Medline: 10613312

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 45(5): 1193-1198, 1999.

Influence of patient positioning on dose-volume histogram and normal tissue complication probability for small bowel and bladder in patients receiving pelvic irradiation: a prospective study using a 3D planning system and a radiobiological model.

Koelbl O, Richter S, Flentje M


A prospective study was undertaken to evaluate the influence of patient positioning (prone position using a belly board vs. supine position) on the dose-volume histograms (DVHs) of organs of risk, and to analyze its possible clinical relevance using radiobiological models.

AND MATERIALS: From November 1996 to August 1997 a computed tomography (CT) scan was done in the prone position using a belly board and in supine position in 20 consecutive patients receiving postoperative pelvic irradiation because of rectal cancer. Using a three-dimensional (3D) planning system (Helax, TMS) the DVH for small bowel, bladder, a standard planning target volume (PTV) of postoperative irradiation of rectal cancer, the intersection of volume of PTV and small bowel (PTV intersection V(SB), respectively, of PTV and bladder (PTV intersection V(B)) were defined in each axial CT slice. The normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) was determined by the radiobiological model of Lyman and Kutcher using the tolerance data of Emami. For evaluation of late toxicity alpha/beta ratio was 2.5; for evaluation of acute toxicity, it was 10. Total dose was 50.4 Gy (1.8 Gy/fraction) (ICRU 50).

Using the prone position compared to the supine position, the median volume of PTV intersection V(B) was reduced by 18.5 cm3 (62%). Median dose (related to the reference dose) to the bladder was 44.5% (22.4 Gy) in prone and 66.05% (33.3 Gy) in supine position (p<0.001). Median V(B) within the 90% (45.4 Gy), 80% (40.3 Gy), 60% (30.2 Gy), and 40% (20.2 Gy) isodose was significantly lower in the prone position when compared to the supine position. Using the radiobiological models, however, there was no difference of NTCP between prone position or supine position. In the prone position, median volume of PTV intersection V(SB) was reduced by 32.5 cm3 (54%). The median dose to small bowel was 30.85% (15.4 Gy) in the prone position and 47.35% (23.9Gy) in the supine position (p<0.001). Significant differences between prone and supine position were found for median V(SB) within the 90% (45.4 Gy), 80% (40.3 Gy), 60% (30.2 Gy), and 40% (20.2 Gy) isodose. According to the method of Lyman, median NTCP of small bowel was significant lower in prone than in supine position.

The prone position with a standard belly board should be the standard positioning technique for patients receiving adjuvant postoperative radiation therapy following surgery of rectal cancer. Both irradiated volume and total dose to the organs of risk can be reduced significantly. As a consequence of this, radiation induced toxicity will be minimized.

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