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Intra-Observer Variability in Delineation of Target Volumes in Breast Radiotherapy and Its Effect On Accuracy of Deformation Measurements

P Juneja

P Juneja1,2*, M Bonora3 , P Evans4 , E Harris1,2 , (1) The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK, (2) Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Sutton, UK, (3) University of Milan, Milan, Italy, (4) University of Surrey, Guildford, UK


TU-A-12A-6 Tuesday 7:30AM - 9:30AM Room: 12A

Purpose: In breast radiotherapy, the target volume may change during treatment and need adaptation of the treatment plan. This is possible for both tumour bed (TB) and whole breast (WB) target volumes. Delineation of the target (to detect changes) is also subject to uncertainty due to intra- and inter-observer variability. This work measured the uncertainty, due to intra-observer variability, in the quantification of tissue deformation.

Methods: Datasets consisting of paired prone and supine CT scans of three patients were used. Significant deformation in target volumes is expected between prone and supine patient positions. The selected cases had 1) no seroma, 2) some seroma, and 3) large seroma. The TB and WB were outlined on each dataset three times by one clinician. Delineation variability was defined as the standard deviations of the distances between observer outlines. For each target volume and each case, tissue deformation between prone and supine delineations was quantified using the Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and the average surface distance (ASD). The uncertainty in the tissue deformation (due to delineation variability) was quantified by measuring the ranges of DSC and ASD using all combinations of pairs of outlines (9 pairs).

Results: For the TB, the range of delineation variability was 0.44-1.16 mm. The deformation, DSC and ASD, (and uncertainty in measurement) of the TB between prone and supine position of the cases were: 1) 0.21 (0.17-0.28) and 12.4 mm (11.8-13 mm); 2) 0.54 (0.51-0.57) and 3.3 mm (3.1-3.5 mm); 3) 0.62 (0.61-0.64) and 4.9 mm (4.6-5.2 mm). WB deformation measurements were subject to less uncertainty due to delineation variability than TB deformation measurements.

Conclusion: For the first time, the uncertainty, due to observer variability, in the measurement of the deformation of breast target volumes was investigated. Deformations in these ranges would be difficult to detect.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This work was supported in part by Cancer Research-UK under Programme Grant C46/A10588 and in part by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) through funding of the biomedical research imaging centre. P. Juneja is supported by the EPSRC Platform Grant EP/H046526/1.

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