The ability to verify intrafraction tumor position is clinically useful for hypofractionated treatments. Short arc kV digital tomosynthesis (DTS) could facilitate more frequent target verification. The authors used DTS combined with triangulation to determine the mean temporal position of small-volume lung tumor targets treated with stereotactic radiotherapy. DTS registration results were benchmarked against online clinical localization using registration between free-breathing cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and the average intensity projection (AvIP) of the planning 4DCT.Methods:
In this retrospective study, 76 sets of kV-projection images from online CBCT scans of 13 patients were used to generate DTS image slices (CB-DTS) with nonclinical research software (DTS Toolkit, Varian Medical Systems). Three-dimensional tumor motion was 1.3-4 mm in six patients and 6.1-25.4 mm in seven patients on 4DCT (significant difference in the mean of the groups,P < 0.01). The 4DCT AvIP was used to digitally reconstruct the Reference-DTS. DTS registration and DTS registration combined with triangulation were investigated. Progressive shortening of total DTS arc lengths from 95° to 35° around 0° gantry position was evaluated for different scenarios: DTS registration using the entire arc; DTS registration plus triangulation using two nonoverlapping arcs; and for 55° and 45° total gantry rotation, DTS registration plus triangulation using two overlapping arcs. Finally, DTS registration plus triangulation performed at eight gantry angles, each separated by 45° was evaluated using full fan kV projection data for one patient with an immobile tumor and five patients with mobile tumors.Results:
For DTS registration alone, shortening arc length did not influence accuracy in X- and Y-directions, but in Z-direction, mean deviations from online CBCT localization systematically increased for shorter arc length (P < 0.05). For example, using a 95° arc mean DTS-CBCT difference was 0.8 mm (1 SD = 0.6 mm) and for a 35° arc the mean was 2.4 mm (1 SD = 1.7 mm). DTS plus triangulation using nonoverlapping-arcs increased accuracy in Z-direction for tested arc lengths ≤55° (P < 0.01). Overlapping arcs increased accuracy in Y-direction for tumors with motion >4 mm (P < 0.02) but increased Z-direction accuracy was only observed with 55° total gantry rotation. The 95th percentile deviations with this overlapping technique in X-, Y-, and Z-directions were 1.3, 2.0, and 2.5 mm, respectively. For the five patients with mobile tumors where DTS + triangulation was performed with 45° intervals, the pooled deviation from online CBCT correction showed, for X-, Y-, and Z-directions, mean of 1.1 mm, standard deviations (SD) of 0.9, 1.0, and 0.9 mm, respectively. The mean + 2 SD was <3 mm for each direction.Conclusions:
Short-arc DTS verification of time averaged lung tumor position is feasible using free-breathing kV projection data and the AvIP of the 4DCT as a reference. Observed differences between DTS and online CBCT registration with AvIP were ≤3 mm (mean + 2 SD), however, the increased temporal resolution of DTS + triangulation also identified short period deviations from the average target position on the CBCT. Short-arc DTS appears promising for intrafraction tumor position monitoring during stereotactic lung radiotherapy delivered with a rotational technique.