A strategy to correct for intrafraction target translation in conformal prostate radiotherapy: Simulation results



A strategy is proposed in which intrafraction internal target translation is corrected for by repositioning the multileaf collimator position aperture to conform to the new target pose in the beam projection, and the beam monitor units are adjusted to account for the change in the geometric relationship between the target and the beam. The purpose of this study was to investigate the dosimetric stability of the prostate and critical structures in the presence of internal target translation using the dynamic compensation strategy. Twenty-five previously treated prostate cancer patients were replanned using a four-field conformal technique to deliver 72Gy to 95% of the planning target volume (PTV). Internal translation was introduced by displacing the prostate PTV (no rotation or deformation was considered). Thirty-six randomly selected isotropic displacements of magnitude 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0cm were sampled for each patient, for a total of 3600 errors. Due to their anatomic relation to the prostate, the rectum and bladder contours were also moved with the same magnitude and direction as the prostate. The dynamic compensation strategy was used to correct each of these errors by conforming the beam apertures to the new target pose and adjusting the monitor units using inverse-square and off-axis factor corrections. The dynamic compensation strategy plans were then compared to the original treatment plans via dose-volume histogram (DVH) analysis. Changes of more than 5% of the prescription dose (3.6Gy) were deemed clinically significant. Compared to the original treatment plans, the dynamic compensation strategy produced small discrepancies in isodose distributions and DVH analyses for all structures considered apart from the femoral heads. These differences increased with the magnitude of the internal motion. Coverage of the PTV was excellent: D5, D95, and Dmean were not increased or decreased by more than 5% of the prescription dose for any of the 3600 simulated internal motion shifts. Dose increases for adjacent organs at risk were rare. D33 of the rectum and D20 of the bladder were increased by more than 5% of the prescription dose in 9 and 1 instances of the 3600 sampled internal motion shifts, respectively. Dmean of the right femoral head increased by more than 5% of the prescription dose in 651 (18%) internal motion shifts, predominantly due to the projection of the lateral beams through the femoral head for anterior prostate motion. However, D2 was not increased by more than 5% for any of the internal motion shifts. These data demonstrate the robustness of the proposed dynamic compensation strategy for correction of internal motion in conformal prostate radiotherapy, with minimal deviation from the original treatment plans even for errors exceeding those commonly encountered in the clinic. The compensation strategy could be performed automatically with appropriate enhancements to available delivery software.