Strategies to reduce the systematic error due to tumor and rectum motion in radiotherapy of prostate cancer.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Marcel Van Herk
  • Mischa S Hoogeman
  • Marcel van Herk
  • Josien de Bois
  • Joos V Lebesque


BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The goal of this work is to develop and evaluate strategies to reduce the uncertainty in the prostate position and rectum shape that arises in the preparation stage of the radiation treatment of prostate cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Nineteen prostate cancer patients, who were treated with 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, received each a planning CT scan and 8-13 repeat CT scans during the treatment period. We quantified prostate motion relative to the pelvic bone by first matching the repeat CT scans on the planning CT scan using the bony anatomy. Subsequently, each contoured prostate, including seminal vesicles, was matched on the prostate in the planning CT scan to obtain the translations and rotations. The variation in prostate position was determined in terms of the systematic, random and group mean error. We tested the performance of two correction strategies to reduce the systematic error due to prostate motion. The first strategy, the pre-treatment strategy, used only the initial rectum volume in the planning CT scan to adjust the angle of the prostate with respect to the left-right (LR) axis and the shape and position of the rectum. The second strategy, the adaptive strategy, used the data of repeat CT scans to improve the estimate of the prostate position and rectum shape during the treatment. RESULTS: The largest component of prostate motion was a rotation around the LR axis. The systematic error (1 SD) was 5.1 degrees and the random error was 3.6 degrees (1 SD). The average LR-axis rotation between the planning and the repeat CT scans correlated significantly with the rectum volume in the planning CT scan (r=0.86, P

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalRadiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005