Virtual Bronchoscopy-Guided Treatment Planning to Map and Mitigate Radiation-Induced Airway Injury in Lung SAbR

Narges Kazemzadeh, Arezoo Modiri, Santanu Samanta, Yulong Yan, Ross Bland, Timothy Rozario, Henky Wibowo, Puneeth Iyengar, Chul Ahn, Robert Timmerman, Amit Sawant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Radiation injury to the bronchial tree is an important yet poorly understood potential side effect in lung stereotactic ablative radiation therapy (SAbR). We investigate the integration of virtual bronchoscopy in radiation therapy planning to quantify dosage to individual airways. We develop a risk model of airway collapse and develop treatment plans that reduce the risk of radiation-induced airway injury. Methods and Materials: Pre- and post-SAbR diagnostic-quality computerized tomography (CT) scans were retrospectively collected from 26 lung cancer patients. From each scan, the bronchial tree was segmented using a virtual bronchoscopy system and registered deformably to the planning CT. Univariate and stepwise multivariate Cox regressions were performed, examining factors such as age, comorbidities, smoking pack years, airway diameter, and maximum point dosage (D max ). Logistic regression was utilized to formulate a risk function of segmental collapse based on D max and diameter. The risk function was incorporated into the objective function along with clinical dosage volume constraints for planning target volume (PTV) and organs at risk (OARs). Results: Univariate analysis showed that segmental diameter (P =.014) and D max (P =.007) were significantly correlated with airway segment collapse. Multivariate stepwise Cox regression showed that diameter (P =.015), D max (P <.0001), and pack/years of smoking (P =.02) were significant independent factors associated with collapse. Risk management-based plans enabled significant dosage reduction to individual airway segments while fulfilling clinical dosimetric objectives. Conclusion: To our knowledge, this is the first systematic investigation of functional avoidance in lung SAbR based on mapping and minimizing doses to individual bronchial segments. Our early results show that it is possible to substantially lower airway dosage. Such dosage reduction may potentially reduce the risk of radiation-induced airway injury, while satisfying clinically prescribed dosimetric objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-218
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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