Semiautomated head-and-neck IMRT planning using dose warping and scaling to robustly adapt plans in a knowledge database containing potentially suboptimal plans.
PURPOSE: Prior work by the authors and other groups has studied the creation of automated intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plans of equivalent quality to those in a patient database of manually created clinical plans; those database plans provided guidance on the achievable sparing to organs-at-risk (OARs). However, in certain sites, such as head-and-neck, the clinical plans may not be sufficiently optimized because of anatomical complexity and clinical time constraints. This could lead to automated plans that suboptimally exploit OAR sparing. This work investigates a novel dose warping and scaling scheme that attempts to reduce effects of suboptimal sparing in clinical database plans, thus improving the quality of semiautomated head-and-neck cancer (HNC) plans. METHODS: Knowledge-based radiotherapy (KBRT) plans for each of ten "query" patients were semiautomatically generated by identifying the most similar "match" patient in a database of 103 clinical manually created patient plans. The match patient's plans were adapted to the query case by: (1) deforming the match beam fluences to suit the query target volume and (2) warping the match primary/boost dose distribution to suit the query geometry and using the warped distribution to generate query primary/boost optimization dose-volume constraints. Item (2) included a distance scaling factor to improve query OAR dose sparing with respect to the possibly suboptimal clinical match plan. To further compensate for a component plan of the match case (primary/boost) not optimally sparing OARs, the query dose volume constraints were reduced using a dose scaling factor to be the minimum from either (a) the warped component plan (primary or boost) dose distribution or (b) the warped total plan dose distribution (primary + boost) scaled in proportion to the ratio of component prescription dose to total prescription dose. The dose-volume constraints were used to plan the query case with no human intervention to adjust constraints during plan optimization. RESULTS: KBRT and original clinical plans were dosimetrically equivalent for parotid glands (mean/median doses), spinal cord, and brainstem (maximum doses). KBRT plans significantly reduced larynx median doses (21.5 ± 6.6 Gy to 17.9 ± 3.9 Gy), and oral cavity mean (32.3 ± 6.2 Gy to 28.9 ± 5.4 Gy) and median (28.7 ± 5.7 Gy to 23.2 ± 5.3 Gy) doses. Doses to ipsilateral parotid gland, larynx, oral cavity, and brainstem were lower or equivalent in the KBRT plans for the majority of cases. By contrast, KBRT plans generated without the dose warping and dose scaling steps were not significantly different from the clinical plans. CONCLUSIONS: Fast, semiautomatically generated HNC IMRT plans adapted from existing plans in a clinical database can be of equivalent or better quality than manually created plans. The reductions in OAR doses in the semiautomated plans, compared to the clinical plans, indicate that the proposed dose warping and scaling method shows promise in mitigating the impact of suboptimal clinical plans.
Schmidt, M; Lo, JY; Grzetic, S; Lutzky, C; Brizel, DM; Das, SK
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