Dosimetric and geometric evaluation of a hybrid strategy of offline adaptive planning and online image guidance for prostate cancer radiotherapy

Han Liu, Qiuwen Wu
Physics in Medicine and Biology 2011 August 7, 56 (15): 5045-62
For prostate cancer patients, online image-guided (IG) radiotherapy has been widely used in clinic to correct the translational inter-fractional motion at each treatment fraction. For uncertainties that cannot be corrected online, such as rotation and deformation of the target volume, margins are still required to be added to the clinical target volume (CTV) for the treatment planning. Offline adaptive radiotherapy has been implemented to optimize the treatment for each individual patient based on the measurements at early stages of treatment process. It has been shown that offline adaptive radiotherapy can effectively reduce the required margin. Recently a hybrid strategy of offline adaptive replanning and online IG was proposed and the geometric evaluation was performed. It was found that the planning margins can further be reduced by 1-2 mm compared to online IG only strategy. The purpose of this study was to investigate the dosimetric benefits of such a hybrid strategy on the target and organs at risk. A total of 420 repeated helical computed tomography scans from 28 patients were included in the study. Both low-risk patients (LRP, CTV = prostate) and intermediate-risk patients (IRP, CTV = prostate + seminal vesicles, SV) were included in the simulation. Two registration methods, based on center-of-mass shift of prostate only and prostate plus SV, were performed for IRP. The intensity-modulated radiotherapy was used in the simulation. Criteria on both cumulative and fractional doses were evaluated. Furthermore, the geometric evaluation was extended to investigate the optimal number of fractions necessary to construct the internal target volume (ITV) for the hybrid strategy. The dosimetric margin improvement was smaller than its geometric counterpart and was in the range of 0-1 mm. The optimal number of fractions necessary for the ITV construction is 2 for LRPs and 3-4 for IRPs in a hypofractionation protocol. A new cumulative index of target volume was proposed for the evaluation of adaptive radiotherapy strategies, and it was found that it had the advantages over other indices in evaluating different adaptive radiotherapy strategies.

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