To investigate the effect of breathing motion and dose accumulation on the planned radiotherapy dose to liver tumors and normal tissues using deformable image registration.
Method and Materials
Twenty one free-breathing stereotactic liver cancer radiotherapy patients, planned on static exhale CT for 27 – 60 Gy in 6 fractions, were included. A biomechanical model-based deformable image registration algorithm, retrospectively deformed each exhale CT to inhale CT. This deformation map was combined with exhale and inhale dose grids from the treatment planning system to accumulate dose over the breathing cycle. Accumulation was also investigated using a simple rigid liver-to-liver registration. Changes to tumor and normal tissue dose were quantified.
Relative to static plans, mean dose change (range) after deformable dose accumulation (as % of prescription dose) was −1 (−14, 8) to minimum tumor, −4 (−15, 0) to max bowel, −4 (−25, 1) to max duodenum, 2 (−1, 9) to max esophagus, −2 (−13, 4) to max stomach, 0 (−3, 4) to mean liver, and −1 (−5, 1) and −2 (−7, 1) to mean left and right kidneys. Compared to deformable registration, rigid modeling had changes up to 8% to minimum tumor and 7% to maximum normal tissues.
Deformable registration and dose accumulation revealed potentially significant dose changes to either a tumor or normal tissue in the majority of cases due to breathing motion. These changes may not be accurately accounted for with rigid motion.