Dosimetric implications of the addition of 18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography in CT-based radiotherapy planning for non-small-cell lung cancer
The aim of this study was to assess the impact of F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) CT on radiotherapy planning parameters for patients treated curatively with radiotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Five patients with stages I–III NSCLC underwent a diagnostic FDG-PET CT (dPET CT), planning FDG-PET CT (pPET CT) and a simulation CT (RTP CT). For each patient, three radiation oncologists delineated a gross tumour volume based on RTP CT alone, and fused with dPET CT and pPET CT. Standard expansions were used to generate PTVs, and a 3D conformal plan was created. Normal tissue doses were compared between plans. Coverage of pPET CT PTV by the plans based on RTP CT and dPET CT was assessed, and tumour control probabilities were calculated. Mean PTV was similar between RTP CT, dPET CT and pPET CT, although there were significant inter-observer differences in four patients. The plans, however, showed no significant differences in doses to lung, oesophagus, heart or spinal cord. The RTP CT plan and dPET CT plan significantly underdosed the pPET PTV in two patients with minimum doses ranging from 12 to 63% of prescribed dose. Coverage by the 95% isodose was suboptimal in these patients, but this did not translate into poorer tumour control probability. The effect of fused FDG-PET varied between observers. The addition of dPET and pPET did not significantly change the radiotherapy planning parameters. Although FDG-PET is of benefit in tumour delineation, its effect on normal tissue complication probability and tumour control probability cannot be predicted.