For gated lung cancer radiotherapy, it is difficult to generate accurate gating signals due to the large uncertainties when using external surrogates and the risk of pneumothorax when using implanted fiducial markers. We have previously investigated and demonstrated the feasibility of generating gating signals using the correlation scores between the reference template image and the fluoroscopic images acquired during the treatment. In this paper, we present an in-depth study, aiming at the improvement of robustness of the algorithm and its validation using multiple sets of patient data. Three different template generating and matching methods have been developed and evaluated: (1) single template method, (2) multiple template method, and (3) template clustering method. Using the fluoroscopic data acquired during patient setup before each fraction of treatment, reference templates are built that represent the tumour position and shape in the gating window, which is assumed to be at the end-of-exhale phase. For the single template method, all the setup images within the gating window are averaged to generate a composite template. For the multiple template method, each setup image in the gating window is considered as a reference template and used to generate an ensemble of correlation scores. All the scores are then combined to generate the gating signal. For the template clustering method, clustering (grouping of similar objects together) is performed to reduce the large number of reference templates into a few representative ones. Each of these methods has been evaluated against the reference gating signal as manually determined by a radiation oncologist. Five patient datasets were used for evaluation. In each case, gated treatments were simulated at both 35% and 50% duty cycles. False positive, negative and total error rates were computed. Experiments show that the single template method is sensitive to noise; the multiple template and clustering methods are more robust to noise due to the smoothing effect of aggregation of correlation scores; and the clustering method results in the best performance in terms of computational efficiency and accuracy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging