Monitoring dosimetric impact of weight loss with kilovoltage (KV) cone beam CT (CBCT) during parotid-sparing IMRT and concurrent chemotherapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Kean Fatt Ho
  • Chris Moore
  • Gareth Webster
  • Carl Rowbottom
  • Hazel Penington
  • Lip Lee
  • Beng Yap
  • Andrew Sykes
  • Nick Slevin


Purpose: Parotid-sparing head-and-neck intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) can reduce long-term xerostomia. However, patients frequently experience weight loss and tumor shrinkage during treatment. We evaluate the use of kilovoltage (kV) cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) for dose monitoring and examine if the dosimetric impact of such changes on the parotid and critical neural structures warrants replanning during treatment. Methods and materials: Ten patients with locally advanced oropharyngeal cancer were treated with contralateral parotid-sparing IMRT concurrently with platinum-based chemotherapy. Mean doses of 65 Gy and 54 Gy were delivered to clinical target volume (CTV)1 and CTV2, respectively, in 30 daily fractions. CBCT was prospectively acquired weekly. Each CBCT was coregistered with the planned isocenter. The spinal cord, brainstem, parotids, larynx, and oral cavity were outlined on each CBCT. Dose distributions were recalculated on the CBCT after correcting the gray scale to provide accurate Hounsfield calibration, using the original IMRT plan configuration. Results: Planned contralateral parotid mean doses were not significantly different to those delivered during treatment (p > 0.1). Ipsilateral and contralateral parotids showed a mean reduction in volume of 29.7% and 28.4%, respectively. There was no significant difference between planned and delivered maximum dose to the brainstem (p = 0.6) or spinal cord (p = 0.2), mean dose to larynx (p = 0.5) and oral cavity (p = 0.8). End-of-treatment mean weight loss was 7.5 kg (8.8% of baseline weight). Despite a ≥10% weight loss in 5 patients, there was no significant dosimetric change affecting the contralateral parotid and neural structures. Conclusions: Although patient weight loss and parotid volume shrinkage was observed, overall, there was no significant excess dose to the organs at risk. No replanning was felt necessary for this patient cohort, but a larger patient sample will be investigated to further confirm these results. Nevertheless, kilovoltage CBCT is a valuable tool for patient setup verification and monitoring of dosimetric variation during radiotherapy. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e375-e382
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012