Validation of Fully Automated Robust Multicriterial Treatment Planning for Head and Neck Cancer IMPT

Merle Huiskes*, Wens Kong, Michelle Oud, Koen Crama, Coen Rasch, Sebastiaan Breedveld, Ben Heijmen, Eleftheria Astreinidou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Our purpose was to compare robust intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) plans, automatically generated with wish-list–based multicriterial optimization as implemented in Erasmus-iCycle, with manually created robust clinical IMPT plans for patients with head and neck cancer. Methods and Materials: Thirty-three patients with head and neck cancer were retrospectively included. All patients were previously treated with a manually created IMPT plan with 7000 cGy dose prescription to the primary tumor (clinical target volume [CTV]7000) and 5425 cGy dose prescription to the bilateral elective volumes (CTV5425). Plans had a 4-beam field configuration and were generated with scenario-based robust optimization (21 scenarios, 3-mm setup error, and ±3% density uncertainty for the CTVs). Three clinical plans were used to configure the Erasmus-iCycle wish-list for automated generation of robust IMPT plans for the other 30 included patients, in line with clinical planning requirements. Automatically and manually generated IMPT plans were compared for (robust) target coverage, organ-at-risk (OAR) doses, and normal tissue complication probabilities (NTCP). No manual fine-tuning of automatically generated plans was performed. Results: For all automatically generated plans, voxel-wise minimum D98% values for the CTVs were within clinical constraints and similar to manual plans. All investigated OAR parameters were favorable in the automatically generated plans (all P < .001). Median reductions in mean dose to OARs went up to 667 cGy for the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle, and median reductions in D0.03cm3 in serial OARs ranged up to 1795 cGy for the spinal cord surface. The observed lower mean dose in parallel OARs resulted in statistically significant lower NTCP for xerostomia (grade ≥2: 34.4% vs 38.0%; grade ≥3: 9.0% vs 10.2%) and dysphagia (grade ≥2: 11.8% vs 15.0%; grade ≥3: 1.8% vs 2.8%). Conclusions: Erasmus-iCycle was able to produce IMPT dose distributions fully automatically with similar (robust) target coverage and improved OAR doses and NTCPs compared with clinical manual planning, with negligible hands-on planning workload.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2024

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