Evaluation of gold fiducial marker manual localisation for magnetic resonance-only prostate radiotherapy

Maspero, M, Seevinck, PR, Willems, Nicole J W, Sikkes, Gonda G, de Kogel, Geja J, de Boer, JCJ, van der Voort van Zyp, JRN, van den Berg, CAT


Radiation Oncology [E] 13 (1), p. 105


BACKGROUND: The use of intraprostatic gold fiducial markers (FMs) ensures highly accurate and precise image-guided radiation therapy for patients diagnosed with prostate cancer thanks to the ease of localising FMs on photon-based imaging, like Computed Tomography (CT) images. Recently, Magnetic Resonance (MR)-only radiotherapy has been proposed to simplify the workflow and reduce possible systematic uncertainties. A critical, determining factor in the accuracy of such an MR-only simulation will be accurate FM localisation using solely MR images.

PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to evaluate the performances of manual MR-based FM localisation within a clinical environment.

METHODS: We designed a study in which 5 clinically involved radiation therapy technicians (RTTs) independently localised the gold FMs implanted in 16 prostate cancer patients in two scenarios: employing a single MR sequence or a combination of sequences. Inter-observer precision and accuracy were assessed for the two scenarios for localisation in terms of 95% limit of agreement on single FMs (LoA)/ centre of mass (LoA CM) and inter-marker distances (IDs), respectively.

RESULTS: The number of precisely located FMs (LoA <2 mm) increased from 38/48 to 45/48 FMs when localisation was performed using multiple sequences instead of single one. When performing localisation on multiple sequences, imprecise localisation of the FMs (3/48 FMs) occurred for 1/3 implanted FMs in three different patients. In terms of precision, we obtained LoA CM within 0.25 mm in all directions over the precisely located FMs. In terms of accuracy, IDs difference of manual MR-based localisation versus CT-based localisation was on average (±1 STD) 0.6 ±0.6 mm.

CONCLUSIONS: For both the investigated scenarios, the results indicate that when FM classification was correct, the precision and accuracy are high and comparable to CT-based FM localisation. We found that use of multiple sequences led to better localisation performances compared with the use of single sequence. However, we observed that, due to the presence of calcification and motion, the risk of mislocated patient positioning is still too high to allow the sole use of manual FM localisation. Finally, strategies to possibly overcome the current challenges were proposed.