An on-line replanning method for head and neck adaptive radiotherapy

Ergun E. Ahunbay, Cheng Peng, Andrew Godley, Christopher Schultz, X. Allen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Daily setup for head and neck (HN) radiotherapy (RT) can vary randomly due to neck rotation and anatomy change. These differences cannot be totally corrected by the current practice of image guided RT with translational repositioning. The authors present a novel rapid correction scheme that can be used on-line to correct both interfractional setup variation and anatomy change for HN RT. The scheme consists of two major steps: (1) Segment aperture morphing (SAM) and (2) segment weight optimization (SWO). SAM is accomplished by applying the spatial relationship between the apertures and the contours of the planning target and organs at risk (OARs) to the new target and OAR contours. The new target contours are transferred from planning target contours to the CT of the day by means of deformable registration (MIMVISTA). The dose distribution for each new aperture was generated using a planning system with a fast dose engine and hardware and was input into a newly developed SWO package using fast sequential quadratic programming. The entire scheme was tested based on the daily CT images acquired for representative HN IMRT cases treated with a linac and CT-on-Rails combo. It was found that the target coverage and/or OAR sparing was degraded based on the CT of the day with the current standard repositioning from rigid registration. This degradation can be corrected by the SAM/SWO scheme. The target coverage and OAR sparing for the SAM/SWO plans were found to be equivalent to the original plan. The SAM/SWO process took 5-8 min for the head and neck cases studied. The proposed aperture morphing with weight optimization is an effective on-line approach for correcting interfractional patient setup and anatomic changes for head and neck cancer radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4776-4790
Number of pages15
JournalMedical physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Adaptive radiotherapy
  • Head and neck
  • IGRT
  • Interfractional variations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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