Feasibility of MR-only proton dose calculations for prostate cancer radiotherapy using a commercial pseudo-CT generation method

Maspero, Matteo, Van den Berg, Cornelis A T, Landry, Guillaume, Belka, Claus, Parodi, Katia, Seevinck, Peter R, Raaymakers, Bas W, Kurz, Christopher


Physics in Medicine and Biology 62 (24), p. 9159–9176


A magnetic resonance (MR)-only radiotherapy workflow can reduce cost, radiation exposure and uncertainties introduced by CT-MRI registration. A crucial prerequisite is generating the so called pseudo-CT (pCT) images for accurate dose calculation and planning. Many pCT generation methods have been proposed in the scope of photon radiotherapy. This work aims at verifying for the first time whether a commercially available photon-oriented pCT generation method can be employed for accurate intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) dose calculation

A retrospective study was conducted on ten prostate cancer patients. For pCT generation from MR images, a commercial solution for creating bulk-assigned pCTs, called MR for Attenuation Correction (MRCAT), was employed. The assigned pseudo-Hounsfield Unit (HU) values were adapted to yield an increased agreement to the reference CT in terms of proton range. Internal air cavities were copied from the CT to minimise inter-scan differences. CT- and MRCAT-based dose calculations for opposing beam IMPT plans were compared by gamma analysis and evaluation of clinically relevant target and organ at risk dose volume histogram (DVH) parameters. The proton range in beam's eye view (BEV) was compared using single field uniform dose (SFUD) plans.

On average, a (2%, 2 mm) gamma pass rate of 98.4% was obtained using a 10% dose threshold after adaptation of the pseudo-HU values. Mean differences between CT- and MRCAT-based dose in the DVH parameters were below 1 Gy (< 1.5%). The median proton range difference was 0.1 mm, with on average 96% of all BEV dose profiles showing a range agreement better than 3 mm.

Results suggest that accurate MR-based proton dose calculation using an automatic commercial bulk-assignment pCT generation method, originally designed for photon radiotherapy, is feasible following adaptation of the assigned pseudo-HU values.