CBCT-based dosimetric verification and alternate planning techniques to reduce the normal tissue dose in SBRT of lung patients
Purpose: Confirmation of treatment delivery accuracy in stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) of lung tumors suggests the possibility of treatment margin, or aperture reduction. In this investigation, the dose delivery to lung tumors using SBRT techniques was verified, and the feasibility of normal tissue sparing via aperture reduction or altered prescription isodose line was assessed.
Methods: Planned and delivered doses to the gross tumor volume (GTV) and planning target volume (PTV) were compared for 10 patients using planning CT and conebeam CT image. Potential for reduction in normal tissue dose were assessed using 2 alternate treatment plans – reduced PTVs and alternate prescription techniques. Plans were assessed using conformity index, homogeneity index and the ratio of 50% / 100% isodose volumes (R50%).
Results: The planned and delivered mean doses were consistent to within 4%. However, the mean dose delivered to the GTV exceeded the prescription dose (Rx) by 19% and is consistent with our planning technique of prescribing to the 80% isodose line. When reducing treatment margins and retaining a constant dose-volume constraint, block margins had to be increased which produced a constant effective field aperture outside of the GTV. Prescription to a lower isodose line using stereotactic-like planning techniques yielded the only method by which the volume of the prescription isodose could be affected, although this yielded increases in normal tissue dose due to the increased monitor units required. Conversely, conventional prescription techniques using wider field apertures were effective in reducing absolute values of normal tissue dose. Although dose conformity was similar across different prescription isodose lines, homogeneity index and R50% values were significantly different in the 60%-70% prescription isodose line plans than the 80%, 90% prescription plans.
Conclusion: Traditional margin reduction techniques did not affect a reduction in the volume of normal tissue irradiated to the prescribed dose. Prescribing to low isodose lines yields reduced volumes of the prescribed dose, but at the expense of normal tissue dose.
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