Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2018 04 28;100(5):1280-1288. Epub 2017 Dec 28.
UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. Electronic address:
Purpose: To demonstrate the feasibility of a real-time whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) workflow, taking advantage of contemporary radiation therapy capabilities and seeking to optimize clinical workflow for WBRT.
Methods And Materials: We developed a method incorporating the linear accelerator's on-board imaging system for patient simulation, used cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) data for treatment planning, and delivered the first fraction of prescribed therapy, all during the patient's initial appointment. Simulation was performed in the linear accelerator vault. An acquired CBCT data set was used for scripted treatment planning protocol, providing inversely planned, automated treatment plan generation. The osseous boundaries of the brain were auto-contoured to create a target volume. Two parallel-opposed beams using field-in-field intensity modulate radiation therapy covered this target to the user-defined inferior level (C1 or C2). The method was commissioned using an anthropomorphic head phantom and verified using 100 clinically treated patients.
Results: Whole-brain target heterogeneity was within 95%-107% of the prescription dose, and target coverage compared favorably to standard, manually created 3-dimensional plans. For the commissioning CBCT datasets, the secondary monitor unit verification and independent 3-dimensional dose distribution comparison for computed and delivered doses were within 2% agreement relative to the scripted auto-plans. On average, time needed to complete the entire process was 35.1 ± 10.3 minutes from CBCT start to last beam delivered.
Conclusions: The real-time WBRT workflow using integrated on-site imaging, planning, quality assurance, and delivery was tested and deemed clinically feasible. The design necessitates a synchronized team consisting of physician, physicist, dosimetrist, and therapists. This work serves as a proof of concept of real-time planning and delivery for other treatment sites.