Triggering daily online adaptive radiotherapy in the pelvis: Dosimetric effects and procedural implications of trigger parameter-value selection

Adam D. Yock, Mahmoud Ahmed, Sarah Masick, Manuel Morales-Paliza, Christien Kluwe, Ashwin Shinde, Austin Kirschner, Eric Shinohara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Online adaptive radiotherapy (ART) can address dosimetric consequences of variations in anatomy by creating a new plan during treatment. However, ART is time- and labor-intensive and should be implemented in a resource-conscious way. Adaptive triggers composed of parameter-value pairs may direct the judicious use of online ART. Purpose: This work analyzed our clinical experience using CBCT-based daily online ART to demonstrate how a conceptual framework based on adaptive triggers affects the dosimetric and procedural impact of ART. Methods: Sixteen patients across several pelvic sites were treated with CBCT-based daily online ART. Differences in standardized dose metrics were compared between the original plan, the original plan recalculated on the daily anatomy, and an adaptive plan. For each metric, trigger values were analyzed in terms of the proportion of treatments adapted and the distribution of metric values. Results: Target coverage metrics were compromised due to anatomic variation with the average change per treatment ranging from -0.90 to -0.05 Gy, -0.47 to -0.02 Gy, -0.31 to -0.01 Gy, and -12.45% to -2.65% for PTV D99%, PTV D95%, CTV D99%, and CTV V100%, respectively. These were improved using the adaptive plan (-0.03 to 0.01 Gy, -0.02 to 0.00 Gy, -0.03 to 0.00 Gy, and -4.70% to 0.00%, respectively). Increasingly strict triggers resulted in a non-linear increase in the proportion of treatments adapted and improved the distribution of metric values with diminishing returns. Some organ-at-risk (OAR) metrics were compromised by anatomic variation and improved using the adaptive plan, but changes in most OAR metrics were randomly distributed. Conclusions: Daily online ART improved target coverage across multiple pelvic treatment sites and techniques. These effects were larger than those for OAR metrics, suggesting that maintaining target coverage was our primary benefit of CBCT-based daily online ART. Analyses like these can determine online ART triggers from a cost-benefit perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere14060
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • adaptive radiotherapy
  • online ART

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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