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.
- oropharyngeal cancer
- pharyngeal constrictor muscle
- rotational PTV
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging