Methods: For 25 patients with unifocal bladder cancer intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with 5 beams was planned. The requirement for each plan was that 99% of the target volume received 95% of the prescribed dose. Tumor displacements from -2.0 cm to 2.0 cm in each dimension were simulated, using 0.5 cm increments, resulting in 729 simulations per patient. We assumed that on-line correction for the tumor was applied perfectly. We determined the correlation between the change in D99% and the change in path length, which is defined here as the distance from the skin to the isocenter for each beam. In addition the margin needed to avoid underdosage was determined and the probability that an underdosage occurs in a real treatment was calculated.
Results: Adjustments for tumor displacement with perfect on-line position correction resulted in an altered dose distribution. The altered fraction dose to the target varied from 91.9% to 100.4% of the prescribed dose. The mean D99% (± SD) was 95.8% ± 1.0%. There was a modest linear correlation between the difference in D99% and the change in path length of the beams after correction (R2 = 0.590). The median probability that a systematic underdosage occurs in a real treatment was 0.23% (range: 0 - 24.5%). A margin of 2 mm reduced that probability to < 0.001% in all patients.
Conclusion: On-line position correction does result in an altered target coverage, due to changes in average path length after position correction. An extra margin can be added to prevent underdosage.
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