Preliminary Evaluation of PTV Margins for Online Adaptive Radiation Therapy of the Prostatic Fossa

Howard E. Morgan, Kai Wang, Yulong Yan, Neil Desai, Raquibul Hannan, Eric Chambers, Bin Cai, Mu Han Lin, David J. Sher, Jing Wang, Andrew Z. Wang, Steve Jiang, Robert Timmerman, Chunjoo “Justin” Park, Aurelie Garant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: In modern trials, traditional planning target volume (PTV) margins for postoperative prostate radiation therapy have been large (7-10 mm) to account for both daily changes in patient positioning and target deformation. With daily adaptive radiation therapy, these interfractional changes could be minimized, potentially reducing the margins required for treatment and improving adjacent normal-tissue dosimetry. Methods and Materials: A single-center retrospective study was conducted from March 2021 to November 2021. Patients receiving conventionally fractionated postoperative radiation therapy (PORT) for prostate cancer with pretreatment and posttreatment cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) imaging (pre-CBCT and post-CBCT, respectively) were included (248 paired images). Pretreatment and posttreatment clinical target volumes (pre-CTVs and post-CTVs) were contoured by a single observer on all CBCTs and verified by a second observer. Motion was calculated from pre-CTV to that of the post-CTV, and predicted margins were calculated with van Herk's formula. Adequate coverage of the proposed planning target volume (PTV) margin expansions (pre-PTV) were verified by determining overlap with post-CTV. In a smaller cohort (25 paired images), dosimetric changes with the proposed online adaptive margins were compared with conventional plans in the Ethos emulator environment. Results: The estimated margins predicted to achieve ≥95% CTV coverage for 90% of the population were 1.6 mm, 2.0 mm, and 2.2 mm (x-, y-, and z -xes, respectively), with 95% of the absolute region of interest displacement being within 1.9 mm, 2.8 mm, and 2.1 mm. After symmetrically expanding all pre-CTVs by 3 mm, the percentage of paired images achieving ≥95% CTV coverage was 97.1%. When comparing adaptive plans (3-mm margins) with scheduled plans (7-mm margins), rectum dosimetry significantly improved, with an average relative reduction in V40Gy[cc] of 59.2% and V65Gy[cc] of 79.5% (where V40Gy and V65Gy are defined as the volumes receiving 40 Gy and 65 Gy or higher dose, respectively). Conclusions: Online daily adaptive radiation therapy could significantly decrease PTV margins for prostatic PORT and improve rectal dosimetry, with a symmetrical expansion of 3 mm achieving excellent coverage in this cohort. These results need to be validated in a larger prospective cohort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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