Purpose: Nonhomogeneous dose optimization (NHDO) is exploited in stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) to increase dose delivery to the tumor and allow rapid dose falloff to surrounding normal tissues. We investigate changes in plan quality when NHDO is applied to inverse-planned conventionally fractionated radiation therapy (CF-RT) plans in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Methods and Materials: Patients with near-central non-small cell lung cancer treated with CF-RT in 2018 at a single institution were identified. CF-RT plans were replanned using NHDO techniques, including normalizing to a lower isodose line, while maintaining clinically acceptable normal tissue constraints and target coverage. Tumor control probabilities were calculated. We compared delivered CF-RT plans using homogenous dose optimization (HDO) versus NHDO using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Median values are reported. Results: Thirteen patients were replanned with NHDO techniques. Planning target volume coverage by the prescription dose was similar (NHDO = 96% vs HDO = 97%, P = .3). All normal-tissue dose constraints were met. NHDO plans were prescribed to a lower-prescription isodose line compared with HDO plans (85% vs 97%, P = .001). NHDO increased mean dose to the planning target volume (73 Gy vs 67 Gy), dose heterogeneity, and dose falloff gradient (P < .03). NHDO decreased mean dose to surrounding lungs, esophagus, and heart (relative reduction of 6%, 14%, and 15%, respectively; P < .05). Other normal tissue objectives improved with NHDO, including total lung V40 and V60, heart V30, and maximum esophageal dose (P < .05). Tumor control probabilities doubled from 31.6% to 65.4% with NHDO (P = .001). Conclusions: In select patients, NHDO principles used in SBRT optimization can be applied to CF-RT. NHDO results in increased tumor dose, reduction in select organ-at-risk dose objectives, and better maintenance of target coverage and normal-tissue constraints compared with HDO. Our data demonstrate that principles of NHDO used in SBRT can also improve plan quality in CF-RT.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging