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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Oct 1;72(2):582-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.06.1496.

Treatment planning study to determine potential benefit of intensity-modulated radiotherapy versus conformal radiotherapy for unresectable hepatic malignancies.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.



To compare intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with conformal RT (CRT) for hypofractionated isotoxicity liver RT and explore dose escalation using IMRT for the same/improved nominal risk of liver toxicity in a treatment planning study.


A total of 26 CRT plans were evaluated. Prescription doses (24-54 Gy within six fractions) were individualized on the basis of the effective liver volume irradiated maintaining < or =5% risk of radiation-induced liver disease. The dose constraints included bowel (0.5 cm(3)) and stomach (0.5 cm(3)) to < or =30 Gy, spinal cord to < or =25 Gy, and planning target volume (PTV) to < or =140% of the prescribed dose. Two groups were evaluated: (1) PTV overlapping or directly adjacent to serial functioning normal tissues (n = 14), and (2) the liver as the dose-limiting normal tissue (n = 12). IMRT plans using direct machine parameter optimization maintained the CRT plan beam arrangements, an estimated radiation-induced liver disease risk of 5%, and underwent dose escalation, if all normal tissue constraints were maintained.


IMRT improved PTV coverage in 19 of 26 plans (73%). Dose escalation was feasible in 9 cases by an average of 3.8 Gy (range, 0.6-13.2) in six fractions. Three of seven plans without improved PTV coverage had small gross tumor volumes (< or =105 cm(3)) already receiving 54 Gy, the maximal prescription dose allowed. In the remaining cases, the PTV range was 9.6-689 cm(3); two had overlapped organs at risk; and one had four targets. IMRT did not improve these plans owing to poor target coverage (n = 2) and nonliver (n = 2) dose limits.


Direct machine parameter optimization IMRT improved PTV coverage while maintaining normal tissue tolerances in most CRT liver plans. Dose escalation was possible in a minority of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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