Fifty-seventh annual meeting of the American association of physicists in medicine
SU-F-BRD-05: Robustness of Dose Painting by Numbers in Proton Therapy
Proton range uncertainties may cause important dose perturbations within the target volume, especially when steep dose gradients are present as in dose painting. The aim of this study is to assess the robustness against setup and range errors for high heterogeneous dose prescriptions (i.e., dose painting by numbers), delivered by proton pencil beam scanning.
An automatic workflow, based on MATLAB functions, was implemented through scripting in RayStation (RaySearch Laboratories). It performs a gradient-based segmentation of the dose painting volume from 18FDG-PET images (GTVPET), and calculates the dose prescription as a linear function of the FDG-uptake value on each voxel. The workflow was applied to two patients with head and neck cancer. Robustness against setup and range errors of the conventional PTV margin strategy (prescription dilated by 2.5 mm) versus CTV-based (minimax) robust optimization (2.5 mm setup, 3% range error) was assessed by comparing the prescription with the planned dose for a set of error scenarios.
In order to ensure dose coverage above 95% of the prescribed dose in more than 95% of the GTVPET voxels while compensating for the uncertainties, the plans with a PTV generated a high overdose. For the nominal case, up to 35% of the GTVPET received doses 5% beyond prescription. For the worst of the evaluated error scenarios, the volume with 5% overdose increased to 50%. In contrast, for CTV-based plans this 5% overdose was present only in a small fraction of the GTVPET, which ranged from 7% in the nominal case to 15% in the worst of the evaluated scenarios.
The use of a PTV leads to non-robust dose distributions with excessive overdose in the painted volume. In contrast, robust optimization yields robust dose distributions with limited overdose.
RaySearch Laboratories is sincerely acknowledged for providing us with RayStation treatment planning system and for the support provided.