Purpose Limits on mean lung dose (MLD) allow for individualization of radiation doses at safe levels for patients with lung tumors. However, MLD does not account for individual differences in the extent or spatial distribution of pulmonary dysfunction among patients, which leads to toxicity variability at the same MLD. We investigated dose rearrangement to minimize the radiation dose to the functional lung as assessed by perfusion single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and maximize the target coverage to maintain conventional normal tissue limits. Methods and materials Retrospective plans were optimized for 15 patients with locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer who were enrolled in a prospective imaging trial. A staged, priority-based optimization system was used. The baseline priorities were to meet physical MLD and other dose constraints for organs at risk, and to maximize the target generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD). To determine the benefit of dose rearrangement with perfusion SPECT, plans were reoptimized to minimize the generalized equivalent uniform functional dose (gEUfD) to the lung as the subsequent priority. Results When only physical MLD is minimized, lung gEUfD was 12.6 ± 4.9 Gy (6.3-21.7 Gy). When the dose is rearranged to minimize gEUfD directly in the optimization objective function, 10 of 15 cases showed a decrease in lung gEUfD of >20% (lung gEUfD mean 9.9 ± 4.3 Gy, range 2.1-16.2 Gy) while maintaining equivalent planning target volume coverage. Although all dose-limiting constraints remained unviolated, the dose rearrangement resulted in slight gEUD increases to the cord (5.4 ± 3.9 Gy), esophagus (3.0 ± 3.7 Gy), and heart (2.3 ± 2.6 Gy). Conclusions Priority-driven optimization in conjunction with perfusion SPECT permits image guided spatial dose redistribution within the lung and allows for a reduced dose to the functional lung without compromising target coverage or exceeding conventional limits for organs at risk.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging