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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Feb 1;61(2):561-9.

Image-guided radiotherapy for prostate cancer by CT-linear accelerator combination: prostate movements and dosimetric considerations.

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  • 1Carol G. Simon Cancer Center, Morristown Memorial Hospital/Atlantic Health System, Morristown, NJ 07960, USA.



Multiple studies have indicated that the prostate is not stationary and can move as much as 2 cm. Such prostate movements are problematic for intensity-modulated radiotherapy, with its associated tight margins and dose escalation. Because of these intrinsic daily uncertainties, a relative generous "margin" is necessary to avoid marginal misses. Using the CT-linear accelerator combination in the treatment suite (Primatom, Siemens), we found that the daily intrinsic prostate movements can be easily corrected before each radiotherapy session. Dosimetric calculations were performed to evaluate the amount of discrepancy of dose to the target if no correction was done for prostate movement.


The Primatom consists of a Siemens Somatom CT scanner and a Siemens Primus linear accelerator installed in the same treatment suite and sharing a common table/couch. The patient is scanned by the CT scanner, which is movable on a pair of horizontal rails. During scanning, the couch does not move. The exact location of the prostate, seminal vesicles, and rectum are identified and localized. These positions are then compared with the planned positions. The daily movement of the prostate and rectum were corrected for and a new isocenter derived. The patient was treated immediately using the new isocenter.


Of the 108 patients with primary prostate cancer studied, 540 consecutive daily CT scans were performed during the last part of the cone down treatment. Of the 540 scans, 46% required no isocenter adjustments for the AP-PA direction, 54% required a shift of > or =3 mm, 44% required a shift of >5 mm, and 15% required a shift of >10 mm. In the superoinferior direction, 27% required a shift of >3 mm, 25% required a shift of >5 mm, and 4% required a shift of >10 mm. In the right-left direction, 34% required a shift of >3 mm, 24% required a shift of >5 mm, and 5% required a shift of >10 mm. Dosimetric calculations for a typical case of prostate cancer using intensity-modulated radiotherapy with 5-mm margin coverage from the clinical target volume (prostate gland) was performed. With a posterior shift of 10 mm for the prostate, the dose coverage dropped from 95-107% to 71-100% coverage.


We have described a technique that corrects for the daily prostate motion, allowing for extremely precise prostate cancer treatment. This technique has significant implications for dose escalation and for decreasing rectal complications in the treatment of prostate cancer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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