Purpose: The purpose of this work was to assess the feasibility of using surrogate CT scans of matched patients for organ dose reconstructions for childhood cancer (CC) survivors, treated in the past with only 2D imaging data available instead of 3D CT data, and in particular using the current literature standard of matching patients based on similarity in age and gender.

Methods: Thirty-one recently treated CC patients with abdominal CT scans were divided into six age- and gender-matched groups. From each group, two radiotherapy plans for Wilms' tumor were selected as reference plans and applied to the age- and gender-matched patients' CTs in the respective group. Two reconstruction strategies were investigated: S1) without field adjustments; S2) with manual field adjustments according to anatomical information, using a visual check in digitally reconstructed radiographs. To assess the level of agreement between the reconstructed and the reference dose distributions, we computed (using a collapsed cone algorithm) and compared the absolute deviation in mean and maximum dose normalized by the prescribed dose (i.e., normalized errors |NEmean| and |NE2cc|) in eight organs at risk (OARs): heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, and spinal cord. Furthermore, we assessed the quality of a reconstruction case by varying acceptance thresholds for |NEmean| and |NE2cc|. A reconstruction case was accepted (i.e., considered to pass) if the errors in all OARs are smaller than the threshold. The pass fraction for a given threshold was then defined as the percentage of reconstruction cases that were classified as a pass. Furthermore, we consider the impact of allowing to use a different CT scan for each OAR.

Results: Slightly smaller reconstruction errors were achieved with S2 in multiple OARs than with S1 (P < 0.05). Among OARs, the best reconstruction was found for the spinal cord (average |NEmean| and |NE2cc| ≤ 4%). The largest average |NEmean| was found in the spleen (18%). The largest average |NE2cc| was found in the left lung (26%). Less than 30% of the reconstruction cases (i.e., pass fraction) meet the criteria that |NEmean| < 20% and |NE2cc| < 20% in all OARs when using age and gender matching and a single CT to do reconstructions. Allowing other matchings and combining reconstructions for OARs from multiple patients, the pass fraction increases substantially to more than 60%.

Conclusions: To conclude, reconstructions with small deviations can be obtained by using CC patients' CT scans, making the general approach promising. However, using age and gender as the only matching criteria to select a CT scan for the reconstruction is not sufficient to guarantee sufficiently low reconstruction errors. It is therefore suggested to include more features (e.g., height, features extracted from 2D radiographs) than only age and gender for dose reconstruction for CC survivors treated in the pre-3D radiotherapy planning era and to consider ways to combine multiple reconstructions focused on different OARs.

, , ,
Medical Physics
3D dose reconstruction for children with long-term follow-up Toward improved decision making in radiation treatment for children with cancer
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica, Amsterdam (CWI), The Netherlands

Wang, Z., Dijk, van, I., Wiersma, J., Ronckers, C., Oldenburger, F., Balgobind, B., … Alderliesten, T. (2018). Are age and gender suitable matching criteria in organ dose reconstruction using surrogate childhood cancer patients' CT scans?. Medical Physics, 45(6), 2628–2638. doi:10.1002/mp.12908