Assessment of Parotid Gland Dose Changes During Head and Neck Cancer Radiotherapy Using Daily Megavoltage Computed Tomography and Deformable Image Registration

Choonik Lee, Katja M. Langen, Weiguo Lu, Jason Haimerl, Eric Schnarr, Kenneth J. Ruchala, Gustavo H. Olivera, Sanford L. Meeks, Patrick A. Kupelian, Thomas D. Shellenberger, Rafael R. Mañon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Scopus citations


Purpose: To analyze changes in parotid gland dose resulting from anatomic changes throughout a course of radiotherapy in a cohort of head-and-neck cancer patients. Methods and Materials: The study population consisted of 10 head-and-neck cancer patients treated definitively with intensity-modulated radiotherapy on a helical tomotherapy unit. A total of 330 daily megavoltage computed tomography images were retrospectively processed through a deformable image registration algorithm to be registered to the planning kilovoltage computed tomography images. The process resulted in deformed parotid contours and voxel mappings for both daily and accumulated dose-volume histogram calculations. The daily and cumulative dose deviations from the original treatment plan were analyzed. Correlations between dosimetric variations and anatomic changes were investigated. Results: The daily parotid mean dose of the 10 patients differed from the plan dose by an average of 15%. At the end of the treatment, 3 of the 10 patients were estimated to have received a greater than 10% higher mean parotid dose than in the original plan (range, 13-42%), whereas the remaining 7 patients received doses that differed by less than 10% (range, -6-8%). The dose difference was correlated with a migration of the parotids toward the high-dose region. Conclusions: The use of deformable image registration techniques and daily megavoltage computed tomography imaging makes it possible to calculate daily and accumulated dose-volume histograms. Significant dose variations were observed as result of interfractional anatomic changes. These techniques enable the implementation of dose-adaptive radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1571
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


  • Anatomic changes
  • Deformable image registration
  • Head-and-neck cancer
  • Parotid gland dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of Parotid Gland Dose Changes During Head and Neck Cancer Radiotherapy Using Daily Megavoltage Computed Tomography and Deformable Image Registration'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this