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author:("Li, xiaoming")
1.  A comprehensive comparison of IMRT and VMAT plan quality for prostate cancer treatment 
We performed a comprehensive comparative study of the plan quality between volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Methods and Materials
Eleven patients with prostate cancer treated at our institution were randomly selected for this study. For each patient, a VMAT plan and a series of IMRT plans using an increasing number of beams (8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 beams) were examined. All plans were generated using our in-house-developed automatic inverse planning (AIP) algorithm. An existing 8-beam clinical IMRT plan, which was used to treat the patient, was used as the reference plan. For each patient, all AIP-generated plans were optimized to achieve the same level of planning target volume (PTV) coverage as the reference plan. Plan quality was evaluated by measuring mean dose to and dose-volume statistics of the organs-at-risk, especially the rectum, from each type of plan.
For the same PTV coverage, the AIP-generated VMAT plans had significantly better plan quality in terms of rectum sparing than the 8-beam clinical and AIP-generated IMRT plans (p < 0.0001). However, the differences between the IMRT and VMAT plans in all the dosimetric indices decreased as the number of beams used in IMRT increased. IMRT plan quality was similar or superior to that of VMAT when the number of beams in IMRT was increased to a certain number, which ranged from 12 to 24 for the set of patients studied. The superior VMAT plan quality resulted in approximately 30% more monitor units than the 8-beam IMRT plans, but the delivery time was still less than 3 minutes.
Considering the superior plan quality as well as the delivery efficiency of VMAT compared with that of IMRT, VMAT may be the preferred modality for treating prostate cancer.
PMCID: PMC3805837  PMID: 22704703
Volumetric modulated arc therapy; Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Treatment planning; Prostate cancer; OAR sparing
2.  Automated VMAT treatment planning for stage III lung cancer: how does it compare with IMRT? 
To compare the quality of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans generated by an automated inverse planning system with that of dosimetrist-generated IMRT treatment plans for patients with stage III lung cancer.
Methods and Materials
Two groups of eight patients with stage III lung cancer were randomly selected. For group I, the dosimetrists spent their best effort in designing IMRT plans to compete with the automated inverse planning system (mdaccAutoPlan); for group II, the dosimetrists were not in competition and spent their regular effort. Five experienced radiation oncologists independently blind-reviewed and ranked the three plans for each patient, a rank of “1” being the best and “3” the worst. Dosimetric measures were also performed to quantitatively evaluate the three types of plans.
Blind rankings from different oncologists were generally consistent. For group I, the auto-VMAT, auto-IMRT, and manual-IMRT plans received average ranks of 1.6, 2.13, and 2.18, respectively. The auto-VMAT plans in group I had 10% higher PTV conformality and 24% lower esophagus V70 than the manual-IMRT plans; they also resulted in over 20% higher complication-free tumor control probability (p+) than either type of IMRT plans. The auto- and manual-IMRT plans in this group yielded generally comparable dosimetric measures. For group II, the auto-VMAT, auto-IMRT, and manual-IMRT plans received average ranks of 1.55, 1.75, and 2.75, respectively. Compared to the manual-IMRT plans in this group, the auto-VMAT plans and the auto-IMRT plans showed, respectively, 17% and 14% higher PTV dose conformality, 8% and 17% lower mean lung dose, 17% and 26% lower mean heart dose, and 36% and 23% higher p+.
mdaccAutoPlan is capable of generating high-quality VMAT and IMRT treatment plans for stage III lung cancer. Manual-IMRT plans could achieve quality similar to auto-IMRT plans if best effort were spent.
PMCID: PMC3428745  PMID: 22901421
VMAT; IMRT; Stage III lung cancer; Automated inverse planning
3.  Adverse events among Ontario home care clients associated with emergency room visit or hospitalization: a retrospective cohort study 
Home care (HC) is a critical component of the ongoing restructuring of healthcare in Canada. It impacts three dimensions of healthcare delivery: primary healthcare, chronic disease management, and aging at home strategies. The purpose of our study is to investigate a significant safety dimension of HC, the occurrence of adverse events and their related outcomes. The study reports on the incidence of HC adverse events, the magnitude of the events, the types of events that occur, and the consequences experienced by HC clients in the province of Ontario.
A retrospective cohort design was used, utilizing comprehensive secondary databases available for Ontario HC clients from the years 2008 and 2009. The data were derived from the Canadian Home Care Reporting System, the Hospital Discharge Abstract Database, the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System, the Ontario Mental Health Reporting System, and the Continuing Care Reporting System. Descriptive analysis was used to identify the type and frequency of the adverse events recorded and the consequences of the events. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between the events and their consequences.
The study found that the incident rate for adverse events for the HC clients included in the cohort was 13%. The most frequent adverse events identified in the databases were injurious falls, injuries from other than a fall, and medication-related incidents. With respect to outcomes, we determined that an injurious fall was associated with a significant increase in the odds of a client requiring long-term-care facility admission and of client death. We further determined that three types of events, delirium, sepsis, and medication-related incidents were associated directly with an increase in the odds of client death.
Our study concludes that 13% of clients in homecare experience an adverse event annually. We also determined that an injurious fall was the most frequent of the adverse events and was associated with increased admission to long-term care or death. We recommend the use of tools that are presently available in Canada, such as the Resident Assessment Instrument and its Clinical Assessment Protocols, for assessing and mitigating the risk of an adverse event occurring.
PMCID: PMC3751652  PMID: 23800280
4.  Interplay between the Westerlies and Asian monsoon recorded in Lake Qinghai sediments since 32 ka 
Scientific Reports  2012;2:619.
Two atmospheric circulation systems, the mid-latitude Westerlies and the Asian summer monsoon (ASM), play key roles in northern-hemisphere climatic changes. However, the variability of the Westerlies in Asia and their relationship to the ASM remain unclear. Here, we present the longest and highest-resolution drill core from Lake Qinghai on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP), which uniquely records the variability of both the Westerlies and the ASM since 32 ka, reflecting the interplay of these two systems. These records document the anti-phase relationship of the Westerlies and the ASM for both glacial-interglacial and glacial millennial timescales. During the last glaciation, the influence of the Westerlies dominated; prominent dust-rich intervals, correlated with Heinrich events, reflect intensified Westerlies linked to northern high-latitude climate. During the Holocene, the dominant ASM circulation, punctuated by weak events, indicates linkages of the ASM to orbital forcing, North Atlantic abrupt events, and perhaps solar activity changes.
PMCID: PMC3431539  PMID: 22943005
5.  A 4D IMRT planning method using deformable image registration to improve normal tissue sparing with contemporary delivery techniques 
We propose a planning method to design true 4-dimensional (4D) intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plans, called the t4Dplan method, in which the planning target volume (PTV) of the individual phases of the 4D computed tomography (CT) and the conventional PTV receive non-uniform doses but the cumulative dose to the PTV of each phase, computed using deformable image registration (DIR), are uniform. The non-uniform dose prescription for the conventional PTV was obtained by solving linear equations that required motion-convolved 4D dose to be uniform to the PTV for the end-exhalation phase (PTV50) and by constraining maximum inhomogeneity to 20%. A plug-in code to the treatment planning system was developed to perform the IMRT optimization based on this non-uniform PTV dose prescription. The 4D dose was obtained by summing the mapped doses from individual phases of the 4D CT using DIR. This 4D dose distribution was compared with that of the internal target volume (ITV) method. The robustness of the 4D plans over the course of radiotherapy was evaluated by computing the 4D dose distributions on repeat 4D CT datasets. Three patients with lung tumors were selected to demonstrate the advantages of the t4Dplan method compared with the commonly used ITV method. The 4D dose distribution using the t4Dplan method resulted in greater normal tissue sparing (such as lung, stomach, liver and heart) than did plans designed using the ITV method. The dose volume histograms of cumulative 4D doses to the PTV50, clinical target volume, lung, spinal cord, liver, and heart on the 4D repeat CTs for the two patients were similar to those for the 4D dose at the time of original planning.
PMCID: PMC3162508  PMID: 21771333
4D CT; IMRT; treatment planning; respiratory motion; deform
6.  Intensity-Modulated Proton Therapy Reduces Normal Tissue Doses Compared with Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy or Passive Scattering Proton Therapy and Enables Individualized Radical Radiotherapy for Extensive Stage IIIB Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer: A Virtual Clinical Study 
To compare dose-volume histograms (DVHs) for intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) with intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and passive scattering proton therapy (PSPT) for stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and explore the possibility of individualized radical radiotherapy.
Methods and Materials
DVHs for IMPT, PSPT, and IMRT designed to deliver IMRT at 60 to 63 Gy, PSPT at 74 Gy, and IMPT at the same doses and individualized radical radiotherapy in patients with extensive stage IIIB NSCLC (N = 10 for each approach) were compared. These patients were selected based on their extensive disease and considered to have no or borderline tolerance of IMRT at 60 to 63 Gy based on normal tissue dose-volume constraints (lung V20<35%, total mean lung dose <20 Gy; spinal cord dose, <45 Gy). The possibility of increasing the total tumor dose with IMPT for each patient without exceeding the dose-volume constraints (maximum tolerant dose, MTD) was also investigated.
Compared with IMRT, IMPT spared more lung, heart, spinal cord, and esophagus even with dose escalation from 63 Gy to 83.5 Gy, with a mean MTD of 74 Gy. Compared with PSPT, IMPT allowed further dose escalation from 74 Gy to mean MTD of 84.4 Gy (range 79.4-88.4 Gy) while keeping all parameters of normal tissue sparing lower or similar. In addition, IMPT prevented lower target coverage in patients with complicated tumor anatomies. Conclusions: IMPT reduces the normal tissue dose and allows individualized radical radiotherapy for extensive stage IIIB NSCLC.
PMCID: PMC2868090  PMID: 19660879
Lung cancer; Proton therapy; Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Passive scattering proton therapy; Intensity-modulated proton therapy

Results 1-6 (6)