Pelvic organ motion and dosimetric implications during horizontal patient rotation for prostate radiation therapy

J. G. Buckley, J. A. Dowling, M. Sidhom, G. P. Liney, R. Rai, P. E. Metcalfe, L. C. Holloway, P. J. Keall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Gantry-free radiation therapy systems utilizing patient rotation would be simpler and more cost effective than the conventional gantry-based systems. Such a system could enable the expansion of radiation therapy to meet global demand and reduce capital costs. Recent advances in adaptive radiation therapy could potentially be applied to correct for gravitational deformation during horizontal patient rotation. This study aims to quantify the pelvic organ motion and the dosimetric implications of horizontal rotation for prostate intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments. Methods: Eight human participants who previously received prostate radiation therapy were imaged in a clinical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner using a bespoke patient rotation system (PRS). The patients were imaged every 45 degrees during a full roll rotation (0–360 degrees). Whole pelvic bone, prostate, rectum, and bladder motion were compared to the supine position using dice similarity coefficient (DSC) and mean absolute surface distance (MASD). Prostate centroid motion was compared in the left–right (LR), superior–inferior (SI), and anterior–posterior (AP) direction prior to and following pelvic bone-guided rigid registration. Seven-field prostate IMRT treatment plans were generated for each patient rotation angles under three adaption scenarios: No plan adaption, rigid planning target volume (PTV)-guided alignment to the prostate, and plan re-optimization. Prostate, rectum, and bladder doses were compared for each adaption scenario. Results: Pelvic bone motion within the PRS of up to 53 mm relative to the supine position was observed for some participants. Internal organ motion was greatest at the 180-degree PRS couch angle (prone), with prostate centroid motion range < 2 mm LR, 0 mm to 14 mm SI, and −11 mm to 4 mm AP. Rotation with no adaption of the treatment plan resulted in an underdose to the PTV –– in some instances up to 75% (D95%: 78 ± 0.3 Gy at supine to 20 ± 15.0 Gy at the 225-degree PRS couch angle). Bladder dose was reduced during the rotation by up to 98% (V60 Gy: 15.0 ± 9.4% supine to 0.3 ± 0.5% at the 225-degree PRS couch angle). In some instances, the rectum dose increased during rotation (V60Gy: 20.0 ± 4.5% supine to 25.0 ± 15.0% at the 135-degree PRS couch angle). Rigid PTV-guided alignment resulted in PTV coverage which, though statistically lower (P < 0.05 for all D95% values), was within 1 Gy of the supine plans. Plan re-optimization resulted in a statistically equivalent PTV coverage compared to the supine plans (P > 0.05 for all D95% metrics and all within ±0.4 Gy). For both rigid PTV-guided alignment and plan re-optimization, rectum dose volume metrics were reduced compared to the supine position between the 90- and 225-degree PRS couch angles (P < 0.05). Bladder dose volume metrics were not impacted by rotation. Conclusion: Pelvic bone and internal organ motion are present during patient rotation. Rigid PTV-guided alignment to the prostate will be a requirement if prostate IMRT is to be safely delivered using patient rotation. Plan re-optimization for each PRS couch angle to account for anatomical deformations further improves the PTV coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-413
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


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