Accuracy of treatment setup for head and neck patients undergoing intensity-modulated radiation therapy is of paramount importance. The conventional method using orthogonal portal images can only detect translational setup errors while the most frequent setup errors for head and neck patients could be rotational errors. With the rapid development of image-guided radiotherapy, three-dimensional images are readily acquired and can be used to detect both translational and rotational setup errors. The purpose of this study is to determine the significance of rotational variations between two planning CT scans acquired for each of eight head and neck patients, who experienced substantial weight loss or tumor shrinkage. To this end, using a rigid body assumption, we developed an in-house computer program that utilizes matrix transformations to align point bony landmarks with an incremental best-fit routine. The program returns the quantified translational and rotational shifts needed to align the scans of each patient. The program was tested using a phantom for a set of known translational and rotational shifts. For comparison, a commercial treatment planning system was used to register the two CT scans and estimate the translational errors for these patients. For the eight patients, we found that the average magnitudes and standard deviations of the rotational shifts about the transverse, anterior-posterior, and longitudinal axes were 1.7 +/- 2.3 degrees, 0.8 +/- 0.7 degrees, and 1.8 +/- 1.1 degrees, respectively. The average magnitudes and standard deviations of the translational shifts were 2.5 +/- 2.6 mm, 2.9 +/- 2.8 mm, 2.7 +/- 1.7 mm while the differences detected between our program and the CT-CT fusion method were 1.8 +/- 1.3 mm, 3.3 +/- 5.4 mm, and 3.0 +/- 3.4 mm in the left-right, anterior-posterior, and superior-inferior directions, respectively. A trend of larger rotational errors resulting in larger translational differences between the two methods was observed. In conclusion, conventional methods used for verifying patient positioning may misinterpret rotational shifts as translational shifts, and our study demonstrated that rotational errors may be significant in the treatment of head and neck cancer.
"Second, they can only visualize bony structures, so changes in soft tissue are not detected using this method. Third, 2D-radiographs are not adequate for detecting rotational movement of the head   . As such, recent advances in three-dimensional (3D) (or volumetric) in-room imaging have offered new solutions to the limitations of conventional patient positioning. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy has a well-established role in the management of head and neck cancers. Over the past decade, a variety of new imaging modalities have been incorporated into the radiotherapy planning and delivery process. These technologies are collectively referred to as image-guided radiotherapy and may lead to significant gains in tumor control and radiation side effect profiles. In the following review, these techniques as they are applied to head and neck cancer patients are described, and clinical studies analyzing their use in target delineation, patient positioning, and adaptive radiotherapy are highlighted. Finally, we conclude with a brief discussion of potential areas of further radiotherapy advancement.
Journal of Oncology 02/2009; 2009(1687-8450):752135. DOI:10.1155/2009/752135
"In clinical radiotherapy, there exists a considerable body of literature on the accuracy of patient positioning and repositioning (Ezzell et al 2007, Allison et al 2006, Murray et al 2007, Lovelock et al 2005). Based on these methodologies, we have developed a special cradle for animal positioning and atraumatic immobilization which includes a stereotactic template with fiduciary markers to facilitate registration. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dedicated small-animal imaging devices, e.g. positron emission tomography (PET), computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, are being increasingly used for translational molecular imaging studies. The objective of this work was to determine the positional accuracy and precision with which tumors in situ can be reliably and reproducibly imaged on dedicated small-animal imaging equipment. We designed, fabricated and tested a custom rodent cradle with a stereotactic template to facilitate registration among image sets. To quantify tumor motion during our small-animal imaging protocols, 'gold standard' multi-modality point markers were inserted into tumor masses on the hind limbs of rats. Three types of imaging examination were then performed with the animals continuously anesthetized and immobilized: (i) consecutive microPET and MR images of tumor xenografts in which the animals remained in the same scanner for 2 h duration, (ii) multi-modality imaging studies in which the animals were transported between distant imaging devices and (iii) serial microPET scans in which the animals were repositioned in the same scanner for subsequent images. Our results showed that the animal tumor moved by less than 0.2-0.3 mm over a continuous 2 h microPET or MR imaging session. The process of transporting the animal between instruments introduced additional errors of approximately 0.2 mm. In serial animal imaging studies, the positioning reproducibility within approximately 0.8 mm could be obtained.
Physics in Medicine and Biology 11/2008; 53(20):5867-82. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/53/20/021 · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal was to provide a quantitative evaluation of the accuracy of three different fixation systems for stereotactic radiotherapy and to evaluate patients' acceptance for all fixations.
A total of 16 consecutive patients with brain tumours undergoing fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy (SCRT) were enrolled after informed consent (Clinical trials.gov: NCT00181350). Fixation systems evaluated were the BrainLAB® mask, with and without custom made bite-block (fixations S and A) and a homemade neck support with bite-block (fixation B) based on the BrainLAB® frame. The sequence of measurements was evaluated in a randomized manner with a cross-over design and patients' acceptance by a questionnaire.
The mean three-dimensional (3D) displacement and standard deviations were 1.16 ± 0.68 mm for fixation S, 1.92 ± 1.28 and 1.70 ± 0.83 mm for fixations A and B, respectively. There was a significant improvement of the overall alignment (3D vector) when using the standard fixation instead of fixation A or B in the craniocaudal direction (p = 0.037). Rotational deviations were significantly less for the standard fixation S in relation to fixations A (p = 0.005) and B (p = 0.03). EPI imaging with off-line correction further improved reproducibility. Five out of 8 patients preferred the neck support with the bite-block.
The mask fixation system in conjunction with a bite-block is the most accurate fixation for SCRT reducing craniocaudal and rotational movements. Patients favoured the more comfortable but less accurate neck support. To optimize the accuracy of SCRT, additional regular portal imaging is warranted.
Strahlentherapie und Onkologie 12/2011; 188(1):84-90. DOI:10.1007/s00066-011-0018-7 · 2.91 Impact Factor
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