Comparison of prostate proton treatment planning technique, interfraction robustness, and analysis of single-field treatment feasibility

Maura L. Kirk, Shikui Tang, Huifang Zhai, Neha Vapiwala, Curtiland Deville, Paul James, Justin E. Bekelman, John P. Christodouleas, Zelig Tochner, Stefan Both

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: This study compares target coverage robustness among proton therapy plans for prostate cancer patients treated with 2 laterally opposed fields delivered daily or, alternatively, every other day as single lateral fields, using uniform scanning (US), single-field uniform dose (SFUD), pencil beam scanning (PBS) optimized for uniform target coverage only, SFUD PBS optimized for target coverage and organs at risk (OAR) sparing (SFUD-opt), and intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Methods and materials: Ten prostate cancer patients treated with proton therapy underwent weekly verification computed tomographic (CT) scans. US, SFUD, SFUD-opt, and IMPT treatment plans were created and recalculated on weekly verification scans evaluating 2-field daily and single-field target coverage and OAR constraints. Results: The average (±. standard deviation) planning target volume conformity index for US, SFUD, SFUD-opt, and IMPT clinical plans was 0.53 ± 0.06, 0.78 ± 0.05, 0.78 ± 0.04, and 0.78 ± 0.03, respectively. The average 2-field internal target volume (ITV) coverage was significantly higher for both US and SFUD when individually compared with SFUD-opt and IMPT. There was no significant difference between US and SFUD ITV coverage when comparing 2-field daily versus single-field daily delivery. The average single-field coverage was greatest using US and SFUD with 99% of the ITV being covered by 96.8% ± 0.9% and 96.7% ± 1.3%, respectively, compared with 95.5% ± 0.7% for SFUD-opt. There were no significant differences among the 4 plans regarding OAR dose constraints assessed. Conclusions: Pencil beam scanning techniques are more conformal than US and, when optimized only for uniform target coverage from each field, can be equally as robust relative to anatomic interfraction variations for prostate cancer patients treated with a single field per day technique. The SFUD-opt and IMPT involve highly modulated pencil beam spots and may be less robust to daily interfraction anatomic variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-105
Number of pages7
JournalPractical Radiation Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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