Radiation therapy physics
Robust PET-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy
Functional image guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy has the potential to improve cancer treatment quality by basing treatment parameters such as heterogeneous dose distributions information derived from imaging. However, such heterogeneous dose distributions are subject to imaging uncertainty. In this paper, the authors develop a robust optimization model to design plans that are desensitized to imaging uncertainty.
Starting from the pretreatment fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography scans, the authors use the raw voxel standard uptake values (SUVs) as input into a series of intermediate functions to transform the SUV into a desired dose. The calculated desired doses were used as an input into a robust optimization model to generate beamlet intensities. For each voxel, the authors assume that the true SUV cannot be observed but instead resides in an interval centered on the nominal (i.e., observed) SUV. Then the authors evaluated the nominal and robust solutions through a simulation study. The simulation considered the effect of the true SUV being different from the nominal SUV on the quality of the treatment plan. Treatment plans were compared on the metrics of objective function value and tumor control probability (TCP).
Computational results demonstrate the potential for improvements in tumor control probability and deviation from the desired dose distribution compared to a nonrobust model while maintaining acceptable tissue dose.
Robust optimization can help design treatment plans that are more stable in the presence of image value uncertainties.