Dose-guided radiotherapy for lung tumors

Angelo Piermattei, Andrea Fidanzio, Savino Cilla, Francesca Greco, Luigi Azario, Domenico Sabatino, Mattia Grusio, Mariella Cozzolino, Vincenzo Fusco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transit in vivo dosimetry performed by an electronic portal imaging device (EPID) is a very practical method to check error sources in radiotherapy. Recently, the present authors have developed an in vivo dosimetry method based on correlation functions, F (w, L), defined as the ratio between the transit signal, S t (w, L), by the EPID and the mid-plane dose, D m (w, L), in a solid water phantom as a function of the phantom thickness, w, and of the field dimensions, L. In particular, generalized correlation functions F (w, L) for 6, 10 and 15 MV X-ray beams supplied by a pilot Varian linac, are here used by other three linacs operating in two centers. This way the workload, due to measurements in solid water phantom, needed to implement the in vivo dosimetry method was avoided. This article reports a feasibility study on the potentiality of this procedure for the adaptive radiotherapy of lung tumors treated by 3D conformal radiotherapy techniques. In particular, the dose reconstruction at the isocenter point D iso in the lung tumor has been used as dose-guided radiotherapy (DGRT), to detect the inter-fraction tumor anatomy variations that can require new CT scans and an adaptive plan. When a difference greater than 6% between the predicted dose by the treatment planning system (TPS), D iso,TPS and the D iso was observed, the clinical action started to detect possible anatomical lung tumor changes. Twelve over twenty patients examined presented in vivo dose discrepancies due to the tumor morphological changes during treatments, and these results were successively confirmed by new CT scans. In this work, for a patient that showed for all beams, D iso values over the tolerance level, the new CT scan was used for an adaptive plan. The lung dose volume histogram for D iso,TPS = 2 Gy per fraction suggested the adaptive plan. In particular, the lung volume included in 2 Gy increased from 350 cm3 of the original plan to 550 cm3 of the hybrid plan, while for the adaptive plan the lung volume included in 2 Gy decreased to 15 cm3. Moreover, the mean doses to the organs at risk were reduced to 70%. The results of this research show that the DGRT procedure by the D iso reconstruction, integrated with radiological imaging, was feasible for periodic investigation on morphological lung tumor changes. This feasibility study takes into account the accuracy of two algorithms based on the pencil beam and collapsed cone convolution models for dose calculations where large density inhomogeneities are present.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-86
Number of pages8
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


  • Adaptive radiotherapy
  • In vivo dosimetry
  • Portal dosimetry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Medicine(all)


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