A technique to re-establish dose distributions for previously treated brain cancer patients in external beam radiotherapy
Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
Tumor recurrences or new tumors may develop after irradiation of local lesion(s) in the brain, and additional radiotherapy treatments are often needed for previously treated patients. It is critical to re-establish the dose distributions delivered during the previous treatment in the current patient geometry, so that the previous dose distributions can be accurately taken into consideration in the design of the current treatment plan. The difficulty in re-establishing the previous treatment dose distributions in the current patient geometry arises from the fact that the patient position at the time of reirradiation is different from that at the previous treatment session. Simple re-entry of the previous isocenter coordinates, gantry, and couch and collimator angles into the new treatment plan would result in incorrect beam orientations relative to the new patient anatomy, and therefore incorrect display of the previous dose distributions on the current patient anatomy. To address this issue, a method has been developed so that the previous dose distributions can be accurately re-established in the framework of the current brain treatment. The method involves 3 matrix transformations: (1) transformation of beams from machine coordinate system to patient coordinate system in the previous treatment; (2) transformation of beams from patient coordinate system in the previous treatment to patient coordinate system in the current treatment; and (3) transformation of beams from patient coordinate system in the current treatment to machine coordinate system. The transformation matrices used in the second transformation are determined by registration using a mutual information-based algorithm with which the old and new computed tomography (CT) scan sets are registered automatically without human interpretation. A series of transformation matrices are derived to calculate the isocenter coordinates, the gantry, couch, and collimator angles of the beams for the previous treatment in the current patient geometry, and the previous dose distributions are re-established on the current CT images. The method has been proven to be successful and robust.