Background and purpose Radiotherapy that selectively avoids irradiating highly-functional lung regions may reduce pulmonary toxicity. We report on the first clinical implementation and patient treatment of lung functional image-guided radiotherapy using an emerging technology, computed tomography (CT) ventilation imaging. Material and methods A protocol was developed to investigate the safety and feasibility of CT ventilation functional image-guided radiotherapy. CT ventilation imaging is based on (1) deformable image registration of four-dimensional (4D) CT images, and (2) quantitative image analysis for regional volume change, a surrogate for ventilation. CT ventilation functional image-guided radiotherapy plans were designed to minimize specific lung dose-function metrics, including functional V20 (fV20), while maintaining target coverage and meeting standard constraints to other critical organs. Results CT ventilation functional image-guided treatment planning reduced the lung fV20 by 5% compared to an anatomic image-guided plan for an enrolled patient with stage IIIB non-small cell lung cancer. Although the doses to several other critical organs increased, the necessary constraints were all met. Conclusions An emerging technology, CT ventilation imaging has been translated into the clinic and used in functional image-guided radiotherapy for the first time. This milestone represents an important first step toward hypothetically reduced pulmonary toxicity in lung cancer radiotherapy.
- 4D CT
- Deformable image registration
- Lung cancer
- Lung functional imaging
- Radiation pneumonitis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging