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Target volume and position variations during intensity-modulated radiotherapy for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Authors Tan W , Li Y, Han G , Xu J, Xionghong W, Li Y, Hu D

Received 27 August 2013

Accepted for publication 21 September 2013

Published 21 November 2013 Volume 2013:6 Pages 1719—1728


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Wenyong Tan,* Yanping Li,* Guang Han, Jiaozhen Xu, Xiaohong Wang, Ying Li, Desheng Hu

Department of Radiation Oncology, Hubei Cancer Hospital, Wuhan, People's Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: Considerable anatomical changes occur during intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This study aimed to quantify volumetric and positional variations of the target volume during IMRT.
Materials and methods: Twenty patients with locally advanced NPC who received concurrent (13 patients) or sequential (seven patients) chemoradiotherapy were prospectively recruited and underwent planning computed tomography (CT) and six repeat CTs (every five fractions). Each repeat CT was rigidly registered to the planning CT. Gross tumor volume (GTV) and elective clinical target volume (CTV) were manually delineated on each axial CT image. CTVs of the primary tumor and lymph nodes were expanded with 5 mm margins to corresponding GTVs, with necessary modifications. Volume loss, system and random errors, and the mean and three-dimensional vector displacements were calculated and compared statistically.
Results: Volumes of the primary tumor and small (>1 cm, ≤3 cm) and large (>3 cm) positive neck lymph nodes decreased at a rate of 2.6%, 3.7%, and 3.9% per treatment day, respectively. CTVs of the primary tumor, lymph nodes, and elective region decreased 1.5%, 2.3%, and 0.3% per treatment day, respectively. Average displacements of the GTVs and CTVs were <1.3 mm in all directions. GTVs and CTVs of the large and small lymph nodes shifted medially by 0.8–1.3 and 0.6–1.2 mm, respectively, on average. Average three-dimensional displacements of the GTVs and CTVs were 3.4–4.3 mm and 2.5–3.7 mm, respectively. Volume loss and displacements in most directions were significantly larger in patients receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy than in those receiving sequential therapy. Volume loss and displacements of the GTV of large nodes and elective CTV were significantly larger in male than in female patients.
Conclusion: Volumetric and positional changes of the target volume were considerable, and volume loss increased as treatment time elapsed during IMRT for NPC.

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, adaptive radiotherapy, radiation response, anatomical changes, organ motion

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