Dosimetric Impact of Intrafraction Motion in Online-Adaptive Intensity Modulated Proton Therapy for Cervical Cancer
Purpose: A method was recently developed for online-adaptive intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) in patients with cervical cancer. The advantage of this approach, relying on the use of tight margins, is challenged by the intrafraction target motion. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the dosimetric effect of intrafraction motion on the target owing to changes in bladder filling in patients with cervical cancer treated with online-adaptive IMPT. Methods and Materials: In 10 patients selected to have large uterus motion induced by bladder filling, the intrafraction anatomic changes were simulated for several prefraction durations for online (automated) contouring and planning. For each scenario, the coverage of the primary target was evaluated with margins of 2.5 and 5 mm. Results: Using a 5- mm planning target volume margin, median accumulated D98% was greater than 42.75 GyRBE1.1 (95% of the prescribed dose) in the case of a prefraction duration of 5 and 10 minutes. For a prefraction duration of 15 minutes, this parameter deteriorated to 42.6 GyRBE1.1. When margins were reduced to 2.5 mm, only a 5-minute duration resulted in median target D98% above 42.75 GyRBE1.1. In addition, smaller bladders were found to be associated with larger dose degradations compared with larger bladders. Conclusions: This study indicates that intrafraction anatomic changes can have a substantial dosimetric effect on target coverage in an online-adaptive IMPT scenario for patients subject to large uterus motion. A margin of 5 mm was sufficient to compensate for the intrafraction motion due to bladder filling for up to 10 minutes of prefraction time. However, compensation for the uncertainties that were disregarded in this study, by using margins or robust optimization, is also required. Furthermore, a large bladder volume restrains intrafraction target motion and is recommended for treating patients in this scenario. Assuming that online-adaptive IMPT remains beneficial as long as narrow margins are used (5 mm or below), this study demonstrates its feasibility with regard to intrafraction motion.