The contribution of integrated PET/CT to the evolving definition of treatment volumes in radiation treatment planning in lung cancer.
ABSTRACT Positron emission tomography (PET) with the glucose analog [18F]fluro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) has been accepted as a valuable tool for the staging of lung cancer, but the use of PET/CT in radiation treatment planning is still not yet clearly defined. By the use of (PET/computed tomography (CT) images in treatment planning, we were able to define a new gross treatment volume using anatomic biologic contour (ABC), delineated directly on PET/CT images. We prospectively addressed three issues in this study: (1) How to contour treatment volumes on PET/CT images, (2) Assessment of the degree of correlation between CT-based gross tumor volume/planning target volume (GTV/PTV) (GTV-CT and PTV-CT) and the corresponding PET/CT-based ABC treatment volumes (GTV-ABC and PTV-ABC), (3) Magnitude of interobserver (radiation oncologist planner) variability in the delineation of ABC treatment volumes (using our contouring method).
Nineteen patients with Stages II-IIIB non-small-cell lung cancer were planned for radiation treatments using a fully integrated PET/CT device. Median patient age was 74 years (range: 52-82 years), and median Karnofsky performance status was 70. Thermoplastic or vacuum-molded immobilization devices required for conformal radiation therapy were custom fabricated for the patient before the injection of f-FDG. Integrated, coregistered PET/CT images were obtained and transferred to the radiation planning workstation (Xeleris). While the PET data remained obscured, a CT-based gross tumor volume (GTV-CT) was delineated by two independent observers. The PTV was obtained by adding a 1.5-cm margin around the GTV. The same volumes were recontoured using PET/CT data and termed GTV-ABC and PTV-ABC, correspondingly.
We observed a distinct "halo" around areas of maximal standardized uptake value (SUV). The halo was identified by its distinct color at the periphery of all areas of maximal SUV uptake, independent of PET/CT gain ratio; the halo had an SUV of 2 +/- 0.4 and thickness of 2 mm +/- 0.5 mm. Whereas the center of our contoured treatment volume expressed the maximum SUV level, a steady decline of SUV was noted peripherally until SUV levels of 2 +/- 0.4 were reached at the peripheral edge of our contoured volume, coinciding with the observed halo region. This halo was always included in the contoured GTV-ABC. Because of the contribution of PET/CT to treatment planning, a clinically significant (> or =25%) treatment volume modification was observed between the GTV-CT and GTV-ABC in 10/19 (52%) cases, 5 of which resulted in an increase in GTV-ABC volume vs. GTV-CT. The modification of GTV between CT-based and PET/CT-based treatment planning resulted in an alteration of PTV exceeding 20% in 8 out of 19 patients (42%). Interobserver GTV variability decreased from a mean volume difference of 28.3 cm3 (in CT-based planning) to 9.12 cm3 (in PET/CT-based planning) with a respective decrease in standard deviation (SD) from 20.99 to 6.47. Interobserver PTV variability also decreased from 69.8 cm3 (SD +/- 82.76) in CT-based planning to 23.9 cm3 (SD +/- 15.31) with the use of PET/CT in planning. The concordance in treatment planning between observers was increased by the use of PET/CT; 16 (84%) had < or =10% difference from mean of GTVs using PET/CT compared to 7 cases (37%) using CT alone (p = 0.0035). Conclusion: Position emission tomography/CT-based radiation treatment planning is a useful tool resulting in modification of GTV in 52% and improvement of interobserver variability up to 84%. The use of PET/CT-based ABC can potentially replace the use of GTV. The anatomic biologic halo can be used for delineation of volumes.
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: PET has been proven to be helpful in the delineation of gross tumour volume (GTV) for external radiation therapy in several tumour entities. The aim of this study was to determine if [(11)C]choline PET could be used to localize the carcinomatous tissue within the prostate in order to specifically target this area for example with high-precision radiation therapy. METHODS: Included in this prospective study were 20 patients with histological proven prostate carcinoma who underwent [(11)C]choline PET/CT before radical prostatectomy. After surgical resection, specimens were fixed and cut into 5-mm step sections. In each section the area of the carcinoma was delineated manually by an experienced pathologist and digitalized, and the histopathological tumour volume was calculated. Shrinkage due to resection and fixation was corrected using in-vivo and ex-vivo CT data of the prostate. Histopathological tumour location and size were compared with the choline PET data. Different segmentation algorithms were applied to the PET data to segment the intraprostatic lesion volume. RESULTS: A total of 28 carcinomatous lesions were identified on histopathology. Only 13 (46 %) of these lesions had corresponding focal choline uptake. In the remaining lesions, no PET uptake (2 lesions) or diffuse uptake not corresponding to the area of the carcinoma (13 lesions) was found. In the patients with corresponding PET lesions, no suitable SUV threshold (neither absolute nor relative) was found for GTV segmentation to fit the volume to the histological tumour volume. CONCLUSION: The choline uptake pattern corresponded to the histological localization of prostate cancer in fewer than 50 % of lesions. Even when corresponding visual choline uptake was found, this uptake was highly variable between patients. Therefore SUV thresholding with standard algorithms did not lead to satisfying results with respect to defining tumour tissue in the prostate.European Journal of Nuclear Medicine 02/2013; · 4.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides excellent soft tissue contrast for oncology applications. We propose to combine a MRI scanner with a helical tomotherapy (HT) system to enable daily target imaging for improved conformal radiation dose delivery to a patient. HT uses an intensity-modulated fan-beam that revolves around a patient, while the patient slowly advances through the plane of rotation, yielding a helical beam trajectory. Since the use of a linear accelerator to produce radiation may be incompatible with the pulsed radiofrequency and the high and pulsed magnetic fields required for MRI, it is proposed that a radioactive Cobalt-60 ((60)Co) source be used instead to provide the radiation. An open low field (0.25 T) MRI system is proposed where the tomotherapy ring gantry is located between two sets of Helmholtz coils that can generate a sufficiently homogenous main magnetic field.It is shown that the two major challenges with the design, namely acceptable radiation dose rate (and therefore treatment duration) and moving parts in strong magnetic field, can be addressed. The high dose rate desired for helical tomotherapy delivery can be achieved using two radiation sources of 220TBq (6000Ci) each on a ring gantry with a source to axis-of-rotation distance of 75 cm. In addition to this, a dual row multi-leaf collimator (MLC) system with 15 mm leaf width at isocentre and relatively large fan beam widths between 15 and 30 mm per row shall be employed. In this configuration, the unit would be well-suited for most pelvic radiotherapy applications where the soft tissue contrast of MRI will be particularly beneficial. Non-magnetic MRI compatible materials must be used for the rotating gantry. Tungsten, which is non-magnetic, can be used for primary collimation of the fan-beam as well as for the MLC, which allows intensity modulated radiation delivery. We propose to employ a low magnetic Cobalt compound, sycoporite (CoS) for the Cobalt source material itself.Rotational delivery is less susceptible to problems related to the use of a low energy megavoltage photon source while the helical delivery reduces the negative impact of the relatively large penumbra inherent in the use of Cobalt sources for radiotherapy. On the other hand, the use of a (60)Co source ensures constant dose rate with gantry rotation and makes dose calculation in a magnetic field as easy as the range of secondary electrons is limited.The MR-integrated Cobalt tomotherapy unit, dubbed 'MiCoTo,' uses two independent physical principles for image acquisition and treatment delivery. It would offer excellent target definition and will allow following target motion during treatment using fast imaging techniques thus providing the best possible input for adaptive radiotherapy. As an additional bonus, quality assurance of the radiation delivery can be performed in situ using radiation sensitive gels imaged by MRI.Journal of Medical Physics 10/2006; 31(4):242-54.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate distortion of the tabletop in a diagnostic positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) system to determine its suitability for planning radiotherapy positioning. Distortion of the tabletop was compared among PET-CT, lineac CT, and CT simulator systems. A phantom or angiography catheter was fixed to the tabletop and imaged after iron plate weight loading. The acquired images were analyzed using radiotherapy planning software. Distortion of the tabletop was measured based on the displayed coordinates. Sinking represented the greatest distortion of the tabletop in all systems. Using the same baseline, the maximum sinking were -0.4, -0.2, and +0.4 cm, respectively. The distortion of the tabletop in the PET-CT system was more similar to that in the lineac CT than in the CT simulator system. Distortion of the tabletop in a diagnostic PET-CT system may be within the acceptable range to allow its use for planning radiotherapy positioning.Japanese journal of radiology 02/2010; 28(2):143-8. · 0.73 Impact Factor