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Med Phys. 2010 Oct;37(10):5287-97.

Clinical development of a failure detection-based online repositioning strategy for prostate IMRT--experiments, simulation, and dosimetry study.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5847, USA.



To implement and evaluate clinic-ready adaptive imaging protocols for online patient repositioning (motion tracking) during prostate IMRT using treatment beam imaging supplemented by minimal, as-needed use of on-board kV.


The authors examine the two-step decision-making strategy: (1) Use cine-MV imaging and online-updated characterization of prostate motion to detect target motion that is potentially beyond a predefined threshold and (2) use paired MV-kV 3D localization to determine overthreshold displacement and, if needed, reposition the patient. Two levels of clinical implementation were evaluated: (1) Field-by-field based motion correction for present-day linacs and (2) instantaneous repositioning for new-generation linacs with capabilities of simultaneous MV-kV imaging and remote automatic couch control during treatment delivery. Experiments were performed on a Varian Trilogy linac in clinical mode using a 4D motion phantom programed with prostate motion trajectories taken from patient data. Dosimetric impact was examined using a 2D ion chamber array. Simulations were done for 536 trajectories from 17 patients.


Despite the loss of marker detection efficiency caused by the MLC leaves sometimes obscuring the field at the marker's projected position on the MV imager, the field-by-field correction halved (from 23% to 10%) the mean percentage of time that target displacement exceeded a 3 mm threshold, as compared to no intervention. This was achieved at minimal cost in additional imaging (average of one MV-kV pair per two to three treatment fractions) and with a very small number of repositionings (once every four to five fractions). Also with low kV usage (approximation 2/fraction), the instantaneous repositioning approach reduced overthreshold time by more than 75% (23% to 5%) even with severe MLC blockage as often encountered in current IMRT and could reduce the overthreshold time tenfold (to < 2%) if the MLC blockage problem were relieved. The information acquired for repositioning using combined MV-kV images was found to have submillimeter accuracy.


This work demonstrated with a current clinical setup that substantial reduction of adverse targeting effects of intrafraction prostate motion can be realized. The proposed adaptive imaging strategy incurs minimal imaging dose to the patient as compared to other stereoscopic imaging techniques.

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