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: OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to establish the correlation and reliability among the pathologic tumor volume and gradient and fixed threshold segmentations of (18)F-FDG PET metabolic tumor volume of human solid tumors. MATERIALS AND METHODS. There were 52 patients included in the study who had undergone baseline PET/CT with subsequent resection of head and neck, lung, and colorectal tumors. The pathologic volume was calculated from three dimensions of the gross tumor specimen as a reference standard. The primary tumor metabolic tumor volume was segmented using gradient and 30%, 40%, and 50% maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) threshold methods. Pearson correlation coefficient, intraclass correlation coefficient, and Bland-Altman analyses were performed to establish the correlation and reliability among the pathologic volume and segmented metabolic tumor volume. RESULTS. The mean pathologic volume; gradient-based metabolic tumor volume; and 30%, 40%, and 50% SUVmax threshold metabolic tumor volumes were 13.46, 13.75, 15.47, 10.63, and 7.57 mL, respectively. The intraclass correlation coefficients among the pathologic volume and the gradient-based and 30%, 40%, and 50% SUVmax threshold metabolic tumor volumes were 0.95, 0.85, 0.80, and 0.76, respectively. The Bland-Altman biases were -0.3, -2.0, 2.82, and 5.9 mL, respectively. Of the small tumors (< 10 mL), 23 of the 35 patients had PET segmented volume outside 50% of the pathologic volume, and among the large tumors (≥ 10 mL) three of the 17 patients had PET segmented volumes that were outside 50% of pathologic volume. CONCLUSION. FDG PET metabolic tumor volume estimated using gradient segmentation had superior correlation and reliability with the estimated ellipsoid pathologic volume of the tumors compared with threshold method segmentation.American Journal of Roentgenology 05/2014; 202(5):1114-9. · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: IntroductionIntrafraction tumour motion in helical tomotherapy was investigated by comparing pre- and mid-fraction CT scans in patients with early non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) to assess the efficacy of a 7-mm margin around gross tumour volumes (GTVs) in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).Methods Thirty patients with early-stage NSCLC received SBRT in four or five fractions for a total of 141 treatments. A slow positron emission tomography/CT scan was fused with the simulation CT to determine the GTV. A planning target volume was created by placing an isotropic margin of 7 mm around the GTV. Data were retrospectively analyzed to assess translational tumour positional changes along the x, y and z axes and vector changes in millimeters from the pretreatment megavoltage (MV)-CT to the mid-fraction MV-CT.ResultsAverage movements for all 141 treatment days along the x, y and z axes were 0.5 ± 2.3, −0.3 ± 3.0 and 0.9 ± 3.0 mm, respectively. Average movements for each patient along the x, y and z axes were 0.5 ± 1.5, −0.2 ± 2.0 and 0.9 ± 1.9 mm, respectively. Average vector displacement was 4.3 ± 2.4 mm for all treatment days and 4.2 ± 1.7 mm for each patient. Of 141 treatments, 137 (97.2%) fell within 7.0 mm in all axes.Conclusion The addition of a 7-mm margin to the GTV for patients receiving SBRT for NSCLC using tomotherapy is adequate to account for tumour movement. Mid-fraction CT scans proved to be valuable in assessing intrafraction tumour motion.Journal of Medical Imaging and Radiation Oncology 05/2014; · 0.98 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) has the potential to improve the staging and radiation treatment (RT) planning of various tumor sites. However, from a clinical standpoint, questions remain with regard to what extent PET/CT changes the target volume and whether PET/CT reduces interobserver variability in target volume delineation. The present study analyzed the use of FDG-PET/CT images for staging and evaluated the impact of FDG-PET/CT on the radiotherapy volume delineation compared with CT in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who were candidates for radiotherapy. Intraobserver variation in delineating tumor volumes was also observed. In total, 23 patients with stage I-III NSCLC were enrolled and treated with fractionated RT-based therapy with or without chemotherapy. FDG-PET/CT scans were acquired within two weeks prior to RT. PET and CT data sets were sent to the treatment planning system, Pinnacle, through compact discs. The CT and PET images were subsequently fused by means of a dedicated RT planning system. Gross tumor volume (GTV) was contoured by four radiation oncologists on CT (GTV-CT) and PET/CT images (GTV-PET/CT). The resulting volumes were analyzed and compared. For the first phase, two radiation oncologists outlined the contours together, achieving a final consensus. Based on PET/CT, changes in tumor-node-metastasis categories occurred in 8/23 cases (35%). Radiation targeting with fused FDG-PET and CT images resulted in alterations in radiation therapy planning in 12/20 patients (60%) in comparison with CT targeting. The most prominent changes in GTV were observed in cases with atelectasis. For the second phase, the variation in delineating tumor volumes was assessed by four observers. The mean ratio of largest to smallest CT-based GTV was 2.31 (range, 1.01-5.96). The addition of the PET results reduced the mean ratio to 1.46 (range, 1.02-2.27). PET/CT fusion images may have a potential impact on tumor staging and treatment planning. Implementing matched PET/CT results reduced observer variation in delineating tumor volumes significantly with respect to CT only.Oncology letters 04/2014; 7(4):1015-1020. · 0.24 Impact Factor