The effect of designing a rotational planning target volume on sparing pharyngeal constrictor muscles in patients with oropharyngeal cancer

Mona Arbab, Huisi Ai, Gregory Bartlett, Benjamin Dawson, Mark Langer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Planning target volume (PTV) has been used to account for variations in tissue, patient and beam position. In oropharyngeal cancers, an isotropic expanded PTV has been used. Aim: The aim of this study was to design a new margin formula that would cover the space occupied by an oropharyngeal clinical target volume (CTV) with ±5-degree rotation around the spine in order to reduce the pharyngeal constrictors overlap with PTV compared to an isotropic expanded PTV. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated 20 volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans. In order to perform an off-axis rotation, a hypothetical point was placed through the center of the cervical spinal canal and the image was then rotated around the longitudinal axis ±5 degrees. This created a new set of CTVs that were combined to form the new rotational PTV. The overlap between the pharyngeal constrictor muscles (PCMs) and both PTVs was then evaluated. Results: The new rotational PTV causes reduction in the superior PCM overlap in the base of tongue (BOT) lesions compared to tonsillar lesion, 57.8% vs 25.8%, P = 0.01, as well as middle PCM overlap, 73% vs 49%, P = 0.04. Average percent change for PTV volume and overlap with the superior, middle, and inferior PCMs are as followed: −19%, −37%, −59.4%, and −45.2. The smallest isotropic expansion that covers the new rotational PTV was between 3 and 5mm with the average tumor center shift of 0.49 cm. Conclusion: This new rotational PTV causes significant reduction of the overlap volume between PCMs and PTVs in order to spare the PCMs compared to isotropic expanded PTV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • pharyngeal constrictor muscle
  • rotational PTV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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