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Comparison of planning target volumes based on three-dimensional and four-dimensional CT imaging of thoracic esophageal cancer

Authors Wang W, Li J, Zhang Y, Shao Q, Xu M, Fan T, Wang J

Received 15 January 2016

Accepted for publication 20 May 2016

Published 2 August 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 4785—4791


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr William Cho

Wei Wang, Jianbin Li, Yingjie Zhang, Qian Shao, Min Xu, Tingyong Fan, Jinzhi Wang

Department of Radiation Oncology, Shandong Cancer Hospital Affiliated to Shandong University, Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences, Shandong, People’s Republic of China

Background and purpose: To investigate the definition of planning target volumes (PTVs) based on four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) compared with conventional PTV definition and PTV definition using asymmetrical margins for thoracic primary esophageal cancer.
Materials and methods:
Forty-three patients with esophageal cancer underwent 3DCT and 4DCT simulation scans during free breathing. The motions of primary tumors located in the proximal (group A), middle (group B), and distal (group C) thoracic esophagus were obtained from the 4DCT scans. PTV3D was defined on 3DCT using the tumor motion measured based on 4DCT, PTV conventional (PTVconv) was defined on 3DCT by adding a 1.0 cm margin to the clinical target volume, and PTV4D was defined as the union of the target volumes contoured on the ten phases of the 4DCT images. The centroid positions, volumetric differences, and dice similarity coefficients were evaluated for all PTVs.
The median centroid shifts between PTV3D and PTV4D and between PTVconv and PTV4D in all three dimensions were <0.3 cm for the three groups. The median size ratios of PTV4D to PTV3D were 0.80, 0.88, and 0.71, and PTV4D to PTVconv were 0.67, 0.73, and 0.76 (χ2=–3.18, –2.98, and –3.06; P=0.001, 0.003, and 0.002) for groups A, B, and C, respectively. The dice similarity coefficients were 0.87, 0.90, and 0.81 between PTV4D and PTV3D and 0.80, 0.84, and 0.83 between PTV4D and PTVconv (χ2=–3.18, –2.98, and –3.06; P=0.001, 0.003, and 0.002) for groups A, B, and C, respectively. The difference between the degree of inclusion of PTV4D in PTV3D and that of PTV4D in PTVconv was <2% for all groups. Compared with PTVconv, the amount of irradiated normal tissue for PTV3D was decreased by 11.81% and 11.86% in groups A and B, respectively, but was increased by 2.93% in group C.
For proximal and middle esophageal cancer, 3DCT-based PTV using asymmetrical margins provides good coverage of PTV4D; however, for distal esophageal cancer, 3DCT-based PTV using conventional margins provides ideal conformity with PTV4D.

planning target volume, 4DCT, 3DCT, esophageal carcinoma

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