Effect of lung and target density on small-field dose coverage and PTV definition

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2 Scopus citations


We have studied the effect of target and lung density on block margin for small stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) targets. A phantom (50 × 50 × 50cm3) was created in the Pinnacle (V9.2) planning system with a 23-cm diameter lung region of interest insert. Diameter targets of 1.6, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0cm were placed in the lung region of interest and centered at a physical depth of 15cm. Target densities evaluated were 0.1 to 1.0g/cm3, whereas the surrounding lung density was varied between 0.05 and 0.6g/cm3. A dose of 100cGy was delivered to the isocenter via a single 6-MV field, and the ratio of the average dose to points defining the lateral edges of the target to the isocenter dose was recorded for each combination. Field margins were varied from none to 1.5cm in 0.25-cm steps. Data obtained in the phantom study were used to predict planning treatment volume (PTV) margins that would match the clinical PTV and isodose prescription for a clinical set of 39 SBRT cases. The average internal target volume (ITV) density was 0.73 ± 0.17, average local lung density was 0.33 ± 0.16, and average ITV diameter was 2.16 ± 0.8cm. The phantom results initially underpredicted PTV margins by 0.35cm. With this offset included in the model, the ratio of predicted-to-clinical PTVs was 1.05 ± 0.32. For a given target and lung density, it was found that treatment margin was insensitive to target diameter, except for the smallest (1.6-cm diameter) target, for which the treatment margin was more sensitive to density changes than the larger targets. We have developed a graphical relationship for block margin as a function of target and lung density, which should save time in the planning phase by shortening the design of PTV margins that can satisfy Radiation Therapy Oncology Group mandated treatment volume ratios.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Association of Medical Dosimetrists.


  • Heterogeneity
  • Lung density
  • SBRT margins
  • Target density


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