The dosimetric impact of daily setup error on target volumes and surrounding normal tissue in the treatment of prostate cancer with intensity-modulated radiation therapy

Ozer Algan, Ambarish Jamgade, Imad Ali, Alana Christie, J. Spencer Thompson, David Thompson, Salahuddin Ahmad, Terence Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of daily setup error and interfraction organ motion on the overall dosimetric radiation treatment plans. Twelve patients undergoing definitive intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments for prostate cancer were evaluated in this institutional review board-approved study. Each patient had fiducial markers placed into the prostate gland before treatment planning computed tomography scan. IMRT plans were generated using the Eclipse treatment planning system. Each patient was treated to a dose of 8100 cGy given in 45 fractions. In this study, we retrospectively created a plan for each treatment day that had a shift available. To calculate the dose, the patient would have received under this plan, we mathematically "negated" the shift by moving the isocenter in the exact opposite direction of the shift. The individualized daily plans were combined to generate an overall plan sum. The dose distributions from these plans were compared with the treatment plans that were used to treat the patients. Three-hundred ninety daily shifts were negated and their corresponding plans evaluated. The mean isocenter shift based on the location of the fiducial markers was 3.3 ± 6.5 mm to the right, 1.6 ± 5.1 mm posteriorly, and 1.0 ± 5.0 mm along the caudal direction. The mean D95 doses for the prostate gland when setup error was corrected and uncorrected were 8228 and 7844 cGy (p < 0.002), respectively, and for the planning target volume (PTV8100) was 8089 and 7303 cGy (p < 0.001), respectively. The mean V95 values when patient setup was corrected and uncorrected were 99.9% and 87.3%, respectively, for the PTV8100 volume (p < 0.0001). At an individual patient level, the difference in the D95 value for the prostate volume could be >1200 cGy and for the PTV8100 could approach almost 2000 cGy when comparing corrected against uncorrected plans. There was no statistically significant difference in the D35 parameter for the surrounding normal tissue except for the dose received by the penile bulb and the right hip. Our dosimetric evaluation suggests significant underdosing with inaccurate target localization and emphasizes the importance of accurate patient setup and target localization. Further studies are needed to evaluate the impact of intrafraction organ motion, rotation, and deformation on doses delivered to target volumes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-411
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Fiducial marker
  • IMRT
  • Prostate cancer
  • Setup error

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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