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Ian Paddick

✓ A conformity index is a measure of how well the volume of a radiosurgical dose distribution conforms to the size and shape of a target volume. Because the success of radiosurgery is related to the extremely conformal irradiation of the target, an accurate method for describing this parameter is important. Existing conformity ratios and indices used in radiosurgery are reviewed and criticized. It will be demonstrated that previously proposed measurements of conformity can, under certain conditions, give false perfect scores. A new conformity index is derived that gives an objective score of conformity for a treatment plan and gives no false scores.

An analysis of five different treatment plans is made using both the existing scoring methods and the new conformity index.

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Alexis Dimitriadis and Ian Paddick

OBJECTIVE

Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is characterized by high levels of conformity and steep dose gradients from the periphery of the target to surrounding tissue. Clinical studies have backed up the importance of these factors through evidence of symptomatic complications. Available data suggest that there are threshold doses above which the risk of symptomatic radionecrosis increases with the volume irradiated. Therefore, radiosurgical treatment plans should be optimized by minimizing dose to the surrounding tissue while maximizing dose to the target volume. Several metrics have been proposed to quantify radiosurgical plan quality, but all present certain weaknesses. To overcome limitations of the currently used metrics, a novel metric is proposed, the efficiency index (η50%), which is based on the principle of calculating integral doses: η50% = integral doseTV/integral dosePIV50%.

METHODS

The value of η50% can be easily calculated by dividing the integral dose (mean dose × volume) to the target volume (TV) by the integral dose to the volume of 50% of the prescription isodose (PIV50%). Alternatively, differential dose-volume histograms (DVHs) of the TV and PIV50% can be used. The resulting η50% value is effectively the proportion of energy within the PIV50% that falls into the target. This value has theoretical limits of 0 and 1, with 1 being perfect. The index combines conformity, gradient, and mean dose to the target into a single value. The value of η50% was retrospectively calculated for 100 clinical SRS plans.

RESULTS

The value of η50% for the 100 clinical SRS plans ranged from 37.7% to 58.0% with a mean value of 49.0%. This study also showed that the same principles used for the calculation of η50% can be adapted to produce an index suitable for multiple-target plans (Gη12Gy). Furthermore, the authors present another adaptation of the index that may play a role in plan optimization by calculating and minimizing the proportion of energy delivered to surrounding organs at risk (OARη50%).

CONCLUSIONS

The proposed efficiency index is a novel approach in quantifying plan quality by combining conformity, gradient, and mean dose into a single value. It quantifies the ratio of the dose “doing good” versus the dose “doing harm,” and its adaptations can be used for multiple-target plan optimization and OAR sparing.

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Ian Paddick and Bodo Lippitz

✓A dose gradient index (GI) is proposed that can be used to compare treatment plans of equal conformity. The steep dose gradient outside the radiosurgical target is one of the factors that makes radiosurgery possible. It therefore makes sense to measure this variable and to use it to compare rival plans, explore optimal prescription isodoses, or compare treatment modalities.

The GI is defined as the ratio of the volume of half the prescription isodose to the volume of the prescription isodose. For a plan normalized to the 50% isodose line, it is the ratio of the 25% isodose volume to that of the 50% isodose volume.

The GI will differentiate between plans of similar conformity, but with different dose gradients, for example, where isocenters have been inappropriately centered on the edge of the target volume.

In a retrospective series of 50 dose plans for the treatment of vestibular schwannoma, the optimal prescription isodose was assessed. A mean value of 40% (median 38%, range 30–61%) was calculated, not 50% as might be anticipated. The GI can show which of these prescription isodoses will give the steepest dose falloff outside the target.

When planning a multiisocenter treatment, there may be a temptation to place some isocenters on the edge of the target. This has the apparent advantage of producing a plan of good conformity and a predictable prescription isodose; however, it risks creating a plan that has a low dose gradient outside the target. The quality of this dose gradient is quantified by the GI.

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Ian Paddick and Alexis Dimitriadis

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Caroline Chung, Dheerendra Prasad, Michael Torrens, Ian Paddick, Patrick Hanssens, Douglas Kondziolka, and David A. Jaffray

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Jonathan Shapey, Guotai Wang, Reuben Dorent, Alexis Dimitriadis, Wenqi Li, Ian Paddick, Neil Kitchen, Sotirios Bisdas, Shakeel R. Saeed, Sebastien Ourselin, Robert Bradford, and Tom Vercauteren

OBJECTIVE

Automatic segmentation of vestibular schwannomas (VSs) from MRI could significantly improve clinical workflow and assist in patient management. Accurate tumor segmentation and volumetric measurements provide the best indicators to detect subtle VS growth, but current techniques are labor intensive and dedicated software is not readily available within the clinical setting. The authors aim to develop a novel artificial intelligence (AI) framework to be embedded in the clinical routine for automatic delineation and volumetry of VS.

METHODS

Imaging data (contrast-enhanced T1-weighted [ceT1] and high-resolution T2-weighted [hrT2] MR images) from all patients meeting the study’s inclusion/exclusion criteria who had a single sporadic VS treated with Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery were used to create a model. The authors developed a novel AI framework based on a 2.5D convolutional neural network (CNN) to exploit the different in-plane and through-plane resolutions encountered in standard clinical imaging protocols. They used a computational attention module to enable the CNN to focus on the small VS target and propose a supervision on the attention map for more accurate segmentation. The manually segmented target tumor volume (also tested for interobserver variability) was used as the ground truth for training and evaluation of the CNN. We quantitatively measured the Dice score, average symmetric surface distance (ASSD), and relative volume error (RVE) of the automatic segmentation results in comparison to manual segmentations to assess the model’s accuracy.

RESULTS

Imaging data from all eligible patients (n = 243) were randomly split into 3 nonoverlapping groups for training (n = 177), hyperparameter tuning (n = 20), and testing (n = 46). Dice, ASSD, and RVE scores were measured on the testing set for the respective input data types as follows: ceT1 93.43%, 0.203 mm, 6.96%; hrT2 88.25%, 0.416 mm, 9.77%; combined ceT1/hrT2 93.68%, 0.199 mm, 7.03%. Given a margin of 5% for the Dice score, the automated method was shown to achieve statistically equivalent performance in comparison to an annotator using ceT1 images alone (p = 4e−13) and combined ceT1/hrT2 images (p = 7e−18) as inputs.

CONCLUSIONS

The authors developed a robust AI framework for automatically delineating and calculating VS tumor volume and have achieved excellent results, equivalent to those achieved by an independent human annotator. This promising AI technology has the potential to improve the management of patients with VS and potentially other brain tumors.

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John W. Hopewell, Ian Paddick, Bleddyn Jones, and Thomas Klinge

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Stereotactic body radiotherapy for de novo spinal metastases: systematic review

International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society practice guidelines

Zain A. Husain, Arjun Sahgal, Antonio De Salles, Melissa Funaro, Janis Glover, Motohiro Hayashi, Masahiro Hiraoka, Marc Levivier, Lijun Ma, Roberto Martínez-Alvarez, J. Ian Paddick, Jean Régis, Ben J. Slotman, and Samuel Ryu

OBJECTIVE

The aim of this systematic review was to provide an objective summary of the published literature pertaining to the use of stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) specific to previously untreated spinal metastases.

METHODS

The authors performed a systematic review, using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, of the literature found in a search of Medline, PubMed, Embase, and the Cochrane Library up to March 2015. The search strategy was limited to publications in the English language.

RESULTS

A total of 14 full-text articles were included in the analysis. All studies were retrospective except for 2 studies, which were prospective. A total of 1024 treated spinal lesions were analyzed. The median follow-up time ranged from 9 to 49 months. A range of dose-fractionation schemes was used, the most common of which were 16–24 Gy/1 fraction (fx), 24 Gy/2 fx, 24–27 Gy/3 fx, and 30–35 Gy/5 fx. In studies that reported crude results regarding in-field local tumor control, 346 (85%) of 407 lesions remained controlled. For studies that reported actuarial values, the weighted average revealed a 90% 1-year local control rate. Only 3 studies reported data on complete pain response, and the weighted average of these results yielded a complete pain response rate of 54%. The most common toxicity was new or progressing vertebral compression fracture, which was observed in 9.4% of cases; 2 cases (0.2%) of neurologic injury were reported.

CONCLUSION

There is a paucity of prospective data specific to SBRT in patients with spinal metastases not otherwise irradiated. This systematic review found that SBRT is associated with favorable rates of local control (approximately 90% at 1 year) and complete pain response (approximately 50%), and low rates of serious adverse events were found. Practice guidelines are summarized based on these data and International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society consensus.

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Reirradiation spine stereotactic body radiation therapy for spinal metastases: systematic review

International Stereotactic Radiosurgery Society practice guidelines

Sten Myrehaug, Arjun Sahgal, Motohiro Hayashi, Marc Levivier, Lijun Ma, Roberto Martinez, Ian Paddick, Jean Régis, Samuel Ryu, Ben Slotman, and Antonio De Salles

OBJECTIVE

Spinal metastases that recur after conventional palliative radiotherapy have historically been difficult to manage due to concerns of spinal cord toxicity in the retreatment setting. Spine stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), also known as stereotactic radiosurgery, is emerging as an effective and safe means of delivering ablative doses to these recurrent tumors. The authors performed a systematic review of the literature to determine the clinical efficacy and safety of spine SBRT specific to previously irradiated spinal metastases.

METHODS

A systematic literature review was conducted, which was specific to SBRT to the spine, using MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Evidence-Based Medicine Database, National Guideline Clearinghouse, and CMA Infobase, with further bibliographic review of appropriate articles. Research questions included: 1) Is retreatment spine SBRT efficacious with respect to local control and symptom control? 2) Is retreatment spine SBRT safe?

RESULTS

The initial literature search retrieved 2263 articles. Of these articles, 160 were potentially relevant, 105 were selected for in-depth review, and 9 studies met all inclusion criteria for analysis. All studies were single-institution series, including 4 retrospective, 3 retrospective series of prospective databases, 1 prospective, and 1 Phase I/II prospective study (low- or very low–quality data). The results indicated that spine SBRT is effective, with a median 1-year local control rate of 76% (range 66%–90%). Improvement in patients’ pain scores post-SBRT ranged from 65% to 81%. Treatment delivery was safe, with crude rates of vertebral body fracture of 12% (range 0%–22%) and radiation-induced myelopathy of 1.2%.

CONCLUSIONS

This systematic literature review suggests that SBRT to previously irradiated spinal metastases is safe and effective with respect to both local control and pain relief. Although the evidence is limited to low-quality data, SBRT can be a recommended treatment option for reirradiation.