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Application of Surface Mapping in Detecting Swallowing for Head-&-Neck Cancer

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D Cao

D Cao*, X Xie , V Mehta , D Shepard , Swedish Cancer Institute, Seattle, WA,


SU-E-J-193 (Sunday, July 12, 2015) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose:Recent evidence is emerging that long term swallowing function may be improved after radiotherapy for head-&-neck cancer if doses are limited to certain swallowing structures. Immobilization of patients with head-&-neck cancer is typically done with a mask. This mask, however, doesn’t limit patient swallowing. Patient voluntary or involuntary swallowing may introduce significant tumor motion, which can lead to sub-optimal delivery. In this study, we have examined the feasibility of using surface mapping technology to detect patient swallowing during treatment and evaluated its magnitude.

Methods:The C-RAD Catalyst system was used to detect the patient surface map. A volunteer lying on the couch was used to simulate the patient under treatment. A virtual marker was placed near the throat and was used to monitor the swallowing action. The target motion calculated by the Catalyst system through deformable registration was also collected. Two treatment isocenters, one placed close to the throat and the other placed posterior to the base-of-tongue, were used to check the sensitivity of surface mapping technique.

Results:When the patient’s throat is not in the shadow of the patient’s chest, the Catalyst system can clearly identify the swallowing motion. In our tests, the vertical motion of the skin can reach to about 5mm. The calculated target motion can reach up to 1 cm. The magnitude of this calculated target motion is more dramatic when the plan isocenter is closer to the skin surface, which suggests that the Catalyst motion tracking technique is more sensitive to the swallowing motion with a shallower isocenter.

Conclusion:Surface mapping can clearly identify patient swallowing during radiation treatment. This information can be used to evaluate the dosimetric impact of the involuntary swallowing. It may also be used to potentially gate head-&-neck radiation treatments. A prospective IRB approved study is currently enrolling patients in our institution.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Research was funded through an Elekta grant

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