On the impact of functional imaging accuracy on selective boosting IMRT

Y. Kim, W. A. Tomé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations


In order to quantify the impact of loss of functional imaging sensitivity and specificity on tumor control and normal tissue toxicity for selective boosting IMRT four selective boosting scenarios were designed: SB91-81 (EUD = 91 Gy for the high-risk tumor subvolume and EUD = 81 Gy for a remaining low-risk PTV (rPTV)), SB80-74, SB90-70, and risk-adaptive optimization. For each sensitivity loss level the loss in tumor control probability (ΔTCP) was calculated. For each specificity loss level, the increase in rectal and bladder toxicity was quantified using the radiobiological indices (equivalent uniform dose (EUD) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP)) as well as %-volumes irradiated. The impact of loss in sensitivity on local tumor control was maximal when the prescription dose level for rPTV had the lowest value. The SB90-70 plan had a ΔTCP = 29.6%, the SB91-81 plan had a ΔTCP = 9.5%, while for risk-adaptive optimization a ΔTCP = 4.7% was found. Independent of planning technique loss in functional imaging specificity appears to have a minimal impact on the expected normal tissue toxicity, since an increase in rectal or bladder toxicity as a function of loss in specificity was not observed. Additionally, all plans fulfilled the rectum and the bladder sparing criteria found in the literature for late rectal bleeding and genitourinary complications. Our study shows that the choice of a low-risk classification for the rPTV in selective boosting IMRT may lead to a significant loss in TCP. Furthermore, for the example considered in which normal tissue complications can be limited through the use of a tissue expander it appears that the therapeutic ratio can be improved using a functional imaging technique with a high sensitivity and limited specificity; while for cases were this is not possible, an optimal balance between sensitivity and specificity has to be found.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-24
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Dose painting
  • Functional imaging
  • IMRT
  • Selective boosting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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