Robust optimization in intensity-modulated proton therapy to account for anatomy changes in lung cancer patients

Heng Li, Xiaodong Zhang, Peter Park, Wei Liu, Joe Chang, Zhongxing Liao, Steve Frank, Yupeng Li, Falk Poenisch, Radhe Mohan, Michael Gillin, Ronald Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background and purpose Robust optimization for IMPT takes setup and range uncertainties into account during plan optimization. However, anatomical changes were not prospectively included. The purpose of this study was to examine robustness and dose variation due to setup uncertainty and anatomical change in IMPT of lung cancer. Material and methods Plans were generated with multi-field optimization based on planning target volume (MFO-PTV) and worst-case robust optimization (MFO-RO) on simulation computed tomography scans (CT0) for nine patients. Robustness was evaluated on the CT0 by computing the standard deviation of DVH (SD-DVH). Dose variations calculated on weekly CTs were compared with SD-DVH. Equivalent uniform dose (EUD) change from the original plan on weekly dose was also calculated for both plans. Results SD-DVH and dose variation on weekly CTs were both significantly lower in the MFO-RO plans than in the MFO-PTV plans for targets, lungs, and the esophagus (p < 0.05). When comparing EUD for ITV between weekly and planned dose distributions, three patients and 28% of repeated CTs for MFO-RO plans, and six patients and 44% of repeated CTs for MFO-PTV plans, respectively, showed an EUD change of >5%. Conclusions RO in IMPT reduces the dose variation due to setup uncertainty and anatomy changes during treatment compared with PTV-based planning. However, dose variation could still be substantial; repeated imaging and adaptive planning as needed are highly recommended for IMPT of lung tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • Adaptive planning
  • IMPT
  • Robust optimization
  • Robustness evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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