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Br J Radiol. 2013 Jan;86(1021):20120433. doi: 10.1259/bjr.20120433.

Comparison of adaptive radiotherapy techniques for the treatment of bladder cancer.

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  • 1Christie Medical Physics & Engineering, Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK.



Day-to-day anatomical variations complicate bladder cancer radiotherapy treatment. This work quantifies the impact on target coverage and irradiated normal tissue volume for different adaptive strategies.


20 patients were retrospectively planned using different three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy treatment strategies for whole-bladder carcinoma: (i) "conventional" treatment used isotropic expansion of the clinical target volume (CTV) by 15 mm to the planning target volume (PTV) for daily treatment; (ii) "plan of the day" used daily volumetric on-treatment imaging [cone beam CT (CBCT)] to select from four available plans with varying superior PTV margins; (iii) "composite" strategies used on-treatment CBCTs from Fractions 1-3 to inform a composite CTV and adapted PTV (5- and 10-mm margins for composite 1 and composite 2, respectively) for subsequent treatment. Target coverage was evaluated from available CBCTs (the first three fractions then the minimum weekly thereafter), and the reduction in the irradiated volume (i.e. within the 95% isodose) was quantified.


Plan of the day improved target coverage (i.e. all of the bladder within the 95% isodose throughout the treatment) relative to conventional treatment (p=0.10), while no such benefit was observed with composite 2. Target coverage was reduced with composite 1 relative to conventional treatment. The mean irradiated volume was reduced by 17.2%, 35.0% and 14.6% relative to conventional treatment, for plan of the day, composite 1 and composite 2, respectively (p<0.01 in all cases). No parameters predictive of large changes in bladder volume later in the treatment were identified.


Adaptive techniques can maintain or improve target coverage while allowing for reduced irradiated volume and possibly reduced toxicity. The plan-of-the-day technique appeared to provide the optimal balance between target coverage and normal tissue sparing.


This study suggests that plan-of-the-day techniques will provide optimal outcomes for adaptive bladder radiotherapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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