A review of segmentation and deformable registration methods applied to adaptive cervical cancer radiation therapy treatment planning
Objective: Manual contouring and registration for radiotherapy treatment planning and online adaptation for cervical cancer radiation therapy in computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance images (MRI) are often necessary. However manual intervention is time consuming and may suffer from inter or intra-rater variability. In recent years a number of computer-guided automatic or semi-automatic segmentation and registration methods have been proposed. Segmentation and registration in CT and MRI for this purpose is a challenging task due to soft tissue deformation, inter-patient shape and appearance variation and anatomical changes over the course of treatment. The objective of this work is to provide a state-of-the-art review of computer-aided methods developed for adaptive treatment planning and radiation therapy planning for cervical cancer radiation therapy. Methods: Segmentation and registration methods published with the goal of cervical cancer treatment planning and adaptation have been identified from the literature (PubMed and Google Scholar). A comprehensive description of each method is provided. Similarities and differences of these methods are highlighted and the strengths and weaknesses of these methods are discussed. A discussion about choice of an appropriate method for a given modality is provided. Results: In the reviewed papers a Dice similarity coefficient of around 0.85 along with mean absolute surface distance of 2-4 mm for the clinically treated volume were reported for transfer of contours from planning day to the treatment day. Conclusions: Most segmentation and non-rigid registration methods have been primarily designed for adaptive re-planning for the transfer of contours from planning day to the treatment day. The use of shape priors significantly improved segmentation and registration accuracy compared to other models.