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Radiat Oncol. 2012 Dec 18;7:218. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-7-218.

Investigation of the change in marker geometry during respiration motion: a preliminary study for dynamic-multi-leaf real-time tumor tracking.

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  • 1Graduate School of Health Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.



The use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is rapidly increasing. Presently, the most accurate method uses fiducial markers implanted near the tumor. A shortcoming of this method is that the beams turn off during the majority of the respiratory cycle, resulting in a prolonged treatment time. Recent advances in collimation technology have enabled continuous irradiation to a moving tumor. However, the lung is a dynamic organ characterized by inhalation exhalation cycles, during which marker/tumor geometry may change (i.e., misalignment), resulting in under-dosing to the tumor.


Eight patients with lung cancer who were candidates for stereotactic radiotherapy were examined with 4D high-resolution CT. As a marker surrogate, virtual bronchoscopy using the pulmonary artery (VBPA) was conducted. To detect possible marker/tumor misalignment during the respiration cycle, the distance between the peripheral bronchus, where a marker could be implanted, and the center of gravity of a tumor were calculated for each respiratory phase. When the respiration cycle was divided into 10 phases, the median value was significantly larger for the 30%-70% respiratory phases compared to that for the 10% respiratory phase (P<0.05, Mann-Whitney U-test).


These results demonstrate that physiological aspect must be considered when continuous tumor tracking is applied to a moving tumor. To minimize an "additional" internal target volume (ITV) margin, a marker should be placed approximately 2.5 cm from the tumor.

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