Urethral Interfractional Geometric and Dosimetric Variations of Prostate Cancer Patients: A Study Using an Onboard MRI

Front Oncol. 2022 Jul 15;12:916254. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.916254. eCollection 2022.


Purpose: For a cohort of prostate cancer patients treated on an MR-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) system, we retrospectively analyzed urethral interfractional geometric and dosimetric variations based on onboard MRIs acquired at different timepoints and evaluated onboard prostatic urethra visualization for urethra-focused online adaptive RT.

Methods: Twenty-six prostate cancer patients were prospectively scanned on a 0.35-T MRgRT system using an optimized T2-weighted HASTE sequence at simulation and final fraction. Two radiation oncologists (RO1 and RO2) contoured the urethras on all HASTE images. The simulation and final fraction HASTE images were rigidly registered, and urethral interobserver and interfractional geometric variation was evaluated using the 95th percentile Hausdorff distance (HD95), mean distance to agreement (MDA), center-of-mass shift (COMS), and DICE coefficient. For dosimetric analysis, simulation and final fraction HASTE images were registered to the 3D bSSFP planning MRI and 3D bSSFP final setup MRI, respectively. Both ROs' urethra contours were transferred from HASTE images for initial treatment plan optimization and final fraction dose estimation separately. Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) plans, 40 Gy in 5 fractions, were optimized to meet clinical constraints, including urethral V42Gy ≤0.03 cc, on the planning MRI. The initial plan was then forward calculated on the final setup MRI to estimate urethral dose on the final fraction and evaluate urethral dosimetric impact due to anatomy change.

Results: The average interobserver HD95, MDA, COMS, and DICE were 2.85 ± 1.34 mm, 1.02 ± 0.36 mm, 3.16 ± 1.61 mm, and 0.58 ± 0.15, respectively. The average interfractional HD95, MDA, COMS, and DICE were 3.26 ± 1.54 mm, 1.29 ± 0.54 mm, 3.34 ± 2.01 mm, and 0.49 ± 0.18, respectively. All patient simulation MRgRT plans met all clinical constraints. For RO1 and RO2, 23/26 (88%) and 21/26 (81%) patients' final fraction estimated urethral dose did not meet the planned constraint. The average urethral V42Gy change was 0.48 ± 0.58 cc.

Conclusion: Urethral interfractional motion and anatomic change can result in daily treatment violating urethral constraints. Onboard MRI with good visualization of the prostatic urethra can be a valuable tool to help better protect the urethra through patient setup or online adaptive RT.

Keywords: MR-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT); dosimetry; prostate cancer; toxicity; urethra.