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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 Jul 1;59(3):886-96.

A study of planning dose constraints for treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma using a commercial inverse treatment planning system.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, 94143-1708, USA. xia@radonc17.ucsf.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to develop and test planning dose constraint templates for tumor and normal structures in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) using a specific commercial inverse treatment planning system.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Planning dose constraint templates were developed based on the analyses of dose-volume histograms (DVHs) of tumor targets and adjacent sensitive structures by clinically approved treatment plans of 9 T1-2 and 16 T3-4 NPC patients treated with inverse planned intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IP-IMRT). DVHs of sensitive structures were analyzed by examining multiple defined endpoints, based on the characteristics of each sensitive structure. For each subgroup of patients with T1-2 and T3-4 NPC, the resulting mean values of these defined endpoint doses were considered as templates for planning dose constraints and subsequently applied to a second group of patients, 5 with T1-2 NPC and 5 with T3-4 NPC. The 10 regenerated plans (called new plans) were compared to the original clinical plans that were used to treat the second group of patients, based on plan conformity index and DVHs.

RESULTS:

The conformity indices of the new plans were comparable to the original plans with no statistical difference (p = 0.85). Among the serial sensitive structures evaluated, there was a significant decrease with the new plans in the dose to the spinal cord when analyzed by the maximum dose (p = 0.001), doses encompassing 1 cc of the spinal cord volume (p = 0.001) and 3 cc of the spinal cord volume (p = 0.001). There was no significant difference in the mean maximum dose to the brainstem between the new plans and the original plans (p = 0.36). However, a significant difference in the mean maximum dose to the brainstem was seen among the different T-stages (p = 0.04). A decrease with the new plan to the brainstem in the doses encompassing 5% and 10% of the volume was of borderline statistical significance (p = 0.08 and p = 0.06, respectively). There were no statistical differences between the new plans and the original plans in the mean doses to the chiasm, optic nerve, or eye for each of the endpoints considered. For parallel sensitive structures in the new plans, there was a significant increase in the average mean dose to the parotid glands (p = 0.01), a decrease that was of borderline significance in the average mean dose to the temporomandibular joint (p = 0.07), but no difference in the average mean dose to the ear.

CONCLUSIONS:

The statistical analysis showed that new plans are comparable to the original plans for most of the sensitive structures except for a trade-off between a dose reduction to the spinal cord in the new plans and an increase in the mean dose to the parotid glands. These tested planning dose constraint templates can serve as good "starting points" for an inverse plan of NPC using a specific commercial inverse treatment planning system.

PMID:
15183492
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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