The purpose of this work was to determine the expansions in 6 anatomic directions that produced optimal margins considering nonrigid setup errors and tissue deformation for patients receiving image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) of the oropharynx.For 20 patients who had received IGRT to the head and neck, we deformably registered each patient's daily images acquired with a computed tomography (CT)-on-rails system to his or her planning CT. By use of the resulting vector fields, the positions of volume elements within the clinical target volume (CTV) (target voxels) or within a 1-cm shell surrounding the CTV (normal tissue voxels) on the planning CT were identified on each daily CT. We generated a total of 15,625 margins by dilating the CTV by 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 mm in the posterior, anterior, lateral, medial, inferior, and superior directions. The optimal margins were those that minimized the relative volume of normal tissue voxels positioned within the margin while satisfying 1 of 4 geometric target coverage criteria and 1 of 3 population criteria.Each pair of geometric target coverage and population criteria resulted in a unique, anisotropic, optimal margin. The optimal margin expansions ranged in magnitude from 1 to 5 mm depending on the anatomic direction of the expansion and on the geometric target coverage and population criteria. Typically, the expansions were largest in the medial direction, were smallest in the lateral direction, and increased with the demand of the criteria. The anisotropic margin resulting from the optimal set of expansions always included less normal tissue than did any isotropic margin that satisfied the same pair of criteria.We demonstrated the potential of anisotropic margins to reduce normal tissue exposure without compromising target coverage in IGRT to the head and neck.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2013.06.2036
View details for Web of Science ID 000325165300034
View details for PubMedID 23906931