Fluoroscopic tumor tracking for image-guided lung cancer radiotherapy

Tong Lin, Laura I. Cervĩo, Xiaoli Tang, Nuno Vasconcelos, Steve B. Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


Accurate lung tumor tracking in real time is a keystone to image-guided radiotherapy of lung cancers. Existing lung tumor tracking approaches can be roughly grouped into three categories: (1) deriving tumor position from external surrogates; (2) tracking implanted fiducial markers fluoroscopically or electromagnetically; (3) fluoroscopically tracking lung tumor without implanted fiducial markers. The first approach suffers from insufficient accuracy, while the second may not be widely accepted due to the risk of pneumothorax. Previous studies in fluoroscopic markerless tracking are mainly based on template matching methods, which may fail when the tumor boundary is unclear in fluoroscopic images. In this paper we propose a novel markerless tumor tracking algorithm, which employs the correlation between the tumor position and surrogate anatomic features in the image. The positions of the surrogate features are not directly tracked; instead, we use principal component analysis of regions of interest containing them to obtain parametric representations of their motion patterns. Then, the tumor position can be predicted from the parametric representations of surrogates through regression. Four regression methods were tested in this study: linear and two-degree polynomial regression, artificial neural network (ANN) and support vector machine (SVM). The experimental results based on fluoroscopic sequences of ten lung cancer patients demonstrate a mean tracking error of 2.1 pixels and a maximum error at a 95% confidence level of 4.6 pixels (pixel size is about 0.5 mm) for the proposed tracking algorithm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-992
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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