Multiple-CT optimization: An adaptive optimization method to account for anatomical changes in intensity-modulated proton therapy for head and neck cancers

Zhiyong Yang, Xiaodong Zhang, Xianliang Wang, X. Ronald Zhu, Brandon Gunn, Steven J. Frank, Yu Chang, Qin Li, Kunyu Yang, Gang Wu, Li Liao, Yupeng Li, Mei Chen, Heng Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: We aimed to determine whether multiple-CT (MCT) optimization of intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) could improve plan robustness to anatomical changes and therefore reduce the additional need for adaptive planning. Methods and materials: Ten patients with head and neck cancer who underwent IMPT were included in this retrospective study. Each patient had primary planning CT (PCT), a first adaptive planning CT (ACT1), and a second adaptive planning CT (ACT2). Selective robust IMPT plans were generated using each CT data set (PCT, ACT1, and ACT2). Moreover, a MCT optimized plan was generated using the PCT and ACT1 data sets together. Dose distributions optimized using each of the four plans (PCT, ACT1, ACT2, and MCT plans) were re-calculated on ACT2 data. The doses to the target and to organs at risk were compared between optimization strategies. Results: MCT plans for all patients met all target dose and organs-at-risk criteria for all three CT data sets. Target dose and organs-at-risk dose for PCT and ACT1 plans re-calculated on ACT2 data set were compromised, indicating the need for adaptive planning on ACT2 if PCT or ACT1 plans were used. The D98% of CTV1 and CTV3 of MCT plan re-calculated on ACT2 were both above the coverage criteria. The CTV2 coverage of the MCT plan re-calculated on ACT2 was worse than ACT2 plan. The MCT plan re-calculated on ACT2 data set had lower chiasm, esophagus, and larynx doses than did PCT, ACT1, or ACT2 plans re-calculated on ACT2 data set. Conclusions: MCT optimization can improve plan robustness toward anatomical change and may reduce the number of plan adaptation for head and neck cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Adaptive planning
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Intensity-modulated proton therapy
  • Multiple CT optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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