Computational delineation and quantitative heterogeneity analysis of lung tumor on 18F-FDG PET for radiation dose-escalation

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Scientific Reports, 2018, 8 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Author(s). Quantitative measurement and analysis of tumor metabolic activities could provide a more optimal solution to personalized accurate dose painting. We collected PET images of 58 lung cancer patients, in which the tumor exhibits heterogeneous FDG uptake. We design an automated delineation and quantitative heterogeneity measurement of the lung tumor for dose-escalation. For tumor delineation, our algorithm firstly separates the tumor from its adjacent high-uptake tissues using 3D projection masks; then the tumor boundary is delineated with our stopping criterion of joint gradient and intensity affinities. For dose-escalation, tumor sub-volumes with low, moderate and high metabolic activities are extracted and measured. Based on our quantitative heterogeneity measurement, a sub-volume oriented dose-escalation plan is implemented in intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) planning system. With respect to manual tumor delineations by two radiation oncologists, the paired t-test demonstrated our model outperformed the other computational methods in comparison (p < 0.05) and reduced the variability between inter-observers. Compared to standard uniform dose prescription, the dosimetry results demonstrated that the dose-escalation plan statistically boosted the dose delivered to high metabolic tumor sub-volumes (p < 0.05). Meanwhile, the doses received by organs-at-risk (OAR) including the heart, ipsilateral lung and contralateral lung were not statistically different (p > 0.05).
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