An improved distance-to-dose correlation for predicting bladder and rectum dose-volumes in knowledge-based VMAT planning for prostate cancer

Phillip D.H. Wall, Robert L. Carver, Jonas D. Fontenot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The overlap volume histogram (OVH) is an anatomical metric commonly used to quantify the geometric relationship between an organ at risk (OAR) and target volume when predicting expected dose-volumes in knowledge-based planning (KBP). This work investigated the influence of additional variables contributing to variations in the assumed linear DVH-OVH correlation for the bladder and rectum in VMAT plans of prostate patients, with the goal of increasing prediction accuracy and achievability of knowledge-based planning methods. VMAT plans were retrospectively generated for 124 prostate patients using multi-criteria optimization. DVHs quantified patient dosimetric data while OVHs quantified patient anatomical information. The DVH-OVH correlations were calculated for fractional bladder and rectum volumes of 30, 50, 65, and 80%. Correlations between potential influencing factors and dose were quantified using the Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient (R). Factors analyzed included the derivative of the OVH, prescribed dose, PTV volume, bladder volume, rectum volume, and in-field OAR volume. Out of the selected factors, only the in-field bladder volume (mean R = 0.86) showed a strong correlation with bladder doses. Similarly, only the in-field rectal volume (mean R = 0.76) showed a strong correlation with rectal doses. Therefore, an OVH formalism accounting for in-field OAR volumes was developed to determine the extent to which it improved the DVH-OVH correlation. Including the in-field factor improved the DVH-OVH correlation, with the mean R values over the fractional volumes studied improving from -0.79 to -0.85 and -0.82 to -0.86 for the bladder and rectum, respectively. A re-planning study was performed on 31 randomly selected database patients to verify the increased accuracy of KBP dose predictions by accounting for bladder and rectum volume within treatment fields. The in-field OVH led to significantly more precise and fewer unachievable KBP predictions, especially for lower bladder and rectum dose-volumes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015035
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • knowledge-based treatment planning
  • overlap volume histogram
  • plan quality control
  • prostate
  • volumetric modulated arc therapy


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