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Fundus image fusion in EYEPLAN software: an evaluation of a novel technique for ocular melanoma radiation treatment planning.


PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate a novel approach for treatment planning using digital fundus image fusion in EYEPLAN for proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) planning for ocular melanoma. The authors used a prototype version of EYEPLAN software, which allows for digital registration of high-resolution fundus photographs. The authors examined the improvement in tumor localization by replanning with the addition of fundus photo superimposition in patients with macular area tumors. METHODS: The new version of EYEPLAN (v3.05) software allows for the registration of fundus photographs as a background image. This is then used in conjunction with clinical examination, tantalum marker clips, surgeon's mapping, and ultrasound to draw the tumor contour accurately. In order to determine if the fundus image superimposition helps in tumor delineation and treatment planning, the authors identified 79 patients with choroidal melanoma in the macular location that were treated with PBRT. All patients were treated to a dose of 56 GyE in four fractions. The authors reviewed and replanned all 79 macular melanoma cases with superimposition of pretreatment and post-treatment fundus imaging in the new EYEPLAN software. For patients with no local failure, the authors analyzed whether fundus photograph fusion accurately depicted and confirmed tumor volumes as outlined in the original treatment plan. For patients with local failure, the authors determined whether the addition of the fundus photograph might have benefited in terms of more accurate tumor volume delineation. RESULTS: The mean follow-up of patients was 33.6 +/- 23 months. Tumor growth was seen in six eyes of the 79 macular lesions. All six patients were marginal failures or tumor miss in the region of dose fall-off, including one patient with both in-field recurrence as well as marginal. Among the six recurrences, three were managed by enucleation and one underwent retreatment with proton therapy. Three patients developed distant metastasis and all three patients have since died. The replanning of six patients with their original fundus photograph superimposed showed that in four cases, the treatment field adequately covered the tumor volume. In the other two patients, the overlaid fundus photographs indicated the area of marginal miss. The replanning with the fundus photograph showed improved tumor coverage in these two macular lesions. For the remaining patients without local failure, replanning with fundus photograph superimposition confirmed the tumor volume as drawn in the original treatment plan. CONCLUSIONS: Local control was excellent in patients receiving 56 GyE of PBRT for uveal melanomas in the macular region, which traditionally can be more difficult to control. Posterior lesions are better defined with the additional use of fundus image since they can be difficult to mark surgically. In one-third of treatment failing patients, the superposition of the fundus photograph would have clearly allowed improved localization of tumor. The current practice standard is to use the superimposition of the fundus photograph in addition to the surgeon's clinical and clip mapping of the tumor and ultrasound measurement to draw the tumor volume.

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