Comparison of various online IGRT strategies: The benefits of online treatment plan re-optimization

Derek Schulze, Jian Liang, Di Yan, Tiezhi Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the dosimetric differences of various online IGRT strategies and to predict potential benefits of online re-optimization techniques in prostate cancer radiation treatments. Materials and methods: Nine prostate patients were recruited in this study. Each patient has one treatment planning CT images and 10-treatment day CT images. Five different online IGRT strategies were evaluated which include 3D conformal with bone alignment, 3D conformal re-planning via aperture changes, intensity modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) with bone alignment, IMRT with target alignment and IMRT daily re-optimization. Treatment planning and virtual treatment delivery were performed. The delivered doses were obtained using in-house deformable dose mapping software. The results were analyzed using equivalent uniform dose (EUD). Results: With the same margin, rectum and bladder doses in IMRT plans were about 10% and 5% less than those in CRT plans, respectively. Rectum and bladder doses were reduced as much as 20% if motion margin is reduced by 1 cm. IMRT is more sensitive to organ motion. Large discrepancies of bladder and rectum doses were observed compared to the actual delivered dose with treatment plan predication. The therapeutic ratio can be improved by 14% and 25% for rectum and bladder, respectively, if IMRT online re-planning is employed compared to the IMRT bone alignment approach. The improvement of target alignment approach is similar with 11% and 21% dose reduction to rectum and bladder, respectively. However, underdosing in seminal vesicles was observed on certain patients. Conclusions: Online treatment plan re-optimization may significantly improve therapeutic ratio in prostate cancer treatments mostly due to the reduction of PTV margin. However, for low risk patient with only prostate involved, online target alignment IMRT treatment would achieve similar results as online re-planning. For all IGRT approaches, the delivered organ-at-risk doses may be significantly different from treatment planning prediction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-376
Number of pages10
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Adaptive radiotherapy
  • IGRT
  • Prostate cancer


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