Auto-optimisation for three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Wing Cheung Vincent Wu, D. W.L. Kwong, J. S.T. Sham, A. W.L. Mui

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the application of auto-optimisation in the treatment planning of three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Methods: Twenty-nine NPC patients were planned by both forward planning and auto-optimisation methods. The forward plans, which consisted of three coplanar facial fields, were produced according to the routine planning criteria. The auto-optimised plans, which consisted of 5-15 (median 9) fields, were generated by the planning system after prescribing the dose requirements and the importance weightings of the planning target volume and organs at risk. Plans produced by the two planning methods were compared by the dose volume histogram, tumour control probability (TCP), conformity index and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP). Results: The auto-optimised plans reduced the average planner's time by over 35 min. It demonstrated better TCP and conformity index than the forward plans (P = 0.03 and 0.04, respectively). Besides, the parotid gland and temporo-mandibular (TM) joint were better spared with the mean dose reduction of 31.8 and 17.7%, respectively. The slight trade off was the mild dose increase in spinal cord and brain stem with their maximum doses remaining within the tolerance limits. Conclusions: The findings demonstrated the potentials of auto-optimisation for improving target dose and parotid sparing in the 3DCRT of NPC with saving of the planner's time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-210
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Dose evaluation
  • Inverse planning
  • Parotid sparing
  • Radiotherapy planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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