Determination of action thresholds for electromagnetic tracking system-guided hypofractionated prostate radiotherapy using volumetric modulated arc therapy - Abstract

Department of Medical Physics, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10021, USA.


Hypofractionated prostate radiotherapy may benefit from both volumetric modulated are therapy (VMAT) due to shortened treatment time and intrafraction real-time monitoring provided by implanted radiofrequency(RF) transponders. The authors investigate dosimetrically driven action thresholds (whether treatment needs to be interrupted and patient repositioned) in VMAT treatment with electromagnetic (EM) tracking.

VMAT plans for five patients are generated for prescription doses of 32.5 and 42.5 Gy in five fractions. Planning target volume (PTV) encloses the clinical target volume (CTV) with a 3 mm margin at the prostate-rectal interface and 5 mm elsewhere. The VMAT delivery is modeled using 180 equi-spaced static beams. Intrafraction prostate motion is simulated in the plan by displacing the beam isocenter at each beam assuming rigid organ motion according to a previously recorded trajectory of the transponder centroid. The cumulative dose delivered in each fraction is summed over all beams. Two sets of 57 prostate motion trajectories were randomly selected to form a learning and a testing dataset. Dosimetric end points including CTV D95%, rectum wall D1cc, bladder wall D1cc, and urethra Dmax, are analyzed against motion characteristics including the maximum amplitude of the anterior-posterior (AP), superior-inferior (SI), and left-right components. Action thresholds are triggered when intrafraction motion causes any violations of dose constraints to target and organs at risk (OAR), so that treatment is interrupted and patient is repositioned.

Intrafraction motion has a little effect on CTV D95%, indicating PTV margins are adequate. Tight posterior and inferior action thresholds around 1 mm need to be set in a patient specific manner to spare organs at risk, especially when the prescription dose is 42.5 Gy. Advantages of setting patient specific action thresholds are to reduce false positive alarms by 25% when prescription dose is low, and increase the sensitivity of detecting dose limits violations by 30% when prescription dose is high, compared to a generic 2 mm action box. The sensitivity and specificity calculated from the testing dataset are consistent to the learning set, which indicates that the patient specific approach is reliable and reproducible within the scope of the prostate database.

This work introduces a formalism for ensuring a VMAT delivery meets the most clinically important dose requirements by using patient specific and dosimetric-driven action thresholds to hold the beam and reposition the patient when necessary. Such methods can provide improved sensitivity and specificity compared to conventional methods, which assume directionally symmetric action thresholds.

Written by:
Zhang P, Mah D, Happersett L, Cox B, Hunt M, Mageras G.   Are you the author?

Reference: Med Phys. 2011 Jul;38(7):4001-8.

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21858997 Prostate Cancer Section



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