A novel method was developed to track lung tumor motion in real time during radiation therapy with the purpose to allow target radiation dose escalation while simultaneously reducing the dose to sensitive structures, thereby increasing local control without increasing toxicity. This method analyzes beam's eye view radiation therapy treatment megavoltage (MV) images with simulated digitally reconstructed radiographs (DRRs) as references. Instead of comparing global DRRs with projection images, this method incorporates a technique that divides the global composite DRR and the corresponding MV projection into sub-images called tiles. Registration is performed independently on tile pairs in order to reduce the effects of global discrepancies due to scattering or imaging modality differences. This algorithm was evaluated by phantom studies while simulated tumors were controlled to move with various patterns in a complex humanoid torso. Approximately 15,000 phantom MV images were acquired at nine gantry angles, with different tumors moving within ranges between 10 and 20 mm. Tumors were successfully identified on every projection with a total maximum/average error of 1.84/0.98 mm. This algorithm was also applied to over 5000 frames of MV projections acquired during radiation therapy of five lung cancer patients. This tumor-tracking methodology is capable of accurately locating lung tumors during treatment without implanting any internal fiducial markers nor delivering extra imaging radiation doses.
- MV imaging
- Tumor tracking
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)
- Process Chemistry and Technology
- Computer Science Applications
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes