HI) for the planned target volume (PTV), max/mean dose, quality index (QI), normal tissue complication probability (NTCP), V30 Gy, and V50% for the specified organs at risk (OARs). The monitor units per fraction (MU/fr) and delivery time were also analysed.
For the single tumour group, both planning systems satisfied the required PTV prescription, but no statistical significance was shown by the indexes checking. A shorter delivery time and lower MU/fr value were achieved by the SaS-IMRT. For the group of multiple tumours, the average improvement in CI and HI was 14% and 4% for HT versus SaS-IMRT, respectively. Lower V50%, V30 Gy and QI values were found, indicating a significant dosimetric gain in HT. The NTCP value of the normal liver was 20.27 ± 13.29% for SaS-IMRT and 2.38 ± 2.25% for HT, indicating fewer tissue complications following HT. The latter also required a shorter delivery time.
Our study suggests dosimetric benefits of HT over SaS-IMRT plans in the case of multiple liver tumours, especially with regards sparing of OARs. No significant dosimetric difference was revealed in the case of single liver tumour, but SaS-IMRT showed better efficiency in terms of MU/fr and delivery time.
Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is the standard of care in the treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) based on level 1 evidence. Technical advances in radiotherapy have revolutionized the treatment of HNSCC, with the most tangible gain being a reduction in long term morbidity. However, these benefits come with a serious and sobering price. Today, there is a greater chance of missing the target/tumor due to uncertainties in target volume definition by the clinician that is demanded by the highly conformal planning process involved with IMRT. Unless this is urgently addressed, our patients would be better served with the historically practiced non conformal radiotherapy, than IMRT which promises lesser morbidity. Image guided radiotherapy (IGRT) ensures the level of set up accuracy warranted to deliver a highly conformal treatment plan and should be utilized with IMRT, where feasible. Proton therapy has a theoretical physical advantage over photon therapy due to a lack of “exit dose”. However, clinical data supporting the routine use of this technology for HNSCC are currently sparse. The purpose of this article is to review the literature, discuss the salient issues and make recommendations that address the gaps in knowledge.
This study aimed to establish the feasibility of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in craniospinal irradiation (CSI) using conventional linear accelerator (IMRT_LA) and compare it dosimetrically with helical TomoTherapy (IMRT_Tomo) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT). CT datasets of four previously treated patients with medulloblastoma were used to generate 3DCRT, IMRT_LA and IMRT_Tomo plans. A CSI dose of 35 Gy was prescribed to the planning target volume (PTV). IMRT_LA plans for tall patients were generated using an intensity feathering technique. All plans were compared dosimetrically using standardised parameters. The mean volume of each PTV receiving at least 95% of the prescribed dose (V95%) was >98% for all plans. All plans resulted in a comparable dose homogeneity index (DHI) for PTV_brain. For PTV_spine, IMRT_Tomo achieved the highest mean DHI of 0.96, compared with 0.91 for IMRT_LA and 0.84 for 3DCRT. The best dose conformity index was achieved by IMRT_Tomo for PTV_brain (0.96) and IMRT_LA for PTV_spine (0.83). The IMRT_Tomo plan was superior in terms of reduction of the maximum, mean and integral doses to almost all organs at risk (OARs). It also reduced the volume of each OAR irradiated to various dose levels, except for the lowest dose volume. The beam-on time was significantly longer in IMRT_Tomo. In conclusion, IMRT_Tomo for CSI is technically easier and potentially dosimetrically favourable compared with IMRT_LA and 3DCRT. IMRT for CSI can also be realised on a conventional linear accelerator even for spinal lengths exceeding maximum allowable field sizes. The longer beam-on time in IMRT_Tomo raises concerns about intrafraction motion and whole-body integral doses.
In a previous report, we compared the conformity of robust intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) plans with that of helical tomotherapy plans for re-irradiations of head and neck carcinomas using a fixed set-up error of 2 mm. Here, we varied the maximum set-up errors between 0 and 5 mm and compared the robust IMPT-plans with planning target volume (PTV) based intensity-modulated photon therapy (IMRT).
Seven patients were treated with a PTV-based tomotherapy plan. Set-up margins of 0, 2, and 5 mm were subtracted from the PTV to generate target volumes (TV) TV0mm, TV2mm, and TV5mm, for which robust IMPT-plans were created assuming range uncertainties of ±3.5% and using worst case optimization assuming set-up errors of 0, 2, and 5 mm, respectively. Robust optimization makes use of the feature that set-up errors in beam direction alone do not affect the distal and proximal margin for that beam. With increasing set-up errors, the body volumes that were exposed to a selected minimum dose level between 20% and 95% of the prescribed dose decreased. In IMPT-plans with 0 mm set-up error, the exposed body volumes were on average 6.2% ± 0.9% larger than for IMPT-plans with 2 mm set-up error, independent of the considered dose level (p < 0.0001, F-test). In IMPT-plans accounting for 5 mm set-up error, the exposed body volumes were by 11.9% ± 0.8% smaller than for IMPT-plans with 2 mm set-up error at a fixed minimum dose (p < 0.0001, F-test). This set-up error dependence of the normal tissue exposure around the TV in robust IMPT-plans corresponding to the same IMRT-plan led to a decrease in the mean dose to the temporal lobes and the cerebellum, and in the D2% of the brain stem or spinal cord with increasing set-up errors considered during robust IMPT-planning.
For recurrent head and neck cancer, robust IMPT-plan optimization led to a decrease in normal tissue exposure with increasing set-up error for target volumes corresponding to the same PTV.
Intensity modulated proton therapy; IMPT; Robust optimization; Head and neck cancer; Re-irradiation
A toolkit (BEUDcal) has been developed for evaluating the effectiveness
and for predicting the outcome of treatment plans by calculating the
biologically effective uniform dose (BEUD) and complication-free tumor control
probability. The input for the BEUDcal is the differential dose-volume
histograms of organs exported from the treatment planning system. A clinical
database is built for the dose-response parameters of different tumors and
normal tissues. Dose-response probabilities of all the examined organs are
illustrated together with the corresponding BEUDs and the
P+ values. Furthermore, BEUDcal is able to
generate a report that simultaneously presents the radiobiological evaluation
together with the physical dose indices, showing the complementary relation
between the physical and radiobiological treatment plan analysis performed by
BEUDcal. Comparisons between treatment plans for helical tomotherapy and
multileaf collimator-based intensity modulated radiotherapy of a lung patient
were demonstrated to show the versatility of BEUDcal in the assessment and
report of dose-response relations.
Biologically effective uniform dose; helical tomotherapy; treatment planning; radiobiological objectives
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
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows optimization of radiation dose delivery to complex tumor volumes with rapid dose drop-off to surrounding normal tissues. A prospective study was performed to evaluate the concept of conformal avoidance using IMRT in canine sinonasal cancer. The potential of IMRT to improve clinical outcome with respect to acute and late ocular toxicity was evaluated. Thirty-one dogs with sinonasal cancer were treated definitively with IMRT using helical tomotherapy and/or dynamic multileaf collimator (DMLC) delivery. Ocular toxicity was evaluated prospectively and compared to a comparable group of historical controls treated with conventional two-dimensional radiotherapy (2D-RT) techniques. Treatment plans were devised for each dog using helical tomotherapy and DMLC that achieved the target dose to the planning treatment volume and limited critical normal tissues to the prescribed dose-volume constraints. Overall acute and late toxicities were limited and minor, detectable by an experienced observer. This was in contrast to the profound ocular morbidity observed in the historical control group treated with 2D-RT. Overall median survival for IMRT treated and 2D treated dogs was 420 days and 411 days, respectively. Compared with conventional techniques, IMRT reduced dose delivered to eyes and resulted in bilateral ocular sparing in the dogs reported herein. These data provide proof-of-principle that conformal avoidance radiotherapy can be delivered through high conformity IMRT, resulting in decreased normal tissue toxicity as compared to historical controls treated with 2D-RT.
Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is increasingly being used to treat head and neck cancer cases.
We discuss the clinical challenges associated with the setting up of an image guided intensity modulated radiotherapy service for a subset of head and neck cancer patients, using a recently commissioned helical tomotherapy (HT) Hi Art (Tomotherapy Inc, WI) machine in this article. We also discuss the clinical aspects of the tomotherapy planning process, treatment and image guidance experiences for the first 10 head and neck cancer cases. The concepts of geographical miss along with tomotherapy-specific effects, including that of field width and megavoltage CT (MVCT) imaging strategy, have been highlighted using the first 10 head and neck cases treated.
There is a need for effective streamlining of all aspects of the service to ensure compliance with cancer waiting time targets. We discuss how patient toxicity audits are crucial to guide refinement of the newly set-up planning dose constraints.
This article highlights the important clinical issues one must consider when setting up a head and neck IMRT, image-guided radiotherapy service. It shares some of the clinical challenges we have faced during the setting up of a tomotherapy service. Implementation of a clinical tomotherapy service requires a multidisciplinary team approach and relies heavily on good team working and effective communication between different staff groups.
For the head-and-neck cancer bilateral irradiation, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is the most reported technique as it enables both target dose coverage and organ-at-risk (OAR) sparing. However, during the last 20 years, three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) techniques have been introduced, which are tailored to improve the classic shrinking field technique, as regards both planning target volume (PTV) dose conformality and sparing of OAR’s, such as parotid glands and spinal cord. In this study, we tested experimentally in a sample of 13 patients, four of these advanced 3DCRT techniques, all using photon beams only and a unique isocentre, namely Bellinzona, Forward-Planned Multisegments (FPMS), ConPas, and field-in-field (FIF) techniques. Statistical analysis of the main dosimetric parameters of PTV and OAR’s DVH’s as well as of homogeneity and conformity indexes was carried out in order to compare the performance of each technique. The results show that the PTV dose coverage is adequate for all the techniques, with the FPMS techniques providing the highest value for D95%; on the other hand, the best sparing of parotid glands is achieved using the FIF and ConPas techniques, with a mean dose of 26 Gy to parotid glands for a PTV prescription dose of 54 Gy. After taking into account both PTV coverage and parotid sparing, the best global performance was achieved by the FIF technique with results comparable to that of IMRT plans. This technique can be proposed as a valid alternative when IMRT equipment is not available or patient is not suitable for IMRT treatment.
Head and neck; 3DCRT techniques; dosimetric comparison
Radiotherapy techniques have evolved rapidly over the last decade with the introduction of Intensity Modulated RadioTherapy (IMRT) in different forms. It is not clear which of the IMRT techniques is superior in the treatment of head and neck cancer patients in terms of coverage of the planning target volumes (PTVs), sparing the organs at risk (OARs), dose to the normal tissue, number of monitor units needed and delivery time.
The present paper aims to compare Step and Shoot (SS) IMRT, Sliding Window (SW) IMRT, RapidArc (RA) planned with Eclipse, Elekta VMAT planned with SmartArc (SA) and helical TomoHDTM (HT).
Target volumes and organs at risk (OARs) of five patients with oropharyngeal cancer were delineated on contrast enhanced CT-scans, then treatment plans were generated on five different IMRT systems. In 32 fractions, 69.12 Gy and 56 Gy were planned to the therapeutic and prophylactic PTVs, respectively. For the PTVs and 26 OARs ICRU 83 reporting guidelines were followed. Differences in the studied parameters between treatment planning systems were analysed using repeated measures ANOVA.
Mean Homogeneity Index of PTVtherapeutic is better with HT(.06) followed by SA(.08), RA(.10), SW(.10) and SS(.11). PTVprophylactic is most homogeneous with RA. Parotid glands prescribed mean doses are only obtained by SA and HT, 20.6 Gy and 21.7 Gy for the contralateral and 25.6 Gy and 24.1 Gy for the ipsilateral, against 25.6 Gy and 32.0 Gy for RA, 26.4 Gy and 34.6 Gy for SW, and 28.2 Gy and 34.0 Gy for SS. RA uses the least monitor units, HT the most. Treatment times are 3.05 min for RA, and 5.9 min for SA and HT.
In the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer, we consider rotational IMRT techniques preferable to fixed gantry techniques due to faster fraction delivery and better sparing of OARs without a higher integral dose. TomoHD gives most homogeneous target coverage with more sparing of spinal cord, brainstem, parotids and the lower swallowing apparatus than most of the other systems. Between RA and SA, SA gives a more homogeneous PTVtherapeutic while sparing the parotids more, but the delivery of RA is twice as fast with less overdose to the PTVelective.
Head-and-neck cancer; IMRT; Dosimetrical comparison
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
To model the possible interaction between cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiation dose distribution with respect to the risk of radiation pneumonitis (RP).
Methods and materials
Eighteen non-small cell lung cancer patients previously treated with helical tomotherapy at the University of Wisconsin were selected for this modeling study. Three treatment plans were considered in the study: (1) the delivered tomotherapy plans; (2) a 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) plan; and (3) a fixed field intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plan. The IMRT and 3D-CRT plans were generated specifically for this study. Plans were optimized without adjusting for the chemotherapy effect. The effect of chemotherapy was modeled as an independent cell killing process by considering a uniform chemotherapy equivalent radiation dose (CERD) added to all voxels of the organ at risk. Risk of radiation pneumonitis was estimated for all plans using the Lyman and the Critical Volume models.
For radiation therapy alone, the Critical Volume model predicts that the two IMRT plans are associated with a lower risk of RP than the 3D-CRT plan. However, when the CERD exceeds a certain threshold, the RP risk after IMRT is higher than after 3D-CRT. This threshold dose is in the range estimated from clinical chemo-radiation data sets.
Cytotoxic chemotherapy may affect the relative merit of competing radiation therapy plans. More work is needed to improve our understanding of the interaction between chemotherapy and radiation dose distribution in clinical settings.
radiation therapy; chemotherapy; pneumonitis risk; functional damage model; Lyman model
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
To establish recurrence patterns among locally advanced head and neck non-nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients treated with radical (chemo-) radiotherapy and to correlate the sites of loco-regional recurrence with radiotherapy doses and target volumes
151 locally advanced HNSCC patients were treated between 2004-2005 using radical three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy. Patients with prior surgery to the primary tumour site were excluded. The sites of locoregional relapses were correlated with radiotherapy plans by the radiologist and a planning dosimetrist.
Median age was 59 years (range:34-89). 35 patients had stage III disease, 116 patients had stage IV A/B. 36 patients were treated with radiotherapy alone, 42 with induction chemotherapy, 63 with induction and concomitant chemoradiotherapy and 10 concomitant chemoradiotherapy. Median follow-up was 38 months (range 3-62). 3-year cause specific survival was 66.8%. 125 of 151 (82.8%) achieved a complete response to treatment. Amongst these 125 there were 20 local-regional recurrence, comprising 8 local, 5 regional and 7 simultaneous local and regional; synchronous distant metastases occurred in 7 of the 20. 9 patients developed distant metastases in the absence of locoregional failure. For the 14 local recurrences with planning data available, 12 were in-field, 1 was marginal, and 1 was out-of-field. Of the 11 regional failures with planning data available, 7 were in-field, 1 was marginal and 3 were out-of-field recurrences.
The majority of failures following non-surgical treatment for locally advanced HNSCC were loco-regional, within the radiotherapy target volume. Improving locoregional control remains a high priority.
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
Helical Tomotherapy (HT) is a highly conformal image-guided radiation technique, introduced into clinical routine in 2006 at the Centro di Riferimento Oncologico Aviano (Italy). With this new technology, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is delivered using a helicoidal method. Here we present our dosimetric experiences using HT in 100 children, adolescents and young adults treated from May 2006 to February 2011. The median age of the patients was 13 years (range 1–24). The most common treated site was the central nervous system (50; of these, 24 were craniospinal irradiations), followed by thorax (22), head and neck (10), abdomen and pelvis (11), and limbs (7). The use of HT was calculated in accordance to the target dose conformation, the target size and shape, the dose to critical organs adjacent to the target, simultaneous treatment of multiple targets, and re-irradiation. HT has demonstrated to improve target volume dose homogeneity and the sparing of critical structures, when compared to 3D Linac-based radiotherapy (RT). In standard cases this technique represented a comparable alternative to IMRT delivered with conventional linear accelerator. In certain cases (e.g., craniospinal and pleural treatments) only HT generated adequate treatment plans with good target volume coverage. However, the gain in target conformality should be balanced with the spread of low-doses to distant areas. This remains an open issue for the potential risk of secondary malignancies (SMNs) and longer follow-up is mandatory.
paediatric oncology; helical tomotherapy; intensity modulated radiotherapy; 3D conventional radiotherapy; treatment planning; organs at risk; late effects; dose homogeneity
Background and Purpose
Various radiotherapy planning methods for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) have been proposed to decrease normal tissue toxicity. We compare IMRT, adaptive IMRT, proton therapy (IMPT), and adaptive IMPT for SCCHN.
Materials and Methods
Initial and re-simulation CT images from 10 consecutive patients with SCCHN were used to quantify dosimetric differences between photon and proton therapy. Contouring was performed on both CTs, and plans (n=40 plans) and dose volume histograms were generated.
The mean GTV volume decreased 53.4% with re-simulation. All plans provided comparable PTV coverage. Compared with IMRT, adaptive IMRT significantly reduced the maximum dose to the mandible (p=0.020) and mean doses to the contralateral parotid gland (p=0.049) and larynx (p=0.049). Compared with IMRT and adaptive IMRT, IMPT significantly lower the maximum doses to the spinal cord (p<0.002 for both) and brainstem (p<0.002 for both) and mean doses to the larynx (p<0.002 for both) and ipsilateral (p=0.004 IMRT, p=0.050 adaptive) and contralateral (p<0.002 IMRT, p=0.010 adaptive) parotid glands. Adaptive IMPT significantly reduced doses to all critical structures compared with IMRT and adaptive IMRT and several critical structures compared with non-adaptive IMPT.
Although adaptive IMRT reduced dose to several normal structures compared with standard IMRT, non-adaptive proton therapy had a more favorable dosimetric profile than IMRT or adaptive IMRT and may obviate the need for adaptive planning. Protons allowed significant sparing of the spinal cord, parotid glands, larynx, and brainstem and should be considered for SCCHN to decrease normal tissue toxicity while still providing optimal tumor coverage.
head and neck cancer; proton therapy; adaptive radiotherapy; IMRT; treatment planning
The preferential use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) over conventional radiotherapy (CRT) in the treatment of head and neck cancer has raised concerns regarding dose to non-target tissue. The purpose of this study was to compare dose-volume characteristics with the brachial plexus between treatment plans generated by IMRT and CRT using several common treatment scenarios.
The brachial plexus was delineated on radiation treatment planning CT scans from 10 patients undergoing IMRT for locally advanced head and neck cancer using a Radiation Therapy Oncology Group-endorsed atlas. No brachial plexus constraint was used. For each patient, a conventional three-g0ield shrinking-g0ield plan was generated and the dose-volume histogram (DVH) for the brachial plexus was compared with that of the IMRT plan.
The mean irradiated volumes of the brachial plexus using the IMRT vs the CRT plan, respectively, were as follows: V50 (18±5 ml) vs (11±6 ml), p = 0.01; V60 (6±4 ml) vs (3±3 ml), p = 0.02; V66 (3±1 ml) vs (1±1 ml), p = 0.04, V70 (0±1 ml) vs (0±1 ml), p = 0.68. The maximum point dose to the brachial plexus was 68.9 Gy (range 62.3–78.7 Gy) and 66.1 Gy (range 60.2–75.6 Gy) for the IMRT and CRT plans, respectively (p = 0.01).
Dose to the brachial plexus is significantly increased among patients undergoing IMRT compared with CRT for head and neck cancer. Preliminary studies on brachial plexus-sparing IMRT are in progress.
The role of radiotherapy in the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been limited to date, because the liver has a low tolerance to radiation. However, reconstructing tumors and surrounding organs via a three-dimensional conformal planning system can avoid excess radiotherapy exposure to the rest of the liver and adjacent organs. Recently, the concept of "adaptive radiotherapy," such as with helical tomotherapy, has been introduced for treating HCC. Helical tomotherapy obtains an image from the computed tomography component, which allows targeted regions to be visualized prior to, during, and immediately after each treatment and delivers intensity-modulated radiation therapy. We report two patients with advanced HCC who underwent tomotherapy treatment. One was a patient afflicted with advanced HCC and a portal vein tumor thrombus, which was treated with tomotherapy combined with transarterial chemolipiodolization. The other was a patient afflicted with multiple pulmonary metastases treated with tomotherapy followed by systemic chemotherapy.
Carcinoma, hepatocellular; Venous thrombosis; Metastasis; Radiotherapy
Treatment planning for head and neck (H&N) cancer is complex due to the number of organs at risk (OAR) located near the planning treatment volume (PTV). Distant OAR must also be taken into consideration. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) are both common H&N treatment techniques with very different planning approaches. Although IMRT allows a better dose conformity in PTV, there is much less evidence as to which technique less dose to OAR is delivered. Therefore, the aim of the study was to compare IMRT to 3D-CRT treatment in terms of dose distribution to OAR in H&N cancer.
Patients and methods.
This was a prospective study of a series of 25 patients diagnosed with stage cT3–4N0–2 laryngeal cancer. All patients underwent total laryngectomy and bilateral selective neck dissections. In all cases, patients were treated with IMRT, although a 3D-CRT treatment plan was also developed for the comparative analysis. To compare doses to specific OAR, we developed a new comparative index based on sub-volumes.
In general, IMRT appears to deliver comparable or greater doses to OAR, although the only significant differences were found in the cerebellum, in which 3D-CRT was found to better spare the organ.
Organs located outside of the IMRT beam (i.e., distant organs) are generally thought to be well-spared. However, the results of this study show that, in the case of the cerebellum, this was not true. This finding suggests that larger studies should be performed to understand the effects of IMRT on distant tissues. Anthropomorphic phantom studies could also confirm these results.
radiotherapy; IMRT; 3D-CRT; head and neck cancer
This analysis evaluates the feasibility and dosimetric results of a simplified intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatment using a cobalt-therapy unit for post-operative breast cancer. Fourteen patients were included. Three plans per patient were produced by a cobalt-60 source: A standard plan with two wedged tangential beams, a standard tangential plan optimized without the use of wedges and a plan based on the forward-planned “field-in-field” IMRT technique (Co-FinF) where the dose on each of the two tangential beams was split into two different segments and the two segments weight was determined with an iterative process. For comparison purposes, a 6-MV photon standard wedged tangential treatment plan was generated. Dmean, D98%, D2%, V95%, V107%, homogeneity, and conformity indices were chosen as parameters for comparison. Co-FinF technique improved the planning target volume dose homogeneity compared to other cobalt-based techniques and reduced maximum doses (D2%) and high-dose volume (V110%). Moreover, it showed a better lung and heart dose sparing with respect to the standard approach. The higher dose homogeneity may encourage the adoption of accelerated-hypofractionated treatments also with the cobalt sources. This approach can promote the spread of breast conservative treatment in developing countries.
Breast neoplasms; cobalt machine; intensity-modulated radiotherapy; radiotherapy
Cure rate of early Hodgkin Lymphoma are high and avoidance of late toxicities is of paramount importance. This comparative study aims to assess the normal tissue sparing capability of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) versus standard three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) in terms of dose-volume parameters and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for different organs at risk in supradiaphragmatic Hodgkin Lymphoma (HL) patients.
Ten HL patients were actually treated with 3D-CRT and all treatments were then re-planned with IMRT. Dose-volume parameters for thyroid, oesophagus, heart, coronary arteries, lung, spinal cord and breast were evaluated. Dose-volume histograms generated by TPS were analyzed to predict the NTCP for the considered organs at risk, according to different endpoints.
Regarding dose-volume parameters no statistically significant differences were recorded for heart and origin of coronary arteries. We recorded statistically significant lower V30 with IMRT for oesophagus (6.42 vs 0.33, p = 0.02) and lungs (4.7 vs 0.1 p = 0.014 for the left lung and 2.59 vs 0.1 p = 0.017 for the right lung) and lower V20 for spinal cord (17.8 vs 7.2 p = 0.02). Moreover the maximum dose to the spinal cord was lower with IMRT (30.2 vs 19.9, p <0.001). Higher V10 with IMRT for thyroid (64.8 vs 95, p = 0.0019) and V5 for lungs (30.3 vs 44.8, p = 0.03, for right lung and 28.9 vs 48.1, p = 0.001 for left lung) were found, respectively. Higher V5 and V10 for breasts were found with IMRT (V5: 4.14 vs 20.6, p = 0.018 for left breast and 3.3 vs 17, p = 0.059 for right breast; V10: 2.5 vs 13.6 p = 0.035 for left breast and 1.7 vs 11, p = 0.07 for the right breast.) As for the NTCP, our data point out that IMRT is not always likely to significantly increase the NTCP to OARs.
In HL male patients IMRT seems feasible and accurate while for women HL patients IMRT should be used with caution.
Hodgkin; IMRT; 3D-CRT; NTCP
To evaluate the safety of focal dose escalation to regions with standardized uptake value (SUV) >2.0 using intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) by comparison of radiotherapy plans using dose-volume histograms (DVHs) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for postoperative local recurrent rectal cancer
First, we performed conventional radiotherapy with 40 Gy/20 fr. (CRT 40 Gy) for 12 patients with postoperative local recurrent rectal cancer, and then we performed FDG-PET/CT radiotherapy planning for those patients. We defined the regions with SUV > 2.0 as biological target volume (BTV) and made three boost plans for each patient: 1) CRT boost plan, 2) IMRT without dose-painting boost plan, and 3) IMRT with dose-painting boost plan. The total boost dose was 20 Gy. In IMRT with dose-painting boost plan, we increased the dose for BTV+5 mm by 30% of the prescribed dose. We added CRT boost plan to CRT 40 Gy (summed plan 1), IMRT without dose-painting boost plan to CRT 40 Gy (summed plan 2) and IMRT with dose-painting boost plan to CRT 40 Gy (summed plan 3), and we compared those plans using DVHs and NTCP.
Dmean of PTV-PET and that of PTV-CT were 26.5 Gy and 21.3 Gy, respectively. V50 of small bowel PRV in summed plan 1 was significantly higher than those in other plans ((summed plan 1 vs. summed plan 2 vs. summed plan 3: 47.11 ± 45.33 cm3 vs. 40.63 ± 39.13 cm3 vs. 41.25 ± 39.96 cm3(p < 0.01, respectively)). There were no significant differences in V30, V40, V60, Dmean or NTCP of small bowel PRV.
FDG-PET-guided IMRT can facilitate focal dose-escalation to regions with SUV above 2.0 for postoperative local recurrent rectal cancer.
Background and Purpose
Recently, a new radiotherapy delivery technique has become clinically available – Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT). VMAT is the delivery of IMRT while the gantry is in motion using dynamic leaf motion. The perceived benefit of VMAT over IMRT is a reduction in delivery time. In this study, VMAT was compared directly with IMRT for a series of prostate cases.
Materials and Methods
For ten patients, a biologically optimised seven field IMRT plan was compared with a biologically optimised VMAT plan using the same planning objectives. The Pinnacle RTPS was used. The resultant target and organ at risk dose volume histograms (DVHs) were compared. The normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for the IMRT and VMAT plans was calculated for three model parameter sets. The delivery efficiency and time for the IMRT and VMAT plans was compared.
The VMAT plans resulted in a statistically significant reduction in the rectal V25Gy parameter of 8.2% on average over the IMRT plans. For one of the NTCP parameter sets the VMAT plans had a statistically significant lower rectal NTCP. These reductions in rectal dose were achieved using 18.6% fewer monitor units and a delivery time reduction of up to 69%.
VMAT plans resulted in reductions in rectal doses for all ten patients in the study. This was achieved with significant reductions in delivery time and monitor units. Given the target coverage was equivalent, the VMAT plans were superior.
VMAT; IMRT; prostate; biological optimisation
To analyze patterns of failure in patients with head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (HNCSCC) and clinical/radiological evidence of perineural invasion (CPNI), in order to define neural clinical target volume (CTV) for treatment planning.
Patients treated with 3D conformal or intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for HNCSCC with CPNI were included in the study. A retrospective review of the clinical charts, radiotherapy (RT) plans and radiological studies has been conducted.
Eleven consecutive patients with HNCSCCs with CPNI were treated from 2000 through 2007. Most patients received multiple surgical procedures and RT courses. The most prevalent failure pattern was along cranial nerves (CNs), and multiple CNs were ultimately involved in the majority of cases. In all cases the involved CNs at recurrence were the main nerves innervating the primary tumor sites, as well as their major communicating nerves. We have found several distinct patterns of disease spread along specific CNs depending on the skin regions harboring the primary tumors, including multiple branches of CN V and VII. These patterns and the pertinent anatomy are detailed in the paper.
Predictable disease spread patterns along cranial nerves supplying the primary tumor sites were found in this study. Awareness of these patterns, as well as knowledge of the relevant cranial nerve anatomy, should be the basis for CTV definition and delineation for RT treatment planning.
Skin cancer; Head and neck; IMRT; Target definition