4DCT radiotherapy for NSCLC: A review of planning methods

Hutchinson, A. & Bridge, P. (2015) 4DCT radiotherapy for NSCLC: A review of planning methods. Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice, 14(1), pp. 70-79.

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To establish whether the use of a passive or active technique of planning target volume (PTV) definition and treatment methods for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) deliver the most effective results. This literature review assesses the advantages and disadvantages in recent studies of each, while assessing the validity of the two approaches for planning and treatment.


A systematic review of literature focusing on the planning and treatment of radiation therapy to NSCLC tumours. Different approaches which have been published in recent articles are subjected to critical appraisal in order to determine their relative efficacy.


Free-breathing (FB) is the optimal method to perform planning scans for patients and departments, as it involves no significant increase in cost, workload or education. Maximum intensity projection (MIP) is the fastest form of delineation, however it is noted to be less accurate than the ten-phase overlap approach for computed tomography (CT). Although gating has proven to reduce margins and facilitate sparing of organs at risk, treatment times can be longer and planning time can be as much as 15 times higher for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). This raises issues with patient comfort and stabilisation, impacting on the chance of geometric miss. Stereotactic treatments can take up to 3 hours to treat, along with increases in planning and treatment, as well as the additional hardware, software and training required.


Four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) is superior to 3DCT, with the passive FB approach for PTV delineation and treatment optimal. Departments should use a combination of MIP with visual confirmation ensuring coverage for stage 1 disease. Stages 2-3 should be delineated using ten-phases overlaid. Stereotactic and gated treatments for early stage disease should be used accordingly; FB-IMRT is optimal for latter stage disease.

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1 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 75199
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
DOI: 10.1017/S1460396914000041
ISSN: 1467-1131
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Cambridge University Press
Deposited On: 18 Aug 2014 05:45
Last Modified: 08 May 2015 01:21

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