Background: Methods to accurately accumulate doses in radiotherapy (RT) are important for tumour and normal tissues being influenced by geometric uncertainties. The purpose of this study was to investigate a pre-release deformable image registration (DIR)-based dose accumulation application, in the setting of prostate RT.
Material and methods: Initially accumulated bladder and prostate doses were assessed (based on 8-9 repeat CT scans/patient) for nine prostate cancer patients using an intensity-based DIR and dose accumulation algorithm as provided by the Dynamic Adaptive Radiation Therapy (DART) software. The accumulated bladder and prostate dose-volume histograms (DVHs) were compared on a range of parameters (paired Wilcoxon signed-rank test, 5% significance level) to DVHs derived using an in-house developed dose accumulation method based on biomechanical, contour-driven DIR (SurfaceRegistration). Finally, both these accumulated dose distributions were compared to the 'static' DVH, assessed from the planning CT.
Results: Over the population, doses accumulated with DART were overall lower than those from SurfaceRegistration (p < 0.05: D2%, gEUD and NTCP (bladder); Dmin (prostate)). The magnitude of these differences peaked for the bladder gEUD with a population median of 47 Gy for DART versus 57 Gy for SurfaceRegistration. Across the ten bladder dose/volume parameters investigated, the most pronounced individual differences were observed between the 'accumulated' DVHs and the 'static' DVHs, with deviations in mean dose up to 22 Gy.
Conclusion: Substantial and significant differences were observed in the dose distributions between the two investigated DIR-based dose accumulation applications. The most pronounced individual differences were seen for the bladder and relative to the planned dose distribution, encouraging the use of repeat imaging data in RT planning and evaluation for this organ.