Stomach Motion and Deformation: Implications for Preoperative Gastric Cancer Radiation Therapy.



Fourteen patients who underwent preoperative gastric cancer radiation therapy received 2 to 6 fiducial markers distributed throughout the stomach (total of 54 markers) and additional imaging (ie, 1 planning 4D computed tomography [pCT], 20-25 pretreatment 4D cone beam [CB] CTs, 4-5 posttreatment 4D CBCTs). Marker coordinates on all end-exhale (EE) and end-inhale (EI) scans were obtained after a bony anatomy match. Interfractional marker displacements (ie, between EE pCT and all EE CBCTs) were evaluated for 5 anatomic regions (ie, cardia, small curvature, proximal and distal large curvature, and pylorus). Motion was defined as displacement of the center-of-mass of available markers (COMstomach), deformation as the average difference in marker-pair distances. Interfractional (ie, between EE pCT and all EE CBCTs), respiratory (between EE and EI pCT and CBCTs), and pre-post (pre- and posttreatment EE CBCTs) motion and deformation were quantified.


Selection and development of image guided strategies for preoperative gastric radiation therapy requires quantitative knowledge of the various sources of anatomic changes of the stomach. This study aims to investigate the magnitude of interfractional and intrafractional stomach motion and deformation using fiducial markers and 4-dimensional (4D) imaging.


The interfractional marker displacement varied per anatomic region and direction, with systematic and random errors ranging from 1.6-8.8 mm and 2.2-8.2 mm, respectively. Respiratory motion varied per patient (median, 3-dimensional [3D] amplitude 5.2-20.0 mm) and day (interquartile range, 0.8-4.2 mm). Regarding COMstomach motion, respiratory motion was larger than interfractional motion (median, 10.9 vs 8.9 mm; P < .0001; Wilcoxon rank-sum), which was larger than pre-post motion (3.6 mm; P < .0001). Interfractional deformations (median, 5.8 mm) were significantly larger than pre-post deformations (2.6 mm; P < .0001), which were larger than respiratory deformation (1.8 mm; P < .0001).


The demonstrated sizable stomach motions and deformations during radiation therapy stress the need for generous nonuniform planning target volume margins for preoperative gastric cancer radiation therapy. These margins can be decreased by daily image guidance and adaptive radiation therapy.

More about this publication

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
  • Volume 118
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 543-553
  • Publication date 01-02-2024

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