The impact of positron emission tomography on primary tumour delineation and dosimetric outcome in intensity modulated radiotherapy of early T-stage nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Wing Cheung Vincent Wu, Wan Shun Leung, Kwun Lam Wong, Ying Kit Chan, Wing Lam Law, Wing Kwan Leung, Yat Long Yu

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� 2016 The Author(s). Background: In intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), accurate delineation of the gross tumour volume (GTV) is important. Image registration of CT and MRI has been routinely used in treatment planning. With recent development of positron emission tomography (PET), the aims of this study were to evaluate the impact of PET on GTV delineation and dosimetric outcome in IMRT of early stage NPC patients. Methods: Twenty NPC patients with T1 or T2 disease treated by IMRT were recruited. For each patient, 2 sets of NP GTVs were delineated separately, in which one set was performed using CT and MRI registration only (GTVCM), while the other set was carried out using PET, CT and MRI information (GTVCMP). A 9-field IMRT plan was computed based on the target volumes generated from CT and MRI (PTVCM). To assess the geometric difference between the GTVCMand GTVCMP, GTV volumes and DICE similarity coefficient (DSC), which measured the geometrical similarity between the two GTVs, were recorded. To evaluate the dosimetric impact, the Dmax, Dmin, Dmean and D95 of PTVs were obtained from their dose volume histograms generated by the treatment planning system. Results: The overall mean volume of GTVCMPwas greater than GTVCM by 4.4 %, in which GTVCMPwas slightly greater in the T1 group but lower in the T2 group. The mean DSC of the whole group was 0.79 � 0.05. Similar mean DSC values were also obtained from the T1 and T2 groups separately. The dosimetric parameters of PTVCM fulfilled the planning requirements. When applying this plan to the PTVCMP, the average Dmin(56.9 Gy) and D95(68.6 Gy) of PTVCMPfailed to meet the dose requirements and demonstrated significant differences from the PTVCM(p = 0.001 and 0.016 respectively), whereas the doses to GTVCMPdid not show significant difference with the GTVCM. Conclusion: In IMRT of early stage NPC, PET was an important imaging modality in radiotherapy planning so as to avoid underdosing the PTV, although its effect on GTV delineation was not significant. It was recommended that PET images should be included in the treatment planning of NPC patients.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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