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BEST IN PHYSICS (THERAPY) - A Supervised Framework for Automatic Contour Assessment for Radiotherapy Planning of Head-Neck Cancer

H Chen

H Chen*, J Kavanaugh , J Tan , S Dolly , H Gay , W Thorstad , M Anastasio , M Altman , S Mutic , H Li , Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO


TU-C-17A-4 Tuesday 10:15AM - 12:15PM Room: 17A

Purpose: Precise contour delineation of tumor targets and critical structures from CT simulations is essential for accurate radiotherapy (RT) treatment planning. However, manual and automatic delineation processes can be error prone due to limitations in imaging techniques and individual anatomic variability. Tedious and laborious manual verification is hence needed. This study develops a general framework for automatically assessing RT contours for head-neck cancer patients using geometric attribute distribution models (GADMs).

Methods: Geometric attributes (centroid and volume) were computed from physician-approved RT contours of 29 head-neck patients. Considering anatomical correlation between neighboring structures, the GADM for each attribute was trained to characterize intra- and inter-patient structure variations using principal component analysis. Each trained GADM was scalable and deformable, but constrained by the principal attribute variations of the training contours. A new hierarchical model adaptation algorithm was utilized to assess the RT contour correctness for a given patient. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were employed to evaluate and tune system parameters for the training models.

Results: Experiments utilizing training and non-training data sets with simulated contouring errors were conducted to validate the framework performance. Promising assessment results of contour normality/abnormality for the training contour-based data were achieved with excellent accuracy (0.99), precision (0.99), recall (0.83), and F-score (0.97), while corresponding values of 0.84, 0.96, 0.83, and 0.9 were achieved for the non-training data. Furthermore, the areas under the ROC curves were above 0.9, validating the accuracy of this test.

Conclusion: The proposed framework can reliably identify contour normality/abnormality based upon intra- and inter-structure constraints derived from clinically-approved contours. It also allows physicians to analytically determine the system parameters to fit various clinic requirements (e.g. as-low-as-possible false positives). It has great potential for improving RT work flow. More geometric attributes and training sets will be investigated to improve framework performance in the future.

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