JOURNAL ARTICLE

Modelling the variation in rectal dose due to inter-fraction rectal wall deformation in external beam prostate treatments

Jeremy Booth, Sergei Zavgorodni
Physics in Medicine and Biology 2005 November 7, 50 (21): 5055-74
16237241
Prostate radiotherapy inevitably deposits radiation dose in the rectal wall, and the dose delivered to prostate is limited by the expected rectal complications. Accurate evaluation of the rectal dose is non-trivial due to a number of factors. One of these is variation of the shape and position of the rectal wall (with respect to the clinical target volume (CTV)), which may differ daily from that taken during planning CT acquisition. This study uses data currently available in the literature on rectal wall motion to provide estimates of mean population rectal wall dose. The rectal wall geometry is characterized by a population mean radius of the rectum as well as inter-patient and inter-fraction standard deviations in rectum radius. The model is used to evaluate the range of inter-fraction and inter-patient rectal dose variations. The simulation of individual patients with full and empty rectum in the planning CT scan showed that large variations in rectal dose (>15 Gy) are possible. Mean calculated dose accounting for treatment and planning uncertainties in the rectal wall surface was calculated as well as the map of planning dose over/underpredictions. It was found that accuracy of planning dose is dependent on the CTV-PTV margin size with larger margins producing more accurate estimates. Over a patient population, the variation in rectal dose is reduced by increasing the number of pre-treatment CT scans.

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