Lung cancer treatment is susceptible to treatment errors caused by interfractional anatomical and respirational variations of the patient. On-board treatment dose verification is especially critical for the lung stereotactic body radiation therapy due to its high fractional dose. This study investigates the feasibility of using cone-beam (CB)CT images estimated by a motion modeling and free-form deformation (MM-FD) technique for on-board dose verification.
Both digital and physical phantom studies were performed. Various interfractional variations featuring patient motion pattern change, tumor size change, and tumor average position change were simulated from planning CT to on-board images. The doses calculated on the planning CT (planned doses), the on-board CBCT estimated by MM-FD (MM-FD doses), and the on-board CBCT reconstructed by the conventional Feldkamp-Davis-Kress (FDK) algorithm (FDK doses) were compared to the on-board dose calculated on the “gold-standard” on-board images (gold-standard doses). The absolute deviations of minimum dose (ΔDmin), maximum dose (ΔDmax), and mean dose (ΔDmean), and the absolute deviations of prescription dose coverage (ΔV100%) were evaluated for the planning target volume (PTV). In addition, 4D on-board treatment dose accumulations were performed using 4D-CBCT images estimated by MM-FD in the physical phantom study. The accumulated doses were compared to those measured using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) detectors and radiochromic films.
Compared with the planned doses and the FDK doses, the MM-FD doses matched much better with the gold-standard doses. For the digital phantom study, the average (± standard deviation) ΔDmin, ΔDmax, ΔDmean, and ΔV100% (values normalized by the prescription dose or the total PTV) between the planned and the gold-standard PTV doses were 32.9% (±28.6%), 3.0% (±2.9%), 3.8% (±4.0%), and 15.4% (±12.4%), respectively. The corresponding values of FDK PTV doses were 1.6% (±1.9%), 1.2% (±0.6%), 2.2% (±0.8%), and 17.4% (±15.3%), respectively. In contrast, the corresponding values of MM-FD PTV doses were 0.3% (±0.2%), 0.9% (±0.6%), 0.6% (±0.4%), and 1.0% (±0.8%), respectively. Similarly, for the physical phantom study, the average ΔDmin, ΔDmax, ΔDmean, and ΔV100% of planned PTV doses were 38.1% (±30.8%), 3.5% (±5.1%), 3.0% (±2.6%), and 8.8% (±8.0%), respectively. The corresponding values of FDK PTV doses were 5.8% (±4.5%), 1.6% (±1.6%), 2.0% (±0.9%), and 9.3% (±10.5%), respectively. In contrast, the corresponding values of MM-FD PTV doses were 0.4% (±0.8%), 0.8% (±1.0%), 0.5% (±0.4%), and 0.8% (±0.8%), respectively. For the 4D dose accumulation study, the average (± standard deviation) absolute dose deviation (normalized by local doses) between the accumulated doses and the OSL measured doses was 3.3% (±2.7%). The average gamma index (3%/3 mm) between the accumulated doses and the radiochromic film measured doses was 94.5% (±2.5%).
MM-FD estimated 4D-CBCT enables accurate on-board dose calculation and accumulation for lung radiation therapy. It can potentially be valuable for treatment quality assessment and adaptive radiation therapy.