Impact of Esophageal Motion on Dosimetry and Toxicity With Thoracic Radiation Therapy.


PURPOSE:To investigate the impact of intra- and inter-fractional esophageal motion on dosimetry and observed toxicity in a phase I dose escalation study of accelerated radiotherapy with concurrent chemotherapy for locally advanced lung cancer. METHODS AND MATERIALS:Patients underwent computed tomography imaging for radiotherapy treatment planning (CT1 and 4DCT1) and at 2 weeks (CT2 and 4DCT2) and 5 weeks (CT3 and 4DCT3) after initiating treatment. Each computed tomography scan consisted of 10-phase 4DCTs in addition to a static free-breathing or breath-hold computed tomography. The esophagus was independently contoured on all computed tomographies and 4DCTs. Both CT2 and CT3 were rigidly registered with CT1 and doses were recalculated using the original intensity-modulated radiation therapy plan based on CT1 to assess the impact of interfractional motion on esophageal dosimetry. Similarly, 4DCT1 data sets were rigidly registered with CT1 to assess the impact of intrafractional motion. The motion was characterized based on the statistical analysis of slice-by-slice center shifts (after registration) for the upper, middle, and lower esophageal regions, respectively. For the dosimetric analysis, the following quantities were calculated and assessed for correlation with toxicity grade: the percent volumes of esophagus that received at least 20 Gy (V20) and 60 Gy (V60), maximum esophageal dose, equivalent uniform dose, and normal tissue complication probability. RESULTS:The interfractional center shifts were 4.4 ± 1.7 mm, 5.5 ± 2.0 mm and 4.9 ± 2.1 mm for the upper, middle, and lower esophageal regions, respectively, while the intrafractional center shifts were 0.6 ± 0.4 mm, 0.7 ± 0.7 mm, and 0.9 ± 0.7 mm, respectively. The mean V60 (and corresponding normal tissue complication probability) values estimated from the interfractional motion analysis were 7.8% (10%), 4.6% (7.5%), 7.5% (8.6%), and 31% (26%) for grade 0, grade 1, grade 2, and grade 3 toxicities, respectively. CONCLUSIONS:Interfractional esophageal motion is significantly larger than intrafractional motion. The mean values of V60 and corresponding normal tissue complication probability, incorporating interfractional esophageal motion, correlated positively with esophageal toxicity grade.





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Publication Info

Gao, Hao, Chris R Kelsey, John Boyle, Tianyi Xie, Suzanne Catalano, Xiaofei Wang and Fang-Fang Yin (2019). Impact of Esophageal Motion on Dosimetry and Toxicity With Thoracic Radiation Therapy. Technology in cancer research & treatment, 18. p. 1533033819849073. 10.1177/1533033819849073 Retrieved from

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Christopher Ryan Kelsey

Professor of Radiation Oncology

I specialize in the treatment of hematologic and thoracic malignancies. I have a special research interest in optimizing radiation therapy in lymphomas and leukemias, particularly consolidation radiation therapy in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and total body irradiation in the setting of allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Other academic interests include cardiac toxicity after radiation therapy for lung cancer and optimizing stereotactic body radiation therapy for stage I non-small cell lung cancer.

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