Optimization of stereotactically-guided conformal treatment planning of sellar and parasellar tumors, based on normal brain dose volume histograms

Julian R Perks, Rakesh Jalali, Vivian P. Cosgrove, Elizabeth J. Adams, Stephen F. Shepherd, Alan P. Warrington, Michael Brada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the optimal treatment plan for stereotactically-guided conformal radiotherapy (SCRT) of sellar and parasellar lesions, with respect to sparing normal brain tissue, in the context of routine treatment delivery, based on dose volume histogram analysis. Methods and Materials: Computed tomography (CT) data sets for 8 patients with sellar- and parasellar-based tumors (6 pituitary adenomas and 2 meningiomas) have been used in this study. Treatment plans were prepared for 3-coplanar and 3-, 4-, 6-, and 30-noncoplanar-field arrangements to obtain 95% isodose coverage of the planning target volume (PTV) for each plan. Conformal shaping was achieved by customized blocks generated with the beams eye view (BEV) facility. Dose volume histograms (DVH) were calculated for the normal brain (excluding the PTV), and comparisons made for normal tissue sparing for all treatment plans at ≥80%, ≥60%, and ≥40% of the prescribed dose. Results: The mean volume of normal brain receiving ≥80% and ≥60% of the prescribed dose decreased by 22.3% (range 14.8-35.1%, standard deviation σ = 7.5%) and 47.6% (range 25.8-69.1%, σ = 13.2%), respectively, with a 4-field noncoplanar technique when compared with a conventional 3-field coplanar technique. Adding 2 further fields, from 4-noncoplanar to 6-noncoplanar fields reduced the mean normal brain volume receiving ≥80% of the prescribed dose by a further 4.1% (range -6.5-11.8%, σ = 6.4%), and the volume receiving ≥60% by 3.3% (range -5.5-12.2%, σ = 5.4%), neither of which were statistically significant. Each case must be considered individually however, as a wide range is seen in the volume spared when increasing the number of fields from 4 to 6. Comparing the 4- and 6-field noncoplanar techniques to a 30-field conformal field approach (simulating a dynamic arc plan) revealed near-equivalent normal tissue sparing. Conclusion: Four to six widely spaced, fixed-conformal fields provide the optimum class solution for the treatment of sellar and parasellar lesions, both in terms of normal brain tissue sparing and providing a relatively straightforward patient setup. Increasing the number of fields did not result in further significant sparing, with no clear benefit from techniques approaching dynamic conformal radiotherapy in the cases examined. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D treatment planning
  • Dose volume histograms
  • Sellar tumors
  • Stereotactic conformal radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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