Robust plan optimization for electromagnetic transponder guided hypo-fractionated prostate treatment using volumetric modulated arc therapy
Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
To develop an optimization algorithm for volumetric modulated arc therapy which incorporates an electromagnetic tracking (EMT) guided gating strategy and is robust to residual intra-fractional motion uncertainties. In a computer simulation, intra-fractional motion traces from prior treatments with EMT were converted to a probability distribution function (PDF), truncated using a patient specific action volume that encloses allowed deviations from the planned position, and renormalized to yield a new PDF with EMT-gated interventions. In lieu of a conventional planning target volume (PTV), multiple instances of clinical target volume (CTV) and organs at risk (OARs) were replicated and displaced to extreme positions inside the action volume representing possible delivery scenarios. When optimizing the volumetric modulated arc therapy plan, doses to the CTV and OARs were calculated as a sum of doses to the replicas weighted by the PDF to account for motion. A treatment plan meeting the clinical constraints was produced and compared to the counterpart conventional margin (PTV) plan. EMT traces from a separate testing database served to simulate motion during gated delivery. Dosimetric end points extracted from dose accumulations for each motion trace were utilized to evaluate potential clinical benefit. Five prostate cases from a hypofractionated protocol (42.5 Gy in 5 fractions) were retrospectively investigated. The patient specific gating window resulted in tight anterior and inferior action levels (~1 mm) to protect rectal wall and bladder wall, and resulted in an average of four beam interruptions per fraction in the simulation. The robust-optimized plans achieved the same average CTV D95 coverage of 40.5 Gy as the PTV-optimized plans, but with reduced patient-averaged rectum wall D1cc by 2.2 Gy (range 0.7 to 4.7 Gy) and bladder wall mean dose by 2.9 Gy (range 2.0 to 3.4 Gy). Integration of an intra-fractional motion management strategy into the robust optimization process is feasible and may yield improved OAR sparing compared to the standard margin approach.