Development and clinical validation of a robust knowledge-based planning model for stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment of centrally located lung tumors

Justin Visak, Ronald C. McGarry, Marcus E. Randall, Damodar Pokhrel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: To develop a robust and adaptable knowledge-based planning (KBP) model with commercially available RapidPlanTM for early stage, centrally located non-small-cell lung tumors (NSCLC) treated with stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) and improve a patient's“simulation to treatment” time. Methods: The KBP model was trained using 86 clinically treated high-quality non-coplanar volumetric modulated arc therapy (n-VMAT) lung SBRT plans with delivered prescriptions of 50 or 55 Gy in 5 fractions. Another 20 independent clinical n-VMAT plans were used for validation of the model. KBP and n-VMAT plans were compared via Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)–0813 protocol compliance criteria for conformity (CI), gradient index (GI), maximal dose 2 cm away from the target in any direction (D2cm), dose to organs-at-risk (OAR), treatment delivery efficiency, and accuracy. KBP plans were re-optimized with larger calculation grid size (CGS) of 2.5 mm to assess feasibility of rapid adaptive re-planning. Results: Knowledge-based plans were similar or better than n-VMAT plans based on a range of target coverage and OAR metrics. Planning target volume (PTV) for validation cases was 30.5 ± 19.1 cc (range 7.0–71.7 cc). KBPs provided an average CI of 1.04 ± 0.04 (0.97–1.11) vs. n-VMAT plan'saverage CI of 1.01 ± 0.04 (0.97–1.17) (P < 0.05) with slightly improved GI with KBPs (P < 0.05). D2cm was similar between the KBPs and n-VMAT plans. KBPs provided lower lung V10Gy (P = 0.003), V20Gy (P = 0.007), and mean lung dose (P < 0.001). KBPs had overall better sparing of OAR at the minimal increased of average total monitor units and beam-on time by 460 (P < 0.05) and 19.2 s, respectively. Quality assurance phantom measurement showed similar treatment delivery accuracy. Utilizing a CGS of 2.5 mm in the final optimization improved planning time (mean, 5 min) with minimal or no cost to the plan quality. Conclusion: The RTOG-compliant adaptable RapidPlan model for early stage SBRT treatment of centrally located lung tumors was developed. All plans met RTOG dosimetric requirements in less than 30 min of planning time, potentially offering shorter “simulation to treatment” times. OAR sparing via KBPs may permit tumorcidal dose escalation with minimal penalties. Same day adaptive re-planning is plausible with a 2.5-mm CGS optimizer setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-155
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


  • RapidPlan model
  • adaptive re-planning
  • centrally located lung SBRT
  • knowledge-based planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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