Assessing Four-dimensional Radiotherapy Planning and Respiratory Motion-induced Dose Difference Based on Biologically Effective Uniform Dose

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Four-dimensional (4D) radiotherapy is considered as a feasible and ideal solution to accommodate intra-fractional respiratory motion during conformal radiation therapy. With explicit inclusion of the temporal changes in anatomy during the imaging, planning, and delivery of radiotherapy, 4D treatment planning in principle provides better dose conformity. However, the clinical benefits of developing 4D treatment plans in terms of tumor control rate and normal tissue complication probability as compared to other treatment plans based on CT images of a fixed respiratory phase remains mostly unproven. The aim of our study is to comprehensively evaluate 4D treatment planning for nine lung tumor cases with both physical and biological measures using biologically effective uniform dose (D=) together with complication-free tumor control probability, P+. Based on the examined lung cancer patients and PTV margin applied, we found similar but not identical curves of DVH, and slightly different mean doses in tumor (up to 1.5%) and normal tissue in all cases when comparing 4D, P0%, and P50% plans. When it comes to biological evaluations, we did not observe definitively PTV size dependence in P+ among these nine lung cancer patients with various sizes of PTV. Moreover, it is not necessary that 4D plans would have better target coverage or higher P+ as compared to a fixed phase IMRT plan. However, on the contrary to significant deviations in P+ (up to 14.7%) observed if delivering the IMRT plan made at end-inhalation incorrectly at end-exhalation phase, we estimated the overall P+, PB, and PI for 4D composite plans that have accounted for intra-fractional respiratory motion.

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