Inaccuracies in prostate apex contour delineation based on simulation computed tomography (CT) imaging can impact treatment outcomes and toxicity profiles for prostate cancer radiotherapy. Transperineal ultrasound (TPUS) is a non-invasive imaging modality that can improve delineation of prostate volumes. We performed a pilot analysis to assess for differences in anatomical position between conventional CT and a TPUS delineated prostate apex and determined whether these translated into a clinically significant difference in apical point dose.
A 2D 5 MHz TPUS autoscan image guidance system was utilised during definitive intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for prostate cancer. Distances were measured from a fixed reference point to prostate apex on both US and CT in the mid-sagittal plane. Differences between groups were assessed using the Wilcoxon sign rank test with a two-tailed significance of α = 0.05.
Fifty-nine consecutive patients were independently assessed. There was strong evidence of a difference between CT and TPUS delineated apex position (P = 0.0075). Median apex position was 3.6 mm caudal on TPUS vs. CT imaging (95% CI: 2.5-4.8 mm). There was strong evidence of a difference in point dose between CT and TPUS delineated apex (P = 0.0029). Median point dose at the TPUS contoured apex was 1.9 Gy lower than CT (95% CI: 0.7-3.1 Gy) corresponding to 98% of prescribed dose.
This study demonstrates a difference in anatomical delineation of prostate apex position between CT imaging compared to TPUS, corresponding to a statistically significant difference in apex point dose. Further analysis will determine whether this translates to a clinically significant difference in outcomes.
Journal of medical imaging and radiation oncology. 2020 May 07 [Epub ahead of print]
Mihir D Shanker, Anna Nh Kim, Amy Brown, Alex Hm Tan
Queensland Health, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.