Poster — Thur Eve — 29: Characterization of Patient Immobilization for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment




Evaluate an immobilization system to determine its adequacy for the reduced margins required for proton therapy.


Twelve head-and-neck cancer patients were immobilized for conventional photon radiotherapy and imaged with pre- and post-treatment cone beam CTs (CBCTs) for each treatment fraction.

To quantify the patient positioning reproducibility, each CBCT was registered to the simulation CT offline. Registrations were performed using auto-match tools and a matching volume-of-interest (VOI) consisting of a 5mm expansion around the mandible, occipital bone, C1/C2 and C7/T1. For each registration, the bony anatomy in the VOI was evaluated for agreement with the simulation position using 3 and 5mm margins. Registrations were initially restricted to translational corrections. If the bony anatomy did not agree with the simulation position to within 3mm or 5mm, the auto-match was repeated with 3 additional rotational corrections. Intrafraction motion was calculated as the difference between the pre- and post-treatment CBCT matches.


Pre-treatment patient positioning agreed with the simulation CT to within 3mm/5mm for 62%/86% of fractions using translational matching and 84%/100% of fractions when rotations were included. Intrafraction motion averaged 1.1±0.8mm, with 12% of fractions having >2mm intrafraction motion. Post-treatment positioning accuracy was 57%/84% and 80%/100% for registrations without/with rotations. For the mandible, positioning accuracy dropped from 93% pre-treatment to 82% post-treatment.


If rotational corrections are available, the immobilization system studied created reproducible patient positioning to within 3mm for 84% of fractions. However, intrafraction motion caused additional anatomy to fall outside the 3mm margin by the end of treatment.