Automatic contour propagation using deformable image registration to determine delivered dose to spinal cord in head-and-neck cancer radiotherapy
Yeap PL, Noble DJ, Harrison K, Bates AM, Burnet NG, Jena R, Romanchikova M, Sutcliffe MPF, Thomas SJ, Barnett GC, Benson RJ, Jefferies SJ, Parker MA. Automatic contour propagation using deformable image registration to determine delivered dose to spinal cord in head-and-neck cancer radiotherapy. Phys Med Biol. 2017 Jul 12;62(15):6062-6073.
To determine delivered dose to the spinal cord, a technique has been developed to propagate manual contours from kilovoltage computed-tomography (kVCT) scans for treatment planning to megavoltage computed-tomography (MVCT) guidance scans. The technique uses the Elastix software to perform intensity-based deformable image registration of each kVCT scan to the associated MVCT scans. The registration transform is then applied to contours of the spinal cord drawn manually on the kVCT scan, to obtain contour positions on the MVCT scans. Different registration strategies have been investigated, with performance evaluated by comparing the resulting auto-contours with manual contours, drawn by oncologists. The comparison metrics include the conformity index (CI), and the distance between centres (DBC). With optimised registration, auto-contours generally agree well with manual contours. Considering all 30 MVCT scans for each of three patients, the median CI is [Formula: see text], and the median DBC is ([Formula: see text]) mm. An intra-observer comparison for the same scans gives a median CI of [Formula: see text] and a DBC of ([Formula: see text]) mm. Good levels of conformity are also obtained when auto-contours are compared with manual contours from one observer for a single MVCT scan for each of 30 patients, and when they are compared with manual contours from six observers for two MVCT scans for each of three patients. Using the auto-contours to estimate organ position at treatment time, a preliminary study of 33 patients who underwent radiotherapy for head-and-neck cancers indicates good agreement between planned and delivered dose to the spinal cord.