British Journal of Radiology
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The aim of this study was to determine the effect of reducing the number of image guidance sessions and patient-specific target margins on the dose distribution in the treatment of prostate cancer with helical tomotherapy. 20 patients with prostate cancer who were treated with helical tomotherapy using daily megavoltage CT (MVCT) imaging before treatment served as the study population. The average geometric shifts applied for set-up corrections, as a result of co-registration of MVCT and planning kilovoltage CT studies over an increasing number of image guidance sessions, were determined. Simulation of the consequences of various imaging scenarios on the dose distribution was performed for two patients with different patterns of interfraction changes in anatomy. Our analysis of the daily set-up correction shifts for 20 prostate cancer patients suggests that the use of four fractions would result in a population average shift that was within 1 mm of the average obtained from the data accumulated over all daily MVCT sessions. Simulation of a scenario in which imaging sessions are performed at a reduced frequency and the planning target volume margin is adapted provided significantly better sparing of organs at risk, with acceptable reproducibility of dose delivery to the clinical target volume. Our results indicate that four MVCT sessions on helical tomotherapy are sufficient to provide information for the creation of personalised target margins and the establishment of the new reference position that accounts for the systematic error. This simplified approach reduces overall treatment session time and decreases the imaging dose to the patient.