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The management of imaging dose during image-guided radiotherapy: report of the AAPM Task Group 75.

Medical physics

United States, Advisory Committees, Equipment Design, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, methods, Neoplasms, radiotherapy, Radiation Oncology, Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted, standards, Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated, Societies, Scientific

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      Abstract

      Radiographic image guidance has emerged as the new paradigm for patient positioning, target localization, and external beam alignment in radiotherapy. Although widely varied in modality and method, all radiographic guidance techniques have one thing in common--they can give a significant radiation dose to the patient. As with all medical uses of ionizing radiation, the general view is that this exposure should be carefully managed. The philosophy for dose management adopted by the diagnostic imaging community is summarized by the acronym ALARA, i.e., as low as reasonably achievable. But unlike the general situation with diagnostic imaging and image-guided surgery, image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) adds the imaging dose to an already high level of therapeutic radiation. There is furthermore an interplay between increased imaging and improved therapeutic dose conformity that suggests the possibility of optimizing rather than simply minimizing the imaging dose. For this reason, the management of imaging dose during radiotherapy is a different problem than its management during routine diagnostic or image-guided surgical procedures. The imaging dose received as part of a radiotherapy treatment has long been regarded as negligible and thus has been quantified in a fairly loose manner. On the other hand, radiation oncologists examine the therapy dose distribution in minute detail. The introduction of more intensive imaging procedures for IGRT now obligates the clinician to evaluate therapeutic and imaging doses in a more balanced manner. This task group is charged with addressing the issue of radiation dose delivered via image guidance techniques during radiotherapy. The group has developed this charge into three objectives: (1) Compile an overview of image-guidance techniques and their associated radiation dose levels, to provide the clinician using a particular set of image guidance techniques with enough data to estimate the total diagnostic dose for a specific treatment scenario, (2) identify ways to reduce the total imaging dose without sacrificing essential imaging information, and (3) recommend optimization strategies to trade off imaging dose with improvements in therapeutic dose delivery. The end goal is to enable the design of image guidance regimens that are as effective and efficient as possible.

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      The management of respiratory motion in radiation oncology report of AAPM Task Group 76.

      This document is the report of a task group of the AAPM and has been prepared primarily to advise medical physicists involved in the external-beam radiation therapy of patients with thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic tumors affected by respiratory motion. This report describes the magnitude of respiratory motion, discusses radiotherapy specific problems caused by respiratory motion, explains techniques that explicitly manage respiratory motion during radiotherapy and gives recommendations in the application of these techniques for patient care, including quality assurance (QA) guidelines for these devices and their use with conformal and intensity modulated radiotherapy. The technologies covered by this report are motion-encompassing methods, respiratory gated techniques, breath-hold techniques, forced shallow-breathing methods, and respiration-synchronized techniques. The main outcome of this report is a clinical process guide for managing respiratory motion. Included in this guide is the recommendation that tumor motion should be measured (when possible) for each patient for whom respiratory motion is a concern. If target motion is greater than 5 mm, a method of respiratory motion management is available, and if the patient can tolerate the procedure, respiratory motion management technology is appropriate. Respiratory motion management is also appropriate when the procedure will increase normal tissue sparing. Respiratory motion management involves further resources, education and the development of and adherence to QA procedures.
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        Radiation-induced second cancers: the impact of 3D-CRT and IMRT.

        Information concerning radiation-induced malignancies comes from the A-bomb survivors and from medically exposed individuals, including second cancers in radiation therapy patients. The A-bomb survivors show an excess incidence of carcinomas in tissues such as the gastrointestinal tract, breast, thyroid, and bladder, which is linear with dose up to about 2.5 Sv. There is great uncertainty concerning the dose-response relationship for radiation-induced carcinogenesis at higher doses. Some animal and human data suggest a decrease at higher doses, usually attributed to cell killing; other data suggest a plateau in dose. Radiotherapy patients also show an excess incidence of carcinomas, often in sites remote from the treatment fields; in addition there is an excess incidence of sarcomas in the heavily irradiated in-field tissues. The transition from conventional radiotherapy to three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT) involves a reduction in the volume of normal tissues receiving a high dose, with an increase in dose to the target volume that includes the tumor and a limited amount of normal tissue. One might expect a decrease in the number of sarcomas induced and also (less certain) a small decrease in the number of carcinomas. All around, a good thing. By contrast, the move from 3D-CRT to intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) involves more fields, and the dose-volume histograms show that, as a consequence, a larger volume of normal tissue is exposed to lower doses. In addition, the number of monitor units is increased by a factor of 2 to 3, increasing the total body exposure, due to leakage radiation. Both factors will tend to increase the risk of second cancers. Altogether, IMRT is likely to almost double the incidence of second malignancies compared with conventional radiotherapy from about 1% to 1.75% for patients surviving 10 years. The numbers may be larger for longer survival (or for younger patients), but the ratio should remain the same.
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          Precise and real-time measurement of 3D tumor motion in lung due to breathing and heartbeat, measured during radiotherapy.

          In this work, three-dimensional (3D) motion of lung tumors during radiotherapy in real time was investigated. Understanding the behavior of tumor motion in lung tissue to model tumor movement is necessary for accurate (gated or breath-hold) radiotherapy or CT scanning. Twenty patients were included in this study. Before treatment, a 2-mm gold marker was implanted in or near the tumor. A real-time tumor tracking system using two fluoroscopy image processor units was installed in the treatment room. The 3D position of the implanted gold marker was determined by using real-time pattern recognition and a calibrated projection geometry. The linear accelerator was triggered to irradiate the tumor only when the gold marker was located within a certain volume. The system provided the coordinates of the gold marker during beam-on and beam-off time in all directions simultaneously, at a sample rate of 30 images per second. The recorded tumor motion was analyzed in terms of the amplitude and curvature of the tumor motion in three directions, the differences in breathing level during treatment, hysteresis (the difference between the inhalation and exhalation trajectory of the tumor), and the amplitude of tumor motion induced by cardiac motion. The average amplitude of the tumor motion was greatest (12 +/- 2 mm [SD]) in the cranial-caudal direction for tumors situated in the lower lobes and not attached to rigid structures such as the chest wall or vertebrae. For the lateral and anterior-posterior directions, tumor motion was small both for upper- and lower-lobe tumors (2 +/- 1 mm). The time-averaged tumor position was closer to the exhale position, because the tumor spent more time in the exhalation than in the inhalation phase. The tumor motion was modeled as a sinusoidal movement with varying asymmetry. The tumor position in the exhale phase was more stable than the tumor position in the inhale phase during individual treatment fields. However, in many patients, shifts in the exhale tumor position were observed intra- and interfractionally. These shifts are the result of patient relaxation, gravity (posterior direction), setup errors, and/or patient movement.The 3D trajectory of the tumor showed hysteresis for 10 of the 21 tumors, which ranged from 1 to 5 mm. The extent of hysteresis and the amplitude of the tumor motion remained fairly constant during the entire treatment. Changes in shape of the trajectory of the tumor were observed between subsequent treatment days for only one patient. Fourier analysis revealed that for 7 of the 21 tumors, a measurable motion in the range 1-4 mm was caused by the cardiac beat. These tumors were located near the heart or attached to the aortic arch. The motion due to the heartbeat was greatest in the lateral direction. Tumor motion due to hysteresis and heartbeat can lower treatment efficiency in real-time tumor tracking-gated treatments or lead to a geographic miss in conventional or active breathing controlled treatments. The real-time tumor tracking system measured the tumor position in all three directions simultaneously, at a sampling rate that enabled detection of tumor motion due to heartbeat as well as hysteresis. Tumor motion and hysteresis could be modeled with an asymmetric function with varying asymmetry. Tumor motion due to breathing was greatest in the cranial-caudal direction for lower-lobe unfixed tumors.
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