Publications by authors named "X Vermeren"

8 Publications

Experimental assessment of inter-centre variation in stopping-power and range prediction in particle therapy.

Radiother Oncol 2021 Jul 27;163:7-13. Epub 2021 Jul 27.

OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany; Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf, Institute of Radiooncology - OncoRay, Dresden, Germany; Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), partner site Dresden, and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany.

Purpose: Experimental assessment of inter-centre variation and absolute accuracy of stopping-power-ratio (SPR) prediction within 17 particle therapy centres of the European Particle Therapy Network.

Material And Methods: A head and body phantom with seventeen tissue-equivalent materials were scanned consecutively at the participating centres using their individual clinical CT scan protocol and translated into SPR with their in-house CT-number-to-SPR conversion. Inter-centre variation and absolute accuracy in SPR prediction were quantified for three tissue groups: lung, soft tissues and bones. The integral effect on range prediction for typical clinical beams traversing different tissues was determined for representative beam paths for the treatment of primary brain tumours as well as lung and prostate cancer.

Results: An inter-centre variation in SPR prediction (2σ) of 8.7%, 6.3% and 1.5% relative to water was determined for bone, lung and soft-tissue surrogates in the head setup, respectively. Slightly smaller variations were observed in the body phantom (6.2%, 3.1%, 1.3%). This translated into inter-centre variation of integral range prediction (2σ) of 2.9%, 2.6% and 1.3% for typical beam paths of prostate-, lung- and primary brain-tumour treatments, respectively. The absolute error in range exceeded 2% in every fourth participating centre. The consideration of beam hardening and the execution of an independent HLUT validation had a positive effect, on average.

Conclusion: The large inter-centre variations in SPR and range prediction justify the currently clinically used margins accounting for range uncertainty, which are of the same magnitude as the inter-centre variation. This study underlines the necessity of higher standardisation in CT-number-to-SPR conversion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.07.019DOI Listing
July 2021

Identification of patient benefit from proton beam therapy in brain tumour patients based on dosimetric and NTCP analyses.

Radiother Oncol 2021 07 17;160:69-77. Epub 2021 Apr 17.

OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), partner site Dresden, and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: The limited availability of proton beam therapy (PBT) requires individual treatment selection strategies, such as the model-based approach. In this study, we assessed the dosimetric benefit of PBT compared to photon therapy (XRT), analysed the corresponding changes in normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) on a variety of available models, and illustrated model-based patient selection in an in-silico study for patients with brain tumours.

Methods: For 92 patients treated at two PBT centres, volumetric modulated arc therapy treatment plans were retrospectively created for comparison with the clinically applied PBT plans. Several dosimetric parameters for the brain excluding tumour and margins, cerebellum, brain stem, frontal and temporal lobes, hippocampi, cochleae, chiasm, optic nerves, lacrimal glands, lenses, pituitary gland, and skin were compared between both modalities using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. NTCP differences (ΔNTCP) were calculated for 11 models predicting brain necrosis, delayed recall, temporal lobe injury, hearing loss, tinnitus, blindness, ocular toxicity, cataract, endocrine dysfunction, alopecia, and erythema. A patient was assumed to be selected for PBT if ΔNTCP exceeded a threshold of 10 percentage points for at least one of the side-effects.

Results: PBT substantially reduced the dose in almost all investigated OARs, especially in the low and intermediate dose ranges and for contralateral organs. In general, NTCP predictions were significantly lower for PBT compared to XRT, in particular in ipsilateral organs. Considering ΔNTCP of all models, 80 patients (87.0%) would have been selected for PBT in this in-silico study, mainly due to predictions of a model on delayed recall (51 patients).

Conclusion: In this study, substantial dose reductions for PBT were observed, mainly in contralateral organs. However, due to the sigmoidal dose response, NTCP was particularly reduced in ipsilateral organs. This underlines that physical dose-volume parameters alone may not be sufficient to describe the clinical relevance between different treatment techniques and highlights potential benefits of NTCP models. Further NTCP models for different modern treatment techniques are mandatory and existing models have to be externally validated in order to implement the model-based approach in clinical practice for cranial radiotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.04.008DOI Listing
July 2021

Modelling of late side-effects following cranial proton beam therapy.

Radiother Oncol 2021 04 19;157:15-23. Epub 2021 Jan 19.

OncoRay - National Center for Radiation Research in Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden - Rossendorf, Dresden, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), partner site Dresden, and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany; Department of Radiotherapy and Radiation Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: The limited availability of proton beam therapy (PBT) requires individual treatment selection strategies that can be based on normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) models. We developed and externally validated NTCP models for common late side-effects following PBT in brain tumour patients to optimise patients' quality of life.

Methods: Cohorts from three PBT centres (216 patients) were investigated for several physician-rated endpoints at 12 and 24 months after PBT: alopecia, dry eye syndrome, fatigue, headache, hearing and memory impairment, and optic neuropathy. Dose-volume parameters of associated normal tissues and clinical factors were used for logistic regression modelling in a development cohort. Statistically significant parameters showing high area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) values in internal cross-validation were externally validated. In addition, analyses of the pooled cohorts and of time-dependent generalised estimating equations including all patient data were performed.

Results: In the validation study, mild alopecia was related to high dose parameters to the skin [e.g. the dose to 2% of the volume (D2%)] at 12 and 24 months after PBT. Mild hearing impairment at 24 months after PBT was associated with the mean dose to the ipsilateral cochlea. Additionally, the pooled analyses revealed dose-response relations between memory impairment and intermediate to high doses to the remaining brain as well as D2% of the hippocampi. Mild fatigue at 24 months after PBT was associated with D2% to the brainstem as well as with concurrent chemotherapy. Moreover, in generalised estimating equations analysis, dry eye syndrome was associated with the mean dose to the ipsilateral lacrimal gland.

Conclusion: We developed and in part validated NTCP models for several common late side-effects following PBT in brain tumour patients. Validation studies are required for further confirmation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2021.01.004DOI Listing
April 2021

In Reply to Gultekin and Yildiz.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 12;105(5):1164-1165

Department of Particle Therapy, University Hospital Essen, West German Proton Therapy Centre Essen (WPE), West German Cancer Centre (WTZ), Essen, Germany; German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.09.032DOI Listing
December 2019

Outcome and Patterns of Relapse in Childhood Parameningeal Rhabdomyosarcoma Treated With Proton Beam Therapy.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2019 12 13;105(5):1043-1054. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Particle Therapy, University Hospital Essen, West German Proton Therapy Centre Essen (WPE), West German Cancer Centre (WTZ), Germany, German Cancer Consortium (DKTK).

Purpose: The standard of care of childhood parameningeal rhabdomyosarcoma (pRMS) is chemotherapy and local radiation therapy. Protons are increasingly being used to decrease late effects. The aim of the present study is to analyze the pattern of relapse and the correlation with dosimetric factors in pRMS treated with proton therapy.

Methods And Materials: This retrospective evaluation includes children treated in our institution for pRMS. Information on demographics, treatment, tumor characteristics, and toxicities and outcome was prospectively collected within the in-house registry. For patients presenting with local relapse, a fusion of the dosimetry with magnetic resonance imaging displaying site and geometry of recurrence was performed.

Results: Median follow-up time was 2.9 years (0.5-4.7). Forty-six patients were identified in our institution between July 2013 and November 2017. Main characteristics of patients were as follows: 56.5% male, median age 5.1 years (1.3-17.5), 39.1% alveolar histology, 26.1%, 52.2%, 8.7%, and 13% patients with subgroup risk classification D, E/F/G, H, or metastatic, respectively, median total prescribed dose 55.8 Gy (50.4-56.4). Estimated 2-year local control, metastasis-free survival, event-free survival, and overall survival were 83.8%, 87.8%, 76.9%, and 88.9%, respectively. No acute or late local toxicity exceeding grade 3 was observed. Risk-group was identified as prognostic factor for metastasis-free survival in univariate analysis but not in multivariate analysis (trend: P = .09). In this cohort, dosimetric factors did not correlate with outcome. Isolated local failure happened in 5 of the 11 relapses. Local relapses were matched with dosimetry for 6 patients: 4 of them occurred in the high dose volume and 2 in the intermediate or low dose volume.

Conclusions: Proton therapy was effective and well feasible even in a critical cohort. Still, local relapse within the target volume of the radiation therapy remains an important issue in pRMS and new treatment strategies are needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.08.005DOI Listing
December 2019
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