A Novel Markerless Technique to Evaluate Daily Lung Tumor Motion Based on Conventional Cone-Beam CT Projection Data

Department of Computer Science, University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, TX, USA.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Impact Factor: 4.18). 02/2012; 82(5):e749-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.11.035
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this study, we present a novel markerless technique, based on cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) raw projection data, to evaluate lung tumor daily motion.
The markerless technique, which uses raw CBCT projection data and locates tumors directly on every projection, consists of three steps. First, the tumor contour on the planning CT is used to create digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) at every projection angle. Two sets of DRRs are created: one showing only the tumor, and another with the complete anatomy without the tumor. Second, a rigid two-dimensional image registration is performed to register the DRR set without the tumor to the CBCT projections. After the registration, the projections are subtracted from the DRRs, resulting in a projection dataset containing primarily tumor. Finally, a second registration is performed between the subtracted projection and tumor-only DRR. The methodology was evaluated using a chest phantom containing a moving tumor, and retrospectively in 4 lung cancer patients treated by stereotactic body radiation therapy. Tumors detected on projection images were compared with those from three-dimensional (3D) and four-dimensional (4D) CBCT reconstruction results.
Results in both static and moving phantoms demonstrate that the accuracy is within 1 mm. The subsequent application to 22 sets of CBCT scan raw projection data of 4 lung cancer patients includes about 11,000 projections, with the detected tumor locations consistent with 3D and 4D CBCT reconstruction results. This technique reveals detailed lung tumor motion and provides additional information than conventional 4D images.
This technique is capable of accurately characterizing lung tumor motion on a daily basis based on a conventional CBCT scan. It provides daily verification of the tumor motion to ensure that these motions are within prior estimation and covered by the treatment planning volume.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tumor motion caused by respiration is an important issue in image-guided radiotherapy. A 2D/4D matching method between 4D volumes derived from cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and 2D fluoroscopic images was implemented to track the tumor motion without the use of implanted markers. In this method, firstly, 3DCBCT and phase-rebinned 4DCBCT are reconstructed from cone beam acquisition. Secondly, 4DCBCT volumes and a streak-free 3DCBCT volume are combined to improve the image quality of the digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs). Finally, the 2D/4D matching problem is converted into a 2D/2D matching between incoming projections and DRR images from each phase of the 4DCBCT. The diaphragm is used as a target surrogate for matching instead of using the tumor position directly. This relies on the assumption that if a patient has the same breathing phase and diaphragm position as the reference 4DCBCT, then the tumor position is the same. From the matching results, the phase information, diaphragm position and tumor position at the time of each incoming projection acquisition can be derived. The accuracy of this method was verified using 16 candidate datasets, representing lung and liver applications and one-minute and two-minute acquisitions. The criteria for the eligibility of datasets were described: 11 eligible datasets were selected to verify the accuracy of diaphragm tracking, and one eligible dataset was chosen to verify the accuracy of tumor tracking. The diaphragm matching accuracy was 1.88 ± 1.35 mm in the isocenter plane and the 2D tumor tracking accuracy was 2.13 ± 1.26 mm in the isocenter plane. These features make this method feasible for real-time marker-free tumor motion tracking purposes.
    Physics in Medicine and Biology 04/2014; 59(9):2219-2233. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/59/9/2219 · 2.92 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To develop a tumor tracking method based on a surrogate-driven motion model, which provides noninvasive dynamic localization of extracranial targets for the compensation of respiration-induced intrafraction motion in high-precision radiation therapy. The proposed approach is based on a patient-specific breathing motion model, derived a priori from 4-dimensional planning computed tomography (CT) images. Model parameters (respiratory baseline, amplitude, and phase) are retrieved and updated at each treatment fraction according to in-room radiography acquisition and optical surface imaging. The baseline parameter is adapted to the interfraction variations obtained from the daily cone beam (CB) CT scan. The respiratory amplitude and phase are extracted from an external breathing surrogate, estimated from the displacement of the patient thoracoabdominal surface, acquired with a noninvasive surface imaging device. The developed method was tested on a database of 7 lung cancer patients, including the synchronized information on internal and external respiratory motion during a CBCT scan. About 30 seconds of simultaneous acquisition of CBCT and optical surface images were analyzed for each patient. The tumor trajectories identified in CBCT projections were used as reference and compared with the target trajectories estimated from surface displacement with the a priori motion model. The resulting absolute differences between the reference and estimated tumor motion along the 2 image dimensions ranged between 0.7 and 2.4 mm; the measured phase shifts did not exceed 7% of the breathing cycle length. We investigated a tumor tracking method that integrates breathing motion information provided by the 4-dimensional planning CT with surface imaging at the time of treatment, representing an alternative approach to point-based external-internal correlation models. Although an in-room radiograph-based assessment of the reliability of the motion model is envisaged, the developed technique does not involve the estimation and continuous update of correlation parameters, thus requiring a less intense use of invasive imaging.
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 01/2014; 88(1):182-188. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.09.026 · 4.18 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Purpose To obtain a contrasted image of the tumor region during the setup for proton therapy in lung patients, by using proton radiography and x-ray computed tomography (CT) prior knowledge. Methods and Materials Six lung cancer patients' CT scans were preprocessed by masking out the gross tumor volume (GTV), and digitally reconstructed radiographs along the planned beam's eye view (BEV) were generated, for a total of 27 projections. Proton radiographies (PR) were also computed for the same BEV through Monte Carlo simulations. The digitally reconstructed radiograph was subtracted from the corresponding proton image, resulting in a contrast-enhanced proton radiography (CEPR). Michelson contrast analysis was performed both on PR and CEPR. The tumor region was then automatically segmented on CEPR and compared to the ground truth (GT) provided by physicians in terms of Dice coefficient, accuracy, precision, sensitivity, and specificity. Results Contrast on CEPR was, on average, 4 times better than on PR. For 10 lateral projections (±45° off of 90° or 270°), although it was not possible to distinguish the tumor region in the PR, CEPR offers excellent GTV visibility. The median ± quartile values of Dice, precision, and accuracy indexes were 0.86 ± 0.03, 0.86 ± 0.06, and 0.88 ± 0.02, respectively, thus confirming the reliability of the method in highlighting tumor boundaries. Sensitivity and specificity analysis demonstrated that there is no systematic over- or underestimation of the tumor region. Identification of the tumor boundaries using CEPR resulted in a more accurate and precise definition of GTV compared to that obtained from pretreatment CT. Conclusions In most proton centers, the current clinical protocol is to align the patient using kV imaging with bony anatomy as a reference. We demonstrated that CEPR can significantly improve tumor visualization, allowing better patient set-up and permitting image guided proton therapy (IGPT).
    International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 11/2014; 90(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2014.06.057 · 4.18 Impact Factor