Evaluation of Deformable Image Registration (DIR) Methods for Dose Accumulation in Nasopharyngeal Cancer Patients during Radiotherapy
Introduction: Deformable image registration (DIR) is used to modify structures according to anatomical changes for observing the dosimetric effect. In this study, Megavoltage Computed Tomography (MVCT) images were used to generate cumulative doses for nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) patients by various DIR methods. The performance of the multiple DIR methods was analyzed, and the impact of dose accumulation was assessed.
Methods: The study consisted of five NPC patients treated with a helical tomotherapy unit. The weekly MVCT images at the 1st, 6th, 11th, 16th, 21st, 26th, and 31st fractions were used to assess the dose accumulation by the four DIR methods. The cumulative dose deviations from the initial treatment plan were analyzed, and correlations of these variations with the anatomic changes and DIR methods were explored.
Results: The target dose received a slightly different result from the initial plan at the end of the treatment. The organ dose differences increased as the treatment progressed to 6.8% (range: 2.2 to 10.9%), 15.2% (range: -1.7 to 36.3%), and 6.4% (range: -1.6 to 13.2%) for the right parotid, the left parotid, and the spinal cord, respectively. The mean uncertainty values to estimate the accumulated doses for all the DIR methods were 0.21 ± 0.11 Gy (target dose), 1.41 ± 0.72 Gy (right parotid), 0.487 ± 0.86 Gy (left parotid), and 0.141 ± 0.13 Gy (spinal cord).
Conclusions: Accuracy of the DIR methods affects the estimation of dose accumulation on both the target dose and the organ dose. The DIR methods provide an adequate dose estimation technique for observation as a result of inter-fractional anatomic changes and are beneficial for adaptive treatment strategies.
Deformable image registration, dose accumulation, nasopharyngeal cancer, MVCT, helical tomotherapy