Towards simulation-free MR-linac treatment: utilizing male pelvis PSMA-PET/CT and population-based electron density assignments
Physics in medicine and biology
Objective. This study aimed to investigate the dosimetric impact of using population-based relative electron density (RED) overrides in lieu of simulation computerized tomography (CT) in a magnetic resonance linear accelerator (MRL) workflow for male pelvis patients. Additionally, the feasibility of using prostate specific membrane antigen positron emission tomography/CT (PSMA-PET/CT) scans to assess patients' eligibility for this proposed workflow was examined.Approach. In this study, 74 male pelvis patients treated on an Elekta Unity 1.5 T MRL were retrospectively selected. The patients' individual RED values for 8 organs of interest were extracted from their simulation-CT images to establish population-based RED values. These values were used to generate individual (IndD) and population-based (PopD) RED dose plans, representing current and proposed MRL workflows, respectively. Lastly, this study compared RED values obtained from CT and PET-CT scanners in a phantom and a subset of patients.Results. Population-based RED values were mostly within two standard deviations of ICRU Report 46 values. PopD plans were comparable to IndD plans, with the average %difference magnitudes of 0.5%, 0.6%, and 0.6% for mean dose (all organs), D0.1cm3(non-target organs) and D95%/D98% (target organs), respectively. Both phantom and patient PET-CT derived RED values had high agreement with corresponding CT-derived values, with correlation coefficients ≥ 0.9.Significance. Population-based RED values were considered suitable in a simulation-free MRL treatment workflow. Utilizing these RED values resulted in similar dosimetric uncertainties as per the current workflow. Initial findings also suggested that PET-CT scans may be used to assess prospective patients' eligibility for the proposed workflow. Future investigations will evaluate the clinical feasibility of implementing this workflow for prospective patients in the clinical setting. This is aimed to reduce patient burden during radiotherapy and increase department efficiencies.
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