A Pilot Study of Simulation-Free Hippocampal-Avoidance Whole Brain Radiation Therapy Using Diagnostic MRI-Based and Online Adaptive Planning

Kylie H. Kang, Alex Price, Francisco Reynoso, Eric Laugeman, Eric Morris, Pamela P. Samson, Jiayi Huang, Shahed Badiyan, Hyun Kim, Randall Brenneman, Christopher Abraham, Nels C. Knutson, Lauren Henke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: We aimed to demonstrate the clinical feasibility and safety of simulation-free hippocampal avoidance whole brain radiation therapy (HA-WBRT) in a pilot study (National Clinical Trial 05096286). Methods and Materials: Ten HA-WBRT candidates were enrolled for treatment on a commercially available computed tomography (CT)-guided linear accelerator with online adaptive capabilities. Planning structures were contoured on patient-specific diagnostic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which were registered to a CT of similar head shape, obtained from an atlas-based database (AB-CT). These patient-specific diagnostic MRI and AB-CT data sets were used for preplan calculation, using NRG-CC001 constraints. At first fraction, AB-CTs were used as primary data sets and deformed to patient-specific cone beam CTs (CBCT) to give patient-matched density information. Brain, ventricle, and brain stem contours were matched through rigid translation and rotation to the corresponding anatomy on CBCT. Lens, optic nerve, and brain contours were manually edited based on CBCT visualization. Preplans were then reoptimized through online adaptation to create final, simulation-free plans, which were used if they met all objectives. Workflow tasks were timed. In addition, patients underwent CT-simulation to create immobilization devices and for prospective dosimetric comparison of simulation-free and simulation-based plans. Results: Median time from MRI importation to completion of “preplan” was 1 weekday (range, 1-4). Median on-table workflow duration was 41 minutes (range, 34-70). NRG-CC001 constraints were achieved by 90% of the simulation-free plans. One patient's simulation-free plan failed a planning target volume coverage objective (89% instead of 90% coverage); this was deemed acceptable for first-fraction delivery, with an offline replan used for subsequent fractions. Both simulation-free and simulation CT-based plans otherwise met constraints, without clinically meaningful differences. Conclusions: Simulation-free HA-WBRT using online adaptive radiation therapy is feasible, safe, and results in dosimetrically comparable treatment plans to simulation CT-based workflows while providing convenience and time savings for patients.


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