Hippocampal Avoidance in Multitarget Radiosurgery.

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Brain metastases are a common complication for patients diagnosed with cancer. As stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) becomes a more prevalent treatment option for patients with many brain metastases, further research is required to better characterize the ability of SRS to treat large numbers of metastases (≥4) and the impact on normal brain tissue and, ultimately, neurocognition and quality of life (QOL). This study serves first as an evaluation of the feasibility of hippocampal avoidance for SRS patients, specifically receiving single-isocenter multitarget treatments (SIMT) planned with volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Second, this study analyzes the effects of standard-definition (SD) multileaf collimators (MLCs) (5 mm width) on plan quality and hippocampal avoidance. The 40 patients enrolled in this Institutional Review Board (IRB)-approved study had between four and 10 brain metastases and were treated with SIMT using VMAT. From the initial 40 patients, eight hippocampi across seven patients had hippocampal doses exceeding the maximum biologically effective dose (BED) constraint given by RTOG 0933. With the addition of upper constraints in the optimization objectives and one arc angle adjustment in one patient plan, four out of seven patient plans were able to meet the maximum hippocampal BED constraint, avoiding five out of eight total hippocampi at risk. High-definition (HD) MLCs allowed for an average decrease of 29% ± 23% (p = 0.007) in the maximum BED delivered to all eight hippocampi at risk. The ability to meet dose constraints depended on the distance between the hippocampus and the nearest planning target volume (PTV). Meeting the maximum hippocampal BED constraint in re-optimized plans was equally likely with the use of SD-MLCs (five out of eight hippocampi at risk were avoided) but resulted in increased dose to normal tissue volumes (23.67% ± 16.3% increase in V50%[cc] of normal brain tissue, i.e., brain volume subtracted by the total PTV) when compared to the HD-MLC re-optimized plans. Comparing the effects of SD-MLCs on plans not optimized for hippocampal avoidance resulted in increases of 48.2% ± 32.2% (p = 0.0056), 31.5% ± 16.3% (p = 0.024), and 16.7% ± 8.5% (p = 0.022) in V20%[cc], V50%[cc], and V75%[cc], respectively, compared to the use of HD-MLCs. The conformity index changed significantly neither when plans were optimized for hippocampal avoidance nor when SD-MLC leaves were used for treatment. In plans not optimized for hippocampal avoidance, mean hippocampal dose increased with the use of SD-MLCs by 38.0% ± 37.5% (p = 0.01). However, the use of SD-MLCs did not result in an increased number of hippocampi at risk.





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Gude, Zachary, Justus Adamson, John P Kirkpatrick and William Giles (2021). Hippocampal Avoidance in Multitarget Radiosurgery. Cureus, 13(6). p. e15399. 10.7759/cureus.15399 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23899.

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John P. Kirkpatrick

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Malignant and benign tumors of the brain, spine and base of skull. Mathematical modelling of tumor metabolism, mass transfer and the response to ionizing radiation. Enhancing clinical outcome in stereotactic radiosurgery, fractionated stereotactic radiotherapy and stereotactic body radiotherapy.

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