Radiation therapy margin reduction for patients with localized prostate cancer: A prospective study of the dosimetric impact and quality of life

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Journal of applied clinical medical physics


OBJECTIVES: To investigate the impact of reducing Clinical Target Volume (CTV) to Planning Target Volume (PTV) margins on delivered radiation therapy (RT) dose and patient reported quality-of-life (QOL) for patients with localized prostate cancer.

METHODS: Twenty patients were included in a single institution IRB-approved prospective study. Nine were planned with reduced margins (4 mm at prostate/rectum interface, 5 mm elsewhere), and 11 with standard margins (6/10 mm). Cumulative delivered dose was calculated using deformable dose accumulation. Each daily CBCT dataset was deformed to the planning CT (pCT), dose was computed, and accumulated on the resampled pCT using a parameter-optimized, B-spline algorithm (Elastix, ITK/VTK). EPIC-26 patient reported QOL was prospectively collected pre-treatment, post-treatment, and at 2-, 6-, 12-, 18-, 24-, 36-, 48-, and 60-month follow-ups. Post -RT QOL scores were baseline corrected and standardized to a [0-100] scale using EPIC-26 methodology. Correlations between QOL scores and dosimetric parameters were investigated, and the overall QOL differences between the two groups (QOL(Margin-reduced) -QOL(control) ) were calculated.

RESULTS: The median QOL follow-up length for the 20 patients was 48 months. Difference between delivered dose and planned dose did not reach statistical significance (p > 0.1) for both targets and organs at risk between the two groups. At 4 years post-RT, standardized mean QOL(Margin-reduced) -QOL(control) were improved for Urinary Incontinence, Urinary Irritative/Obstructive, Bowel, and Sexual EPIC domains by 3.5, 14.8, 10.2, and 16.1, respectively (higher values better). The control group showed larger PTV/rectum and PTV/bladder intersection volumes (7.2 ± 5.8, 18.2 ± 8.1 cc) than the margin-reduced group (2.6 ± 1.8, 12.5 ± 8.3 cc), though the dose to these intersection volumes did not reach statistical significance (p > 0.1) between the groups. PTV/rectum intersection volume showed a moderate correlation (r = -0.56, p < 0.05) to Bowel EPIC domain.

CONCLUSIONS: Results of this prospective study showed that margin-reduced group exhibited clinically meaningful improvement of QOL without compromising the target dose coverage.

Medical Subject Headings

Male; Humans; Prospective Studies; Quality of Life; Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted; Prostatic Neoplasms; Urinary Bladder; Radiotherapy Dosage

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ePub ahead of print





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