Anatomic feature-based registration for patient set-up in head and neck cancer radiotherapy

Gregory C. Sharp, Sashidhar Kollipara, Thomas Madden, Steve B. Jiang, Stanley J. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Modem radiotherapy equipment is capable of delivering high precision conformal dose distributions relative to isocentre. One of the barriers to precise treatments is accurate patient re-positioning before each fraction of treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital, we perform daily patient alignment using radiographs, which are captured by flat panel imaging devices and sent to an analysis program. A trained therapist manually selects anatomically significant features in the skeleton, and couch movement is computed based on the image coordinates of the features. The current procedure takes about 5 to 10 min and significantly affects the efficiency requirement in a busy clinic. This work presents our effort to develop an improved, semi-automatic procedure that uses the manually selected features from the first treatment fraction to automatically locate the same features on the second and subsequent fractions. An implementation of this semi-automatic procedure is currently in clinical use for head and neck tumour sites. Radiographs collected from 510 patient set-ups were used to test this algorithm. A mean difference of 1.5 mm between manual and automatic localization of individual features and a mean difference of 0.8 mm for overall set-up were seen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4667-4679
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 7 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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