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Comparison of Dosimetric Robustness Between Proton Therapy and IMRT Plans Following Tumor Regression for Locally Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)

C Teng

C Teng1*, C Ainsley1 , B Teo1 , B Burgdorf1 , G Janssens2 , A Berman1 , W Levin1 , Y Xiao1 , L Lin1 , C Simone II1 , T Solberg1 , (1) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, (2) IBA, Louvain-la-neuve


SU-F-J-64 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: In the light of tumor regression and normal tissue changes, dose distributions can deviate undesirably from what was planned. As a consequence, replanning is sometimes necessary during treatment to ensure continued tumor coverage or to avoid overdosing organs at risk (OARs). Proton plans are generally thought to be less robust than photon plans because of the proton beam’s higher sensitivity to changes in tissue composition, suggesting also a higher likely replanning rate due to tumor regression. The purpose of this study is to compare dosimetric deviations between forward-calculated double scattering (DS) proton plans with IMRT plans upon tumor regression, and assesses their impact on clinical replanning decisions.

Methods: Ten consecutive locally advanced NSCLC patients whose tumors shrank > 50% in volume and who received four or more CT scans during radiotherapy were analyzed. All the patients received proton radiotherapy (6660 cGy, 180 cGy/fx). Dosimetric robustness during therapy was characterized by changes in the planning objective metrics as well as by point-by-point root-mean-squared differences for the entire PTV, ITV, and OARs (heart, cord, esophagus, brachial plexus and lungs) DVHs.

Results: Sixty-four pairs of DVHs were reviewed by three clinicians, who requested a replanning rate of 16.7% and 18.6% for DS and IMRT plans, respectively, with a high agreement between providers. Robustness of clinical indicators was found to depend on the beam orientation and dose level on the DVH curve. Proton dose increased most in OARs distal to the PTV along the beam path, but these changes were primarily in the mid to low dose levels. In contrast, the variation in IMRT plans occurred primarily in the high dose region.

Conclusion: Robustness of clinical indicators depends where on the DVH curves comparisons are made. Similar replanning rates were observed for DS and IMRT plans upon large tumor regression.

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