SU-E-J-12: A New Stereological Method for Tumor Volume Evaluation for Esophageal Cancer




Stereological method used to obtain three dimensional quantitative information from two dimensional images is a widely used tool in the study of cells and pathology. But the feasibility of the method for quantitative evaluation of volumes with 3D image data sets for radiotherapy clinical application has not been explored. On the other hand, a quick, easy-to-use and reliable method is highly desired in image-guided-radiotherapy(IGRT) for tumor volume measurement for the assessment of response to treatment. To meet this need, a stereological method for evaluating tumor volumes for esophageal cancer is presented in this abstract.


The stereology method was optimized by selecting the appropriate grid point distances and sample types. 7 patients with esophageal cancer were selected retrospectively for this study, each having pre and post treatment computed tomography (CT) scans. Stereological measurements were performed for evaluating the gross tumor volume (GTV) changes after radiotherapy and the results was compared with the ones by planimetric measurements. Two independent observers evaluated the reproducibility for volume measurement using the new stereological technique.


The intraobserver variation in the GTV volume estimation was 3.42±1.68cm3 (the Wilcoxon matched-pairs test Resultwas Z=−1.726,P=0.084>0.05); the interobserver variation in the GTV volume estimation was 22.40±7.23 cm3 (Z=−3.296,P=0.083>0.05), which showed the consistency in GTV volume calculation with the new method for the same and different users. The agreement level between the results from the two techniques was also evaluated. Difference between the measured GTVs was 20.10±5.35 cm3 (Z=−3.101,P=0.089>0.05). Variation of the measurement results using the two techniques was low and clinically acceptable.


The good agreement between stereological and planimetric techniques proves the reliability of the stereological tumor volume estimations. The optimized stereological technique described in this abstract may provide a quick, unbiased and reproducible tool for tumor volume estimation for treatment response assessment.

Supported by NSFC (#81041107, #81171342 and #31000784)