Index of content:
Volume 42, Issue 12, December 2015
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4934823View Description Hide Description
- VISION 20/20
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935141View Description Hide Description
Breast density is a strong predictor of the failure of mammography screening to detect breast cancer and is a strong predictor of the risk of developing breast cancer. The many imaging options that are now available for imaging dense breasts show great promise, but there is still the question of determining which women are “dense” and what imaging modality is suitable for individual women. To date, mammographic breast density has been classified according to the Breast Imaging-Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) categories from visual assessment, but this is known to be very subjective. Despite many research reports, the authors believe there has been a lack of physics-led and evidence-based arguments about what breast density actually is, how it should be measured, and how it should be used. In this paper, the authors attempt to start correcting this situation by reviewing the history of breast density research and the debates generated by the advocacy movement. The authors review the development of breast density estimation from pattern analysis to area-based analysis, and the current automated volumetric breast density (VBD) analysis. This is followed by a discussion on seeking the ground truth of VBD and mapping volumetric methods to BI-RADS density categories. The authors expect great improvement in VBD measurements that will satisfy the needs of radiologists, epidemiologists, surgeons, and physicists. The authors believe that they are now witnessing a paradigm shift toward personalized breast screening, which is going to see many more cancers being detected early, with the use of automated density measurement tools as an important component.
- TASK GROUP REPORT (Online only)
Accuracy and calibration of integrated radiation output indicators in diagnostic radiology: A report of the AAPM Imaging Physics Committee Task Group 19042(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4934831View Description Hide Description
Due to the proliferation of disciplines employing fluoroscopy as their primary imaging tool and the prolonged extensive use of fluoroscopy in interventional and cardiovascular angiography procedures, “dose-area-product” (DAP) meters were installed to monitor and record the radiation dose delivered to patients. In some cases, the radiation dose or the output value is calculated, rather than measured, using the pertinent radiological parameters and geometrical information. The AAPM Task Group 190 (TG-190) was established to evaluate the accuracy of the DAP meter in 2008. Since then, the term “DAP-meter” has been revised to air kerma-area product (KAP) meter. The charge of TG 190 (Accuracy and Calibration of Integrated Radiation Output Indicators in Diagnostic Radiology) has also been realigned to investigate the “Accuracy and Calibration of Integrated Radiation Output Indicators” which is reflected in the title of the task group, to include situations where the KAP may be acquired with or without the presence of a physical “meter.” To accomplish this goal, validation test protocols were developed to compare the displayed radiation output value to an external measurement. These test protocols were applied to a number of clinical systems to collect information on the accuracy of dose display values in the field.
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4934824View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Beam’s-eye-view (BEV) imaging with an electronic portal imaging device (EPID) can be performed during lung stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to monitor the tumor location in real-time. Image quality for each patient and treatment field depends on several factors including the patient anatomy and the gantry and couch angles. The authors investigated the angular dependence of automatic tumor localization during non-coplanar lung SBRT delivery.Methods:
All images were acquired at a frame rate of 12 Hz with an amorphous silicon EPID. A previously validated markerless lung tumor localization algorithm was employed with manual localization as the reference. From ten SBRT patients, 12 987 image frames of 123 image sequences acquired at 48 different gantry–couch rotations were analyzed. δ was defined by the position difference of the automatic and manual localization.Results:
Regardless of the couch angle, the best tracking performance was found in image sequences with a gantry angle within 20° of 250° (δ = 1.40 mm). Image sequences acquired with gantry angles of 150°, 210°, and 350° also led to good tracking performances with δ = 1.77–2.00 mm. Overall, the couch angle was not correlated with the tracking results. Among all the gantry–couch combinations, image sequences acquired at (θ = 30°, ϕ = 330°), (θ = 210°, ϕ = 10°), and (θ = 250°, ϕ = 30°) led to the best tracking results with δ = 1.19–1.82 mm. The worst performing combinations were (θ = 90° and 230°, ϕ = 10°) and (θ = 270°, ϕ = 30°) with δ > 3.5 mm. However, 35% (17/48) of the gantry–couch rotations demonstrated substantial variability in tracking performances between patients. For example, the field angle (θ = 70°, ϕ = 10°) was acquired for five patients. While the tracking errors were ≤1.98 mm for three patients, poor performance was found for the other two patients with δ ≥ 2.18 mm, leading to average tracking error of 2.70 mm. Only one image sequence was acquired for all other gantry–couch rotations (δ = 1.18–10.29 mm).Conclusions:
Non-coplanar beams with gantry–couch rotation of (θ = 30°, ϕ = 330°), (θ = 210°, ϕ = 10°), and (θ = 250°, ϕ = 30°) have the highest accuracy for BEV lung tumor localization. Additionally, gantry angles of 150°, 210°, 250°, and 350° also offer good tracking performance. The beam geometries (θ = 90° and 230°, ϕ = 10°) and (θ = 270°, ϕ = 30°) are associated with substantial automatic localization errors. Overall, lung tumor visibility and tracking performance were patient dependent for a substantial number of the gantry–couch angle combinations studied.
Validation of a novel robot-assisted 3DUS system for real-time planning and guidance of breast interstitial HDR brachytherapy42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4934832View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In current clinical practice, there is no integrated 3D ultrasound (3DUS) guidance system clinically available for breast brachytherapy. In this study, the authors present a novel robot-assisted 3DUS system for real-time planning and guidance of breast interstitial high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy treatment.Methods:
For this work, a new computer controlled robotic 3DUS system was built to perform a hybrid motion scan, which is a combination of a 6 cm linear translation with a 30° rotation at both ends. The new 3DUS scanner was designed to fit on a modified Kuske assembly, keeping the current template grid configuration but modifying the frame to allow the mounting of the 3DUS system at several positions. A finer grid was also tested. A user interface was developed to perform image reconstruction, semiautomatic segmentation of the surgical bed as well as catheter reconstruction and tracking. A 3D string phantom was used to validate the geometric accuracy of the reconstruction. The volumetric accuracy of the system was validated with phantoms using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) images. In order to accurately determine whether 3DUS can effectively replace CT for treatment planning, the authors have compared the 3DUS catheter reconstruction to the one obtained from CT images. In addition, in agarose-based phantoms, an end-to-end procedure was performed by executing six independent complete procedures with both 14 and 16 catheters, and for both standard and finer Kuske grids. Finally, in phantoms, five end-to-end procedures were performed with the final CT planning for the validation of 3DUS preplanning.Results:
The 3DUS acquisition time is approximately 10 s. A paired Student t-test showed that there was no statistical significant difference between known and measured values of string separations in each direction. Both MRI and CT volume measurements were not statistically different from 3DUS volume (Student t-test: p > 0.05) and they were significantly correlated to 3DUS measurement (Pearson test: MRI p < 0.05 and CT p < 0.001). The mean angular separation distance between catheter trajectories segmented from 3DUS and CT images was 0.42° ± 0.24°, while the maximum and mean trajectory separations were 0.51 ± 0.19 and 0.37 ± 0.17 mm, respectively. Overall, the new finer grid has performed significantly better in terms of dosimetric indices. The planning target volume dosimetric indices were not found statistically different between 3DUS and CT planning (Student t-test, p > 0.05). Both the skin and the pectoral muscle dosimetric indices were within ABS guidelines.Conclusions:
A novel robot-assisted 3DUS system was designed and validated. To their knowledge, this is the first system capable of performing real-time guidance and planning of breast multicatheter HDR brachytherapy treatments. Future investigation will test the feasibility of using the system in the clinic and for permanent breast brachytherapy.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935144View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To establish the clinical acceptability of universal Monte Carlo phase–space data for the 10XFFF (flattening filter free) photon beam on the Varian TrueBeam Linac, including previously unreported data for small fields, output factors, and inhomogeneous media. The study was particularly aimed at confirming the suitability for use in simulations of lung stereotactic ablative radiotherapy treatment plans.Methods:
Monte Carlo calculated percent depth doses (PDDs), transverse profiles, and output factors for the TrueBeam 10 MV FFF beam using generic phase–space data that have been released by the Varian MC research team were compared with in-house measurements and published data from multiple institutions (ten Linacs from eight different institutions). BEAMnrc was used to create field size specific phase–spaces located underneath the jaws. Doses were calculated with DOSXYZnrc in a water phantom for fields ranging from 1 × 1 to 40 × 40 cm2. Particular attention was paid to small fields (down to 1 × 1 cm2) and dose per pulse effects on dosimeter response for high dose rate 10XFFF beams. Ion chamber measurements were corrected for changes in ion collection efficiency (P ion) with increasing dose per pulse. MC and eclipse anisotropic analytical algorithm (aaa) calculated PDDs were compared to Gafchromic film measurement in inhomogeneous media (water, bone, lung).Results:
Measured data from all machines agreed with Monte Carlo simulations within 1.0% and 1.5% for PDDs and in-field transverse profiles, respectively, for field sizes >1 × 1 cm2 in a homogeneous water phantom. Agreements in the 80%–20% penumbra widths were better than 2 mm for all the fields that were compared. For all the field sizes considered, the agreement between their measured and calculated output factors was within 1.1%. Monte Carlo results for dose to water at water/bone, bone/lung, and lung/water interfaces as well as within lung agree with film measurements to within 2.8% for 10 × 10 and 3 × 3 cm2 field sizes. This represents a significant improvement over the performance of the eclipse aaa.Conclusions:
The 10XFFF phase–space data offered by the Varian Monte Carlo research team have been validated for clinical use using measured, interinstitutional beam data in water and with film dosimetry in inhomogeneous media.
Quantifying the performance of in vivo portal dosimetry in detecting four types of treatment parameter variations42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935093View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To quantify the ability of electronic portal imaging device(EPID)dosimetry used during treatment (in vivo) in detecting variations that can occur in the course of patient treatment.Methods:
Images of transmitted radiation from in vivoEPID measurements were converted to a 2D planar dose at isocenter and compared to the treatment planningdose using a prototype software system. Using the treatment planning system (TPS), four different types of variability were modeled: overall dose scaling, shifting the positions of the multileaf collimator(MLC) leaves, shifting of the patient position, and changes in the patient body contour. The gamma pass rate was calculated for the modified and unmodified plans and used to construct a receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve to assess the detectability of the different parameter variations. The detectability is given by the area under the ROC curve (AUC). The TPS was also used to calculate the impact of the variations on the target dose–volume histogram.Results:
Nine intensity modulation radiation therapy plans were measured for four different anatomical sites consisting of 70 separate fields. Results show that in vivoEPIDdosimetry was most sensitive to variations in the machine output, AUC = 0.70 − 0.94, changes in patient body habitus, AUC = 0.67 − 0.88, and systematic shifts in the MLC bank positions, AUC = 0.59 − 0.82. These deviations are expected to have a relatively small clinical impact [planning target volume (PTV) D99 change <7%]. Larger variations have even higher detectability. Displacements in the patient’s position and random variations in MLC leaf positions were not readily detectable, AUC < 0.64. The D99 of the PTV changed by up to 57% for the patient position shifts considered here.Conclusions:
In vivoEPIDdosimetry is able to detect relatively small variations in overall dose, systematic shifts of the MLC’s, and changes in the patient habitus. Shifts in the patient’s position which can introduce large changes in the target dose coverage were not readily detected.
Validation of a method for in vivo 3D dose reconstruction for IMRT and VMAT treatments using on-treatment EPID images and a model-based forward-calculation algorithm42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935199View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Radiation treatments are trending toward delivering higher doses per fraction under stereotactic radiosurgery and hypofractionated treatment regimens. There is a need for accurate 3Din vivo patient dose verification using electronic portal imaging device(EPID) measurements. This work presents a model-based technique to compute full three-dimensional patient dose reconstructed from on-treatment EPID portal images (i.e., transmission images).Methods:
EPIDdose is converted to incident fluence entering the patient using a series of steps which include converting measured EPIDdose to fluence at the detector plane and then back-projecting the primary source component of the EPID fluence upstream of the patient. Incident fluence is then recombined with predicted extra-focal fluence and used to calculate 3D patient dose via a collapsed-cone convolution method. This method is implemented in an iterative manner, although in practice it provides accurate results in a single iteration. The robustness of the dose reconstruction technique is demonstrated with several simple slab phantom and nine anthropomorphic phantom cases. Prostate, head and neck, and lungtreatments are all included as well as a range of delivery techniques including VMAT and dynamic intensity modulated radiation therapy(IMRT).Results:
Results indicate that the patient dose reconstruction algorithm compares well with treatment planning system computed doses for controlled test situations. For simple phantom and square field tests, agreement was excellent with a 2%/2 mm 3D chi pass rate ≥98.9%. On anthropomorphic phantoms, the 2%/2 mm 3D chi pass rates ranged from 79.9% to 99.9% in the planning target volume (PTV) region and 96.5% to 100% in the low dose region (>20% of prescription, excluding PTV and skin build-up region).Conclusions:
An algorithm to reconstruct delivered patient 3Ddoses from EPID exit dosimetry measurements was presented. The method was applied to phantom and patient data sets, as well as for dynamic IMRT and VMAT delivery techniques. Results indicate that the EPIDdose reconstruction algorithm presented in this work is suitable for clinical implementation.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935201View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Radiation treatments have become increasingly more complex with the development of volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT). SBRT involves the delivery of substantially larger doses over fewer fractions than conventional therapy. SBRT–VMAT treatments will strongly benefit from in vivo patient dose verification, as any errors in delivery can be more detrimental to the radiobiology of the patient as compared to conventional therapy. Electronic portal imaging devices(EPIDs) are available on most commercial linear accelerators(Linacs) and their documented use for dosimetry makes them valuable tools for patient dose verification. In this work, the authors customize and validate a physics-based model which utilizes on-treatment EPIDimages to reconstruct the 3D dose delivered to the patient during SBRT–VMAT delivery.Methods:
The SBRT Linac head, including jaws, multileaf collimators, and flattening filter, were modeled using Monte Carlo methods and verified with measured data. The simulation provides energy spectrum data that are used by their “forward” model to then accurately predict fluence generated by a SBRT beam at a plane above the patient. This fluence is then transported through the patient and then the dose to the phosphor layer in the EPID is calculated. Their “inverse” model back-projects the EPID measured focal fluence to a plane upstream of the patient and recombines it with the extra-focal fluence predicted by the forward model. This estimate of total delivered fluence is then forward projected onto the patient’s density matrix and a collapsed cone convolution algorithm calculates the dose delivered to the patient. The model was tested by reconstructing the dose for two prostate, three lung, and two spine SBRT–VMAT treatment fractions delivered to an anthropomorphic phantom. It was further validated against actual patient data for a lung and spine SBRT–VMAT plan. The results were verified with the treatment planning system (TPS) (eclipse aaa) dose calculation.Results:
The SBRT–VMAT reconstruction model performed very well when compared to the TPS. A stringent 2%/2 mm χ-comparison calculation gave pass rates better than 91% for the prostate plans, 88% for the lung plans, and 86% for the spine plans for voxels containing 80% or more of the prescribed dose. Patient data were 86% for the lung and 95% for the spine. A 3%/3 mm χ-comparison was also performed and gave pass rates better than 93% for all plan types.Conclusions:
The authors have customized and validated a robust, physics-based model that calculates the delivered dose to a patient for SBRT–VMAT delivery using on-treatment EPIDimages. The accuracy of the results indicates that this approach is suitable for clinical implementation. Future work will incorporate this model into both offline and real-time clinical adaptive radiotherapy.
Using dual-energy x-ray imaging to enhance automated lung tumor tracking during real-time adaptive radiotherapy42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935431View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Real-time, markerless localization of lungtumors with kV imaging is often inhibited by ribs obscuring the tumor and poor soft-tissue contrast. This study investigates the use of dual-energy imaging, which can generate radiographs with reduced bone visibility, to enhance automated lungtumor tracking for real-time adaptive radiotherapy.Methods:
kV images of an anthropomorphic breathing chest phantom were experimentally acquired and radiographs of actual lungcancer patients were Monte-Carlo-simulated at three imaging settings: low-energy (70 kVp, 1.5 mAs), high-energy (140 kVp, 2.5 mAs, 1 mm additional tin filtration), and clinical (120 kVp, 0.25 mAs). Regular dual-energyimages were calculated by weighted logarithmic subtraction of high- and low-energy images and filter-free dual-energyimages were generated from clinical and low-energy radiographs. The weighting factor to calculate the dual-energy images was determined by means of a novel objective score. The usefulness of dual-energy imaging for real-time tracking with an automated template matching algorithm was investigated.Results:
Regular dual-energy imaging was able to increase tracking accuracy in left–right images of the anthropomorphic phantom as well as in 7 out of 24 investigated patient cases. Tracking accuracy remained comparable in three cases and decreased in five cases. Filter-free dual-energy imaging was only able to increase accuracy in 2 out of 24 cases. In four cases no change in accuracy was observed and tracking accuracy worsened in nine cases. In 9 out of 24 cases, it was not possible to define a tracking template due to poor soft-tissue contrast regardless of input images. The mean localization errors using clinical, regular dual-energy, and filter-free dual-energy radiographs were 3.85, 3.32, and 5.24 mm, respectively. Tracking success was dependent on tumor position, tumor size, imaging beam angle, and patient size.Conclusions:
This study has highlighted the influence of patient anatomy on the success rate of real-time markerless tumor tracking using dual-energy imaging. Additionally, the importance of the spectral separation of the imaging beams used to generate the dual-energy images has been shown.
A patient-specific aperture system with an energy absorber for spot scanning proton beams: Verification for clinical application42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935528View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In the authors’ proton therapy system, the patient-specific aperture can be attached to the nozzle of spot scanning beams to shape an irradiation field and reduce lateral fall-off. The authors herein verified this system for clinical application.Methods:
The authors prepared four types of patient-specific aperture systems equipped with an energy absorber to irradiate shallow regions less than 4 g/cm2. The aperture was made of 3-cm-thick brass and the maximum water equivalent penetration to be used with this system was estimated to be 15 g/cm2. The authors measured in-air lateral profiles at the isocenter plane and integral depth doses with the energy absorber. All input data were obtained by the Monte Carlo calculation, and its parameters were tuned to reproduce measurements. The fluence of single spots in water was modeled as a triple Gaussian function and the dose distribution was calculated using a fluence dose model. The authors compared in-air and in-water lateral profiles and depth doses between calculations and measurements for various apertures of square, half, and U-shaped fields. The absolute doses and dose distributions with the aperture were then validated by patient-specific quality assurance. Measured data were obtained by various chambers and a 2D ion chamber detector array.Results:
The patient-specific aperture reduced the penumbra from 30% to 70%, for example, from 34.0 to 23.6 mm and 18.8 to 5.6 mm. The calculated field width for square-shaped apertures agreed with measurements within 1 mm. Regarding patient-specific aperture plans, calculated and measured doses agreed within −0.06% ± 0.63% (mean ± SD) and 97.1% points passed the 2%-dose/2 mm-distance criteria of the γ-index on average.Conclusions:
The patient-specific aperture system improved dose distributions, particularly in shallow-region plans.
Dosimetric evaluation of three adaptive strategies for prostate cancer treatment including pelvic lymph nodes irradiation42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935529View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The movements of the prostate relative to the pelvic lymph nodes during intensity-modulated radiation therapytreatment can limit margin reduction and affect the protection of the organs at risk (OAR). In this study, the authors performed an analysis of three adaptive treatment strategies that combine information from both bony and gold marker registrations. The robustness of those treatments against the interfraction prostate movements was evaluated.Methods:
A retrospective study was conducted on five prostate cancer patients with 7–13 daily cone-beam CTs (CBCTs). The clinical target volumes (CTVs) consisting of pelvic lymph nodes, prostate, and seminal vesicles as well as the OARs were delineated on each CBCT and the initial CT. Three adaptive strategies were analyzed. Two of these methods relied on a two-step patient positioning at each fraction. First step: a bony registration was used to deliver the nodal CTV prescription. Second step: a gold marker registration was then used either to (1) complete the dose delivered to the prostate (complement); (2) or give almost the entire prescription to the prostate with a weak dose gradient between the targets to compensate for possible motions (gradient). The third method (COR) used a pool of precalculated plans based on images acquired at previous treatment fractions. At each new fraction, a plan is selected from that pool based on the daily position of prostate center-of-mass. The dosimetric comparison was conducted and results are presented with and without the systematic shift in the prostate position on the CT planning. The adaptive strategies were compared to the current clinical standard where all fractions are treated with the initial nonadaptive plan.Results:
The minimum daily prostate D95% is improved by 2%, 9%, and 6% for the complement, the gradient, and the COR approaches, respectively, compared to the nonadaptive method. The average nodal CTV D95% remains constant across the strategies, except for the gradient approach where a reduction of 7% is observed. However, a correction of the systematic shift reduced the problem, and the adaptive strategies remain robust against the prostate movement across the fraction. The bladder V55Gy is reduced by 35% on average for the adaptive strategies.Conclusions:
Because they offer increased CTV coverage and OAR sparing, adaptive methods may be suitable candidates for simple and efficient adaptive treatment strategies for prostate cancer. Margin reduction and systematic error correction in the prostate position improve the protection of the OAR and the dose coverage. A cumulative dose to simulate a complete treatment would show real effects and allow a better comparison between each method.
Experimental observation of acoustic emissions generated by a pulsed proton beam from a hospital-based clinical cyclotron42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935865View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To measure the acoustic signal generated by a pulsed proton spill from a hospital-based clinical cyclotron.Methods:
An electronic function generator modulated the IBA C230 isochronous cyclotron to create a pulsed proton beam. The acoustic emissionsgenerated by the proton beam were measured in water using a hydrophone. The acoustic measurements were repeated with increasing proton current and increasing distance between detector and beam.Results:
The cyclotron generatedproton spills with rise times of 18 μs and a maximum measured instantaneous proton current of 790 nA. Acoustic emissionsgenerated by the proton energy deposition were measured to be on the order of mPa. The origin of the acoustic wave was identified as the proton beam based on the correlation between acoustic emission arrival time and distance between the hydrophone and proton beam. The acoustic frequency spectrum peaked at 10 kHz, and the acoustic pressure amplitude increased monotonically with increasing proton current.Conclusions:
The authors report the first observation of acoustic emissionsgenerated by a proton beam from a hospital-based clinical cyclotron. When modulated by an electronic function generator, the cyclotron is capable of creating proton spills with fast rise times (18 μs) and high instantaneous currents (790 nA). Measurements of the proton-generated acoustic emissions in a clinical setting may provide a method for in vivoproton range verification and patient monitoring.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935866View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
This paper presents initial experimental results from a prototype of high dose rate (HDR) BrachyView, a novel in-body source tracking system for HDR brachytherapy based on a multipinhole tungstencollimator and a high resolution pixellated silicon detector array. The probe and its associated position estimation algorithms are validated and a comprehensive evaluation of the accuracy of its position estimation capabilities is presented.Methods:
The HDR brachytherapy source is moved through a sequence of positions in a prostate phantom, for various displacements in x, y, and z. For each position, multiple image acquisitions are performed, and source positions are reconstructed. Error estimates in each dimension are calculated at each source position and combined to calculate overall positioning errors. Gafchromic film is used to validate the accuracy of source placement within the phantom.Results:
More than 90% of evaluated source positions were estimated with an error of less than one millimeter, with the worst-case error being 1.3 mm. Experimental results were in close agreement with previously published Monte Carlo simulation results.Conclusions:
The prototype of HDR BrachyView demonstrates a satisfactory level of accuracy in its source position estimation, and additional improvements are achievable with further refinement of HDR BrachyView’s image processing algorithms.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935868View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Proton minibeam radiation therapy (pMBRT) is a new radiotherapy (RT) approach that allies the inherent physical advantages of protons with the normal tissue preservation observed when irradiated with submillimetric spatially fractionated beams. This dosimetry work aims at demonstrating the feasibility of the technical implementation of pMBRT. This has been performed at the Institut Curie - Proton Therapy Center in Orsay.Methods:
Proton minibeams (400 and 700 μm-width) were generated by means of a brass multislit collimator. Center-to-center distances between consecutive beams of 3200 and 3500 μm, respectively, were employed. The (passive scattered) beam energy was 100 MeV corresponding to a range of 7.7 cm water equivalent. Absolute dosimetry was performed with a thimble ionization chamber (IBA CC13) in a water tank. Relative dosimetry was carried out irradiating radiochromic films interspersed in a IBA RW3 slab phantom. Depth dose curves and lateral profiles at different depths were evaluated. Peak-to-valley dose ratios (PVDR), beam widths, and output factors were also assessed as a function of depth.Results:
A pattern of peaks and valleys was maintained in the transverse direction with PVDR values decreasing as a function of depth until 6.7 cm. From that depth, the transverse dose profiles became homogeneous due to multiple Coulomb scattering. Peak-to-valley dose ratio values extended from 8.2 ± 0.5 at the phantom surface to 1.08 ± 0.06 at the Bragg peak. This was the first time that dosimetry in such small protonfield sizes was performed. Despite the challenge, a complete set of dosimetric data needed to guide the first biological experiments was achieved.Conclusions:
pMBRT is a novel strategy in order to reduce the side effects of RT. This works provides the experimental proof of concept of this new RT method: clinical proton beams might allow depositing a (high) uniform dose in a braintumor located in the center of the brain (7.5 cm depth, the worst scenario), while a spatial fractionation of the dose is retained in the normal tissues in the beam path, potentially leading to a gain in tissue sparing. This is the first complete experimental implementation of this promising technique. Biological experiments are needed in order to confirm the clinical potential of pMBRT.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4936105View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In carbon-ion radiotherapy treatment planning, the planar integrated dose (PID) measured in water is applied to the patient dose calculation with density scaling using the stopping power ratio. Since body tissues are chemically different from water, this dose calculation can be subject to errors, particularly due to differences in inelastic nuclear interactions. In recent studies, the authors proposed and validated a PID correction method for these errors. In the present study, the authors used this correction method to assess the influence of these nuclear interactions in body tissues on tumordose in various clinical cases.Methods:
Using 10–20 cases each of prostate, head and neck (HN), bone and soft tissue (BS), lung,liver, pancreas, and uterine neoplasms, the authors first used treatment plans for carbon-ion radiotherapy without nuclear interaction correction to derive uncorrected dose distributions. The authors then compared these distributions with recalculated distributions using the nuclear interaction correction (corrected dose distributions).Results:
Median (25%/75% quartiles) differences between the target mean uncorrected doses and corrected doses were 0.2% (0.1%/0.2%), 0.0% (0.0%/0.0%), −0.3% (−0.4%/−0.2%), −0.1% (−0.2%/−0.1%), −0.1% (−0.2%/0.0%), −0.4% (−0.5%/−0.1%), and −0.3% (−0.4%/0.0%) for the prostate, HN, BS, lung,liver, pancreas, and uterine cases, respectively. The largest difference of −1.6% in target mean and −2.5% at maximum were observed in a uterine case.Conclusions:
For most clinical cases, dose calculation errors due to the water nonequivalence of the tissues in nuclear interactions would be marginal compared to intrinsic uncertainties in treatment planning, patient setup, beam delivery, and clinical response. In some extreme cases, however, these errors can be substantial. Accordingly, this correction method should be routinely applied to treatment planning in clinical practice.
- RADIATION IMAGING PHYSICS
Can radiomics features be reproducibly measured from CBCT images for patients with non-small cell lung cancer?42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4934826View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Increasing evidence suggests radiomics features extracted from computed tomography (CT) images may be useful in prognostic models for patients with nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). This study was designed to determine whether such features can be reproducibly obtained from cone-beam CT (CBCT) images taken using medical Linac onboard-imaging systems in order to track them through treatment.Methods:
Test-retest CBCT images of ten patients previously enrolled in a clinical trial were retrospectively obtained and used to determine the concordance correlation coefficient (CCC) for 68 different texture features. The volume dependence of each feature was also measured using the Spearman rank correlation coefficient. Features with a high reproducibility (CCC > 0.9) that were not due to volume dependence in the patient test-retest set were further examined for their sensitivity to differences in imaging protocol, level of scatter, and amount of motion by using two phantoms. The first phantom was a texture phantom composed of rectangular cartridges to represent different textures. Features were measured from two cartridges, shredded rubber and dense cork, in this study. The texture phantom was scanned with 19 different CBCT imagers to establish the features’ interscanner variability. The effect of scatter on these features was studied by surrounding the same texture phantom with scattering material (rice and solid water). The effect of respiratory motion on these features was studied using a dynamic-motion thoracic phantom and a specially designed tumor texture insert of the shredded rubber material. The differences between scans acquired with different Linacs and protocols, varying amounts of scatter, and with different levels of motion were compared to the mean intrapatient difference from the test-retest image set.Results:
Of the original 68 features, 37 had a CCC >0.9 that was not due to volume dependence. When the Linac manufacturer and imaging protocol were kept consistent, 4–13 of these 37 features passed our criteria for reproducibility more than 50% of the time, depending on the manufacturer-protocol combination. Almost all of the features changed substantially when scatter material was added around the phantom. For the dense cork, 23 features passed in the thoracic scans and 11 features passed in the head scans when the differences between one and two layers of scatter were compared. Using the same test for the shredded rubber, five features passed the thoracic scans and eight features passed the head scans. Motion substantially impacted the reproducibility of the features. With 4 mm of motion, 12 features from the entire volume and 14 features from the center slice measurements were reproducible. With 6–8 mm of motion, three features (Laplacian of Gaussian filtered kurtosis, gray-level nonuniformity, and entropy), from the entire volume and seven features (coarseness, high gray-level run emphasis, gray-level nonuniformity, sum-average, information measure correlation, scaled mean, and entropy) from the center-slice measurements were considered reproducible.Conclusions:
Some radiomics features are robust to the noise and poor image quality of CBCT images when the imaging protocol is consistent, relative changes in the features are used, and patients are limited to those with less than 1 cm of motion.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4934834View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Efficient and accurate 3Dliver segmentations from contrast-enhanced computed tomography(CT)images play an important role in therapeutic strategies for hepatic diseases. However, inhomogeneous appearances, ambiguous boundaries, and large variance in shape often make it a challenging task. The existence of liver abnormalities poses further difficulty. Despite the significant intensity difference, livertumors should be segmented as part of the liver. This study aims to address these challenges, especially when the target livers contain subregions with distinct appearances.Methods:
The authors propose a novel multiregion-appearance based approach with graph cuts to delineate the liver surface. For livers with multiple subregions, a geodesic distance based appearance selection scheme is introduced to utilize proper appearance constraint for each subregion. A special case of the proposed method, which uses only one appearance constraint to segment the liver, is also presented. The segmentation process is modeled with energy functions incorporating both boundary and region information. Rather than a simple fixed combination, an adaptive balancing weight is introduced and learned from training sets. The proposed method only calls initialization inside the liver surface. No additional constraints from user interaction are utilized.Results:
The proposed method was validated on 50 3DCTimages from three datasets, i.e., Medical Image Computing and Computer Assisted Intervention (MICCAI) training and testing set, and local dataset. On MICCAI testing set, the proposed method achieved a total score of 83.4 ± 3.1, outperforming nonexpert manual segmentation (average score of 75.0). When applying their method to MICCAI training set and local dataset, it yielded a mean Dice similarity coefficient (DSC) of 97.7% ± 0.5% and 97.5% ± 0.4%, respectively. These results demonstrated the accuracy of the method when applied to different computed tomography(CT) datasets. In addition, user operator variability experiments showed its good reproducibility.Conclusions:
A multiregion-appearance based method is proposed and evaluated to segment liver. This approach does not require prior model construction and so eliminates the burdens associated with model construction and matching. The proposed method provides comparable results with state-of-the-art methods. Validation results suggest that it may be suitable for the clinical use.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935406View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Lack of access to projection data from patient CT scans is a major limitation for development and validation of new reconstruction algorithms. To meet this critical need, this work developed and validated a vendor-neutral format for CT projection data, which will further be employed to build a library of patient projection data for public access.Methods:
A digital imaging and communication in medicine (DICOM)-like format was created for CT projection data (CT-PD), named the DICOM-CT-PD format. The format stores attenuation information in the DICOM image data block and stores parameters necessary for reconstruction in the DICOM header under various tags (51 tags to store the geometry and scan parameters and 9 tags to store patient information). To validate the accuracy and completeness of the new format, CT projection data from helical scans of the ACR CT accreditation phantom were acquired from two clinical CTscanners (Somatom Definition Flash, Siemens Healthcare, Forchheim, Germany and Discovery CT750 HD, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, WI). After decoding (by the authors for Siemens, by the manufacturer for GE), the projection data were converted to the DICOM-CT-PD format. Off-line CTreconstructions were performed by internal and external reconstructionresearchers using only the information stored in the DICOM-CT-PD files and the DICOM-CT-PD field definitions.Results:
Compared with the commercially reconstructedCTimages, the off-line reconstructed images created using the DICOM-CT-PD format are similar in terms of CT numbers (differences of 5 HU for the bone insert and −9 HU for the air insert), imagenoise (±1 HU), and low contrastdetectability (6 mm rods visible in both). Because of different reconstruction approaches, slightly different in-plane and cross-plane high contrast spatial resolution were obtained compared to those reconstructed on the scanners (axial plane: GE off-line, 7 lp/cm; GE commercial, 7 lp/cm; Siemens off-line, 8 lp/cm; Siemens commercial, 7 lp/cm. Coronal plane: Siemens off-line, 6 lp/cm; Siemens commercial, 8 lp/cm).Conclusions:
A vendor-neutral extended DICOM format has been developed that enables open sharing of CT projection data from third-generation CTscanners. Validation of the format showed that the geometric parameters and attenuation information in the DICOM-CT-PD file were correctly stored, could be retrieved with use of the provided instructions, and contained sufficient data for reconstruction of CTimages that approximated those from the commercial scanner.
Depth-resolved registration of transesophageal echo to x-ray fluoroscopy using an inverse geometry fluoroscopy system42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4935534View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Image registration between standard x-ray fluoroscopy and transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) has recently been proposed. Scanning-beam digital x-ray (SBDX) is an inverse geometry fluoroscopy system designed for cardiac procedures. This study presents a method for 3D registration of SBDX and TEE images based on the tomosynthesis and 3D tracking capabilities of SBDX.Methods:
The registration algorithm utilizes the stack of tomosynthetic planes produced by the SBDX system to estimate the physical 3D coordinates of salient key-points on the TEE probe. The key-points are used to arrive at an initial estimate of the probe pose, which is then refined using a 2D/3D registration method adapted for inverse geometry fluoroscopy. A phantom study was conducted to evaluate probe pose estimation accuracy relative to the ground truth, as defined by a set of coregistered fiducial markers. This experiment was conducted with varying probe poses and levels of signal difference-to-noise ratio (SDNR). Additional phantom and in vivo studies were performed to evaluate the correspondence of catheter tip positions in TEE and x-rayimages following registration of the two modalities.Results:
Target registration error (TRE) was used to characterize both pose estimation and registration accuracy. In the study of pose estimation accuracy, successful pose estimates (3D TRE < 5.0 mm) were obtained in 97% of cases when the SDNR was 5.9 or higher in seven out of eight poses. Under these conditions, 3D TRE was 2.32 ± 1.88 mm, and 2D (projection) TRE was 1.61 ± 1.36 mm. Probe localization error along the source-detector axis was 0.87 ± 1.31 mm. For the in vivo experiments, mean 3D TRE ranged from 2.6 to 4.6 mm and mean 2D TRE ranged from 1.1 to 1.6 mm. Anatomy extracted from the echo images appeared well aligned when projected onto the SBDX images.Conclusions:
Full 6 DOF image registration between SBDX and TEE is feasible and accurate to within 5 mm. Future studies will focus on real-time implementation and application-specific analysis.