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Automated contouring and planning pipeline for hippocampal-avoidant whole-brain radiotherapy.

  • Author(s): Feng, Christine H
  • Cornell, Mariel
  • Moore, Kevin L
  • Karunamuni, Roshan
  • Seibert, Tyler M
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT) remains an important treatment for over 200,000 cancer patients in the United States annually. Hippocampal-avoidant WBRT (HA-WBRT) reduces neurocognitive toxicity compared to standard WBRT, but HA-WBRT contouring and planning are more complex and time-consuming than standard WBRT. We designed and evaluated a workflow using commercially available artificial intelligence tools for automated hippocampal segmentation and treatment planning to efficiently generate clinically acceptable HA-WBRT radiotherapy plans.

Methods

We retrospectively identified 100 consecutive adult patients treated for brain metastases outside the hippocampal region. Each patient's T1 post-contrast brain MRI was processed using NeuroQuant, an FDA-approved software that provides segmentations of brain structures in less than 8 min. Automated hippocampal segmentations were reviewed for accuracy, then converted to files compatible with a commercial treatment planning system, where hippocampal avoidance regions and planning target volumes (PTV) were generated. Other organs-at-risk (OARs) were previously contoured per clinical routine. A RapidPlan knowledge-based planning routine was applied for a prescription of 30 Gy in 10 fractions using volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) delivery. Plans were evaluated based on NRG CC001 dose-volume objectives (Brown et al. in J Clin Oncol, 2020).

Results

Of the 100 cases, 99 (99%) had acceptable automated hippocampi segmentations without manual intervention. Knowledge-based planning was applied to all cases; the median processing time was 9 min 59 s (range 6:53-13:31). All plans met per-protocol dose-volume objectives for PTV per the NRG CC001 protocol. For comparison, only 65.5% of plans on NRG CC001 met PTV goals per protocol, with 26.1% within acceptable variation. In this study, 43 plans (43%) met OAR constraints, and the remaining 57 (57%) were within acceptable variation, compared to 42.5% and 48.3% on NRG CC001, respectively. No plans in this study had unacceptable dose to OARs, compared to 0.8% of manually generated plans from NRG CC001. 8.4% of plans from NRG CC001 were not scored or unable to be evaluated.

Conclusions

An automated pipeline harnessing the efficiency of commercially available artificial intelligence tools can generate clinically acceptable VMAT HA-WBRT plans with minimal manual intervention. This process could improve clinical efficiency for a treatment established to improve patient outcomes over standard WBRT.

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