Purpose: To evaluate the impact of marker-based position verification, using daily imaging and an off-line correction protocol, by calculating the delivered dose to prostate, rectum and bladder.
Methods: Prostate cancer patients (n=217) were treated with IMRT, receiving 35 daily fractions. Plans with five beams were optimized taking target coverage (CTV, boost) and organs-at-risk (rectum and bladder) into account. PTV margins were 8mm. Prostate position was verified daily using implanted fiducial gold markers by imaging the first segment of all the five beams on an EPID. Setup deviations were corrected off-line using an adapted shrinking-action-level protocol. The estimated delivered dose, including daily organ movements, was calculated using a version of PLATO's dose engine, enabling batch processing of large numbers of patients. The dose was calculated +/- inclusion of setup corrections, and was evaluated relative to the original static plan. The marker-based measurements were considered representative for all organs.
Results: Daily organ movements would result in an underdosage of 2-3Gy to CTV and boost volume relative to the original plan, which was prevented by daily setup corrections. The dose to rectum and bladder was on average unchanged, but a large spread was introduced by organ movements, which was reduced by including setup corrections.
Conclusions: Without position verification and setup corrections, margins of 8mm would be insufficient to account for position uncertainties during IMRT of prostate cancer. With the daily off-line correction protocol, the remaining variations are accommodated adequately.