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A planning study for palliative spine treatment using StatRT and megavoltage CT simulation.

  • Author(s): Rong, Yi
  • Yadav, Poonam
  • Paliwal, Bhudatt
  • Shang, Lu
  • Welsh, James S
  • et al.
Abstract

Megavoltage CT (MVCT) simulation on the TomoTherapy Hi·Art system is an alternative to conventional CT for treatment planning in the presence of severe metal artifact. StatRT is a new feature that was implemented on the TomoTherapy operator station for performing online MVCT scanning, treatment planning and treatment delivery in one session. The clinical feasibility of using the StatRT technique and MVCT simulation to palliative treatment for a patient with substantial spinal metallic hardware is described. A patient with metastatic non-small-cell lung cancer involving the thoracic spine underwent conventional kilovoltage CT simulation. The metal artifact due to stainless steel spine-stabilizing rods was too severe for treatment planning, despite attempts to correct using density override. The patient was then re-scanned using MVCT on a tomotherapy unit. Plans were generated using both StatRT and conventional tomotherapy planning (Tomo plan) with different settings for comparison. StatRT planning ran a total of five iterations in a short planning window (10-15 min). Two Tomo plans were generated using: (1) five iterations in the "full scatter" mode, and (2) 300 iterations in the "beamlet" mode. It was noted that the DVH of the StatRT plan was almost identical to the Tomo plan optimized by the "full scatter" mode and the same number of iterations. Dose distribution analysis reveals that these three planning methods yielded comparable doses to heart, lungs and targets. This work also demonstrated that undermodulation can result in a high degree of thread effects. The overall time for the treatment process (including 7 minutes for simulation, 15 minutes for contouring, 10 minutes for planning and 5 minutes for delivery) decreases from hours to around 40 minutes using the StatRT procedure. StatRT is a feasible treatment-planning tool for physicians to scan, contour and treat patients within one hour. This can be particularly beneficial in urgent palliative treatments.

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