JOURNAL ARTICLE

A novel markerless technique to evaluate daily lung tumor motion based on conventional cone-beam CT projection data

Yin Yang, Zichun Zhong, Xiaohu Guo, Jing Wang, John Anderson, Timothy Solberg, Weihua Mao
International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 2012 April 1, 82 (5): e749-56
22330989

PURPOSE: In this study, we present a novel markerless technique, based on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) raw projection data, to evaluate lung tumor daily motion.

METHOD AND MATERIALS: The markerless technique, which uses raw CBCT projection data and locates tumors directly on every projection, consists of three steps. First, the tumor contour on the planning CT is used to create digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) at every projection angle. Two sets of DRRs are created: one showing only the tumor, and another with the complete anatomy without the tumor. Second, a rigid two-dimensional image registration is performed to register the DRR set without the tumor to the CBCT projections. After the registration, the projections are subtracted from the DRRs, resulting in a projection dataset containing primarily tumor. Finally, a second registration is performed between the subtracted projection and tumor-only DRR. The methodology was evaluated using a chest phantom containing a moving tumor, and retrospectively in 4 lung cancer patients treated by stereotactic body radiation therapy. Tumors detected on projection images were compared with those from three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) CBCT reconstruction results.

RESULTS: Results in both static and moving phantoms demonstrate that the accuracy is within 1 mm. The subsequent application to 22 sets of CBCT scan raw projection data of 4 lung cancer patients includes about 11,000 projections, with the detected tumor locations consistent with 3D and 4D CBCT reconstruction results. This technique reveals detailed lung tumor motion and provides additional information than conventional 4D images.

CONCLUSION: This technique is capable of accurately characterizing lung tumor motion on a daily basis based on a conventional CBCT scan. It provides daily verification of the tumor motion to ensure that these motions are within prior estimation and covered by the treatment planning volume.

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