Detailed dosimetric evaluation of inter-fraction and respiratory motion in lung stereotactic body radiation therapy based on daily 4D cone beam CT images.


Objective. Periodic respiratory motion and inter-fraction variations are sources of geometric uncertainty in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) of pulmonary lesions. This study extensively evaluates and validates the separate and combined dosimetric effect of both factors using 4D-CT and daily 4D-cone beam CT (CBCT) dose accumulation scenarios.Approach. A first cohort of twenty early stage or metastatic disease lung cancer patients were retrospectively selected to evaluate each scenario. The planned-dose (3DRef) was optimized on a 3D mid-position CT. To estimate the dosimetric impact of respiratory motion (4DRef), inter-fractional variations (3DAcc) and the combined effect of both factors (4DAcc), three dose accumulation scenarios based on 4D-CT, daily mid-cone beam CT (CBCT) position and 4D-CBCT were implemented via CT-CT/CT-CBCT deformable image registration (DIR) techniques. Each scenario was compared to 3DRef.A separate cohort of ten lung SBRT patients was selected to validate DIR techniques. The distance discordance metric (DDM) was implemented per voxel and per patient for tumor and organs at risk (OARs), and the dosimetric impact for CT-CBCT DIR geometric errors was calculated.Main results.Median and interquartile range (IQR) of the dose difference per voxel were 0.05/2.69 Gy and -0.12/2.68 Gy for3DAcc-3DRefand4DAcc-3DRef.For4DRef-3DRefthe IQR was considerably smaller -0.15/0.78 Gy. These findings were confirmed by dose volume histogram parameters calculated in tumor and OARs. For CT-CT/CT-CBCT DIR validation, DDM (95th percentile) was highest for heart (6.26 mm)/spinal cord (8.00 mm), and below 3 mm for tumor and the rest of OARs. The dosimetric impact of CT-CBCT DIR errors was below 2 Gy for tumor and OARs.Significance. The dosimetric impact of inter-fraction variations were shown to dominate those of periodic respiration in SBRT for pulmonary lesions. Therefore, treatment evaluation and dose-effect studies would benefit more from dose accumulation focusing on day-to-day changes then those that focus on respiratory motion.

More about this publication

Physics in medicine and biology
  • Volume 68
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Publication date 20-12-2022

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