Background: Accurate patient positioning is crucial in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) due to a high dose regimen. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) is often used for patient positioning based on radio-opaque markers. We compared six CBCT-based set-up strategies with or without rotational correction.
Material and methods: Twenty-nine patients with three implanted markers received 3-6 fraction liver SBRT. The markers were delineated on the mid-ventilation phase of a 4D-planning-CT. One pretreatment CBCT was acquired per fraction. Set-up strategy 1 used only translational correction based on manual marker match between the CBCT and planning CT. Set-up strategy 2 used automatic 6 degrees-of-freedom registration of the vertebrae closest to the target. The 3D marker trajectories were also extracted from the projections and the mean position of each marker was calculated and used for set-up strategies 3-6. Translational correction only was used for strategy 3. Translational and rotational corrections were used for strategies 4-6 with the rotation being either vertebrae based (strategy 4), or marker based and constrained to ±3° (strategy 5) or unconstrained (strategy 6). The resulting set-up error was calculated as the 3D root-mean-square set-up error of the three markers. The set-up error of the spinal cord was calculated for all strategies.
Results: The bony anatomy set-up (2) had the largest set-up error (5.8 mm). The marker-based set-up with unconstrained rotations (6) had the smallest set-up error (0.8 mm) but the largest spinal cord set-up error (12.1 mm). The marker-based set-up with translational correction only (3) or with bony anatomy rotational correction (4) had equivalent set-up error (1.3 mm) but rotational correction reduced the spinal cord set-up error from 4.1 mm to 3.5 mm.
Conclusions: Marker-based set-up was substantially better than bony-anatomy set-up. Rotational correction may improve the set-up, but further investigations are required to determine the optimal correction strategy.