Spare the Bowel, Don't Spoil the Target: Optimal Margin Assessment for Online Cone Beam Adaptive Radiation Therapy (OnC-ART) of the Cervix

Allen Yen, Byongsu Choi, Enobang Inam, Austin Yeh, Mu Han Lin, Chunjoo Park, Brian Hrycushko, Chika Nwachukwu, Kevin Albuquerque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The standard treatment for locally advanced cervical cancer involves pelvic chemoradiation. Intensity modulated radiation therapy planning requires expansion of the cervix and uterus clinical target volume (CTV) by 1.5 to 2 cm to account for motion. With online cone beam adaptive radiation therapy (OnC-ART), interfractional movement is accounted for, which can potentially lead to smaller CTV to planned target volume (PTV) margins. In this study, we attempted to determine the optimal CTV-to-PTV margin for adequate coverage with OnC-ART and factors that can affect CTV coverage. Methods and Materials: A retrospective cohort of 21 patients with cervical cancer treated with definitive chemoradiation was included. Nine patients treated with nonadaptive radiation had the uterocervix contoured on pretreatment cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) and end-treatment CBCTs. Anterior-posterior, lateral, and superior-inferior shifts and the average shift in all directions were calculated. A CTV-to-PTV expansion was determined and verified on a validation cohort of 12 patients treated with OnC-ART. Results: The average anterior-posterior, lateral, and superior-inferior shifts with standard deviation were 0.32 ± 1.55 cm, 0.12 ± 2.31 cm, and 1.67 ± 3.41 cm, respectively. A uniform 5-mm expansion around the pretreatment CTV covered 98.85% ± 1.23% of the end-treatment CTV. This 5-mm expansion was applied to our validation cohort treated with OnC-ART, and 98.39% ± 3.0% of the end-treatment CTV was covered. Time between CBCTs >30 minutes and change in bladder volume were significantly correlated to CTV coverage. Conclusions: Based on our analysis, a CTV-to-PTV margin of 5 mm is adequate to encompass 98% of the CTV. A significantly reduced margin could potentially decrease the toxicities associated with radiation for patients with cervical cancer and lead to improved patient reported toxicity outcomes. We recommend physicians begin with a 5-mm margin and assess adequate coverage with image guidance during daily adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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