A magnetic resonance imaging-based workflow for planning radiation therapy for prostate cancer - Abstract

Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.


Dose planning for prostate radiation therapy is performed using computed tomography (CT) scans that provide the electron density information needed for individual patients' radiation dose calculations. For visualising the prostate and determining the target volume for radiation treatment, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) gives vastly superior soft-tissue contrast. However, currently, MRI scans cannot be used for dose planning, as they do not provide the electron density information. We aimed to develop an alternative and efficient MRI-only image-based workflow, enabling both organ delineation and dose planning to be performed using MRI, with "pseudo-CT scans" generated from MRI scans supplying the information for dose planning. The feasibility of implementing MRI-based prostate radiation therapy planning is being investigated through collaboration between the clinical and medical physics group at the Calvary Mater Newcastle Hospital/University of Newcastle and the biomedical imaging processing group at the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) Australian e-Health Research Centre. Results comparing Hounsfield units calculated from CT scans and from MRI-based pseudo-CT scans for 39 patients showed very similar average values for the prostate, bladder, bones and rectum, confirming that pseudo-CT scans can replace CT scans for accurate radiation dose calculations. MRI-based radiotherapy planning can also be used for tumours in other locations, such as head and neck, and breast cancers.

Written by:
Greer PB, Dowling JA, Lambert JA, Fripp J, Parker J, Denham JW, Wratten C, Capp A, Salvado O.   Are you the author?

Reference: Med J Aust. 2011 Feb 21;194(4):S24-7.

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21401484

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