Background/purpose: Intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) is highly sensitive to anatomical variations which can cause inadequate target coverage during treatment. Available mitigation techniques include robust treatment planning and online-adaptive IMPT. This study compares a robust planning strategy to two online-adaptive IMPT strategies to determine the benefit of online adaptation. Materials/methods: We derived the robustness settings and safety margins needed to yield adequate target coverage (V95% 98%) for >90% of 11 patients in a prostate cancer cohort (88 repeat CTs). For each patient, we also adapted a non-robust prior plan using a simple restoration and a full adaptation method. The restoration uses energy-adaptation followed by a fast spot-intensity re-optimization. The full adaptation uses energy-adaptation followed by the addition of new spots and a range-robust spot-intensity optimization. Dose was prescribed as 55 Gy(RBE) to the low-dose target (lymph nodes and seminal vesicles) with a boost to 74 Gy(RBE) to the high-dose target (prostate). Daily patient set-up was simulated using implanted intra-prostatic markers. Results: Margins of 4 and 8 mm around the high- and low-dose target regions, a 6 mm setup error and a 3% range error were found to obtain adequate target coverage for all repeat CTs of 10/11 patients (94.3% of all 88 repeat CTs). Both online-adaptive strategies yielded V95% 98% and better OAR sparing in 11/11 patients. Median OAR improvements up to 11%-point and 16%-point were observed when moving from robust planning to respectively restoration and full adaption. Conclusion: Both full plan adaptation and simple dose restoration can increase OAR sparing besides better conforming to the target criteria compared to robust treatment planning.

Intensity-modulated proton therapy, Prostate cancer, Online-adaptive proton therapy, Online treatment planning, Robust treatment planning, Inter-fraction variation,
Radiotherapy & Oncology
Department of Radiation Oncology

Jagt, T, Breedveld, S, van Haveren, R., Heijmen, B.J.M, & Hoogeman, M.S. (2020). Online-adaptive versus robust IMPT for prostate cancer: How much can we gain?. Radiotherapy & Oncology, 151, 228–233. doi:10.1016/j.radonc.2020.07.054