FDG-PET-CT reduces the interobserver variability in rectal tumor delineation

J. Buijsen*, J. van den Bogaard, H. van der Weide, S. Engelsman, R. van Stiphout, M.P. Janssen, G.L. Beets, R.G. Beets Tan, P. Lambin, G. Lammering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Previously, we showed a good correlation between pathology and an automatically generated PET-contour in rectal cancer. This study analyzed the effect of the use of PET-CT scan on the interobserver variation in GTV definition in rectal cancer and the influence of PET-CT on treatment volumes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Forty two patients diagnosed with rectal cancer underwent an FDG-PET-CT for radiotherapy planning. An automatic contour was created on PET-scan using the source-to-background ratio. The GTV was delineated by 5 observers in 3 rounds: using CT and MRI, using CT, MRI and PET and using CT, MRI and PET auto-contour. GTV volumes were compared and concordance indices (CI) were calculated. Since the GTV is only a small portion of the treatment volume in rectal cancer, a separate analysis was performed to evaluate the influence of PET on the definition of the CTV used in daily clinical practice and the caudal extension of the treatment volumes. RESULTS: GTV volumes based on PET were significantly smaller. CIs increased significantly using PET and the best interobserver agreement was observed using PET auto-contours. Furthermore, we found that in up to 29% of patients the CTV based on PET extended outside the CTV used in clinical practice. The caudal border of the treatment volume can be tailored using PET-scan in low seated tumors. Influence of PET on the position of the caudal border was most pronounced in high seated tumors. CONCLUSION: PET-CT increases the interobserver agreement in the GTV definition in rectal cancer, helps to avoid geographical misses and allows tailoring the caudal border of the treatment volume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Volume102
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Rectal cancer
  • PET-CT
  • Contouring
  • Interobserver variation
  • Automatic contouring
  • COURSE PREOPERATIVE RADIOTHERAPY
  • PATHOLOGICAL COMPLETE RESPONSE
  • TARGET VOLUME DELINEATION
  • TOTAL MESORECTAL EXCISION
  • CELL LUNG-CANCER
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • CONFORMAL RADIOTHERAPY
  • COLORECTAL-CANCER
  • RESECTION MARGIN
  • DOSE-ESCALATION

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