TH-CD-207A-09: Stay On Target: Dynamic, Patient-Specific Templates of Fiducial Marker Clusters for IGRT




Pancreatic SBRT relies on extremely accurate delivery of ablative radiation doses to the target, and intra-fractional tracking of fiducial markers can facilitate improvements in dose delivery. However, this requires algorithms that are able to find fiducial markers with high speed and accuracy. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel marker tracking algorithm that is robust against many of the common errors seen with traditional template matching techniques.


Using CBCT projection images, a method was developed to create detailed template images of fiducial marker clusters without prior knowledge of the number of markers, their positions, or their orientations. Briefly, the method (i) enhances markers in projection images, (ii) stabilizes the cluster's position, (iii) reconstructs the cluster in 3D, and (iv) precomputes a set of static template images dependent on gantry angle. Furthermore, breathing data were used to produce 4D reconstructions of clusters, yielding dynamic template images dependent on gantry angle and breathing amplitude. To test these two approaches, static and dynamic templates were used to track the motion of marker clusters in more than 66,000 projection images from 75 CBCT scans of 15 pancreatic SBRT patients.


For both static and dynamic templates, the new technique was able to locate marker clusters present in projection images 100% of the time. The algorithm was also able to correctly locate markers in several instances where only some of the markers were visible due to insufficient field-of-view. In cases where clusters exhibited deformation and/or rotation during breathing, dynamic templates resulted in cross-correlation scores up to 70% higher than static templates.


Patient-specific templates provided complete tracking of fiducial marker clusters in CBCT scans, and dynamic templates helped to provide higher cross-correlation scores for deforming/rotating clusters. This novel algorithm provides an extremely accurate method to detect fiducial markers during treatment.

Research funding provided by Varian Medical Systems to Miften and Jones.