Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for locally advanced paranasal sinus tumors: Incorporating clinical decisions in the optimization process

Christina Tsien, Avraham Eisbruch, Daniel McShan, Marc Kessler, Robin Marsh, Benedick Fraass

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Scopus citations


    Purpose: Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plans require decisions about priorities and tradeoffs among competing goals. This study evaluates the incorporation of various clinical decisions into the optimization system, using locally advanced paranasal sinus tumors as a model. Methods and Materials: Thirteen patients with locally advanced paranasal sinus tumors were retrospectively replanned using inverse planning. Two clinical decisions were assumed: (1) Spare both optic pathways (OP), or (2) Spare only the contralateral OP. In each case, adequate tumor coverage (treated to 70 Gy in 35 fractions) was required. Two beamlet IMRT plans were thus developed for each patient using a class solution cost function. By altering one key variable at a time, different levels of risk of OP toxicity and planning target volume (PTV) compromise were compared in a systematic manner. The resulting clinical tradeoffs were analyzed using dosimetric criteria, tumor control probability (TCP), equivalent uniform dose (EUD), and normal tissue complication probability. Results: Plan comparisons representing the two clinical decisions (sparing both OP and sparing only the contralateral OP), with respect to minimum dose, TCP, V95, and EUD, demonstrated small, yet statistically significant, differences. However, when individual cases were analyzed further, significant PTV underdosage (>5%) was present in most cases for plans sparing both OP. In 6/13 cases (46%), PTV underdosage was between 5% and 15%, and in 3 cases (23%) was greater than 15%. By comparison, adequate PTV coverage was present in 8/13 cases (62%) for plans sparing only the contralateral OP. Mean target EUD comparisons between the two plans (including 9 cases where a clinical tradeoff between PTV coverage and OP sparing was required) were similar: 68.6 Gy and 69.1 Gy, respectively (p = 0.02). Mean TCP values for those 9 cases were 56.5 vs. 61.7, respectively (p = 0.006). Conclusions: In IMRT plans for paranasal sinus tumors, tradeoff values between OP toxicity and PTV coverage can be compared for different clinical decisions. The information derived can then be used to individualize the parameters within the optimization system. This process of determining clinical tradeoffs associated with different clinical decisions may be a useful tool in other sites.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)776-784
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


    • Automated optimization
    • IMRT
    • Locally advanced paranasal sinus cancer
    • NTCP


    Dive into the research topics of 'Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for locally advanced paranasal sinus tumors: Incorporating clinical decisions in the optimization process'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this