Dose Summation Strategies for External Beam Radiation Therapy and Brachytherapy in Gynecologic Malignancy: A Review from the NRG Oncology and NCTN Medical Physics Subcommittees

Hayeon Kim, Yongsook C. Lee, Stanley H Benedict, Brandon Dyer, Michael Price, Yi Rong, Ananth Ravi, Eric Leung, Sushil Beriwal, Mark E. Bernard, Jyoti S Mayadev, Jessica R.L. Leif, Ying Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Definitive, nonsurgical management of gynecologic malignancies involves external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) and/or brachytherapy (BT). Summation of the cumulative dose is critical to assess the total biologic effective dose to targets and organs at risk. Cumulative dose calculation from EBRT and BT can be performed with or without image registration (IR) and biologic dose summation. Among these dose summation strategies, linear addition of dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters without IR is the global standard for composite dose reporting. This approach stems from an era without image guidance and simple external beam and brachytherapy treatment approaches. With technological advances, EBRT and high-dose-rate BT have evolved to allow for volume-based treatment planning and delivery. Modern conformal therapeutic radiation involves volumetric or intensity modulated EBRT, capable of simultaneously treating multiple targets at different specified dose levels. Therefore, given the complexity of modern radiation treatment, the linear addition of DVH parameters from EBRT and high-dose-rate BT is challenging to represent the combined dose distribution. Deformable image registration (DIR) between EBRT and image guided brachytherapy (IGBT) data sets may provide a more nuanced calculation of multimodal dose accumulation. However, DIR is still nascent in this regard, and needs further development for accuracy and efficiency for clinical use. Biologic dose summation can combine physical dose maps from EBRT and each IGBT fraction, thereby generating a composite DVH from the biologic effective dose. However, accurate radiobiologic parameters are tissue-dependent and not well characterized. A combination of voxel-based DIR and biologic weighted dose maps may be the best approximation of dose accumulation but remains invalidated. The purpose of this report is to review dose summation strategies for EBRT and BT, including conventional equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions dose summation without image registration, physical dose summation using 3-dimensional rigid IR and DIR, and biologic dose summation. We also provide general clinical workflows for IGBT with a focus on cervical cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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