The use of in-vivo dosimetry to identify head and neck cancer patients needing adaptive radiotherapy

Radiother Oncol. 2023 Jul:184:109676. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2023.109676. Epub 2023 Apr 20.


Background and purpose: Head and neck cancer (HNC) patients experiencing anatomical changes during their radiotherapy (RT) course may benefit from adaptive RT (ART). We investigated the sensitivity of an electronic portal imaging device (EPID)-based in-vivo dosimetry (EIVD) system to detect patients that require ART and identified its limitations.

Materials and methods: A retrospective study was conducted for 182 HNC patients: laryngeal cancer without elective lymph nodes (group A), postoperative RT (group B) and primary RT including elective lymph nodes (group C). The effect of anatomical changes on the dose distribution and volumetric changes was quantified. The receiver operating characteristic curve was used to obtain the optimal cut-off value for the gamma passing rate (%GP) with a dose difference of 3% and a distance to agreement of 3 mm.

Results: Fifty HNC patients receiving ART were analyzed: 1 in group A, 10 in group B and 39 in group C. Failed fractions (FFs) occurred in 1/1, 6/10 and 23/39 cases before ART in group A, B and C respectively. In the four cases in group B without FFs, only minor dosimetric changes were observed. One of the cases in group C without FFs had significant dosimetric changes (false negative). Three cases received ART because of clinical reasons that cannot be detected by EIVD. The optimal cut-off value for the %GP was 95%/95.2% for old/new generation machines respectively.

Conclusion: EIVD combined with 3D imaging techniques can be synergistic in the detection of anatomical changes in HNC patients who benefit from ART.

Keywords: Adaptive radiotherapy; Automated in-vivo dosimetry; Head and Neck cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Radiometry / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated* / methods
  • Retrospective Studies