Dosimetric impact of physician style variations in contouring CTV for post-operative prostate cancer: A deep learning based simulation study

Anjali Balagopal, Dan Nguyen, Maryam Mashayekhi, Howard Morgan, Aurelie Garant, Neil Desai, Raquibul Hannan, Mu-Han Lin, Steve Jiang

In tumor segmentation, inter-observer variation is acknowledged to be a significant problem. This is even more significant in clinical target volume (CTV) segmentation, specifically, in post-operative settings, where a gross tumor does not exist. In this scenario, CTV is not an anatomically established structure but rather one determined by the physician based on the clinical guideline used, the preferred trade off between tumor control and toxicity, their experience, training background etc... This results in high inter-observer variability between physicians. Inter-observer variability has been considered an issue, however its dosimetric consequence is still unclear, due to the absence of multiple physician CTV contours for each patient and the significant amount of time required for dose planning. In this study, we analyze the impact that these physician stylistic variations have on organs-at-risk (OAR) dose by simulating the clinical workflow using deep learning. For a given patient previously treated by one physician, we use DL-based tools to simulate how other physicians would contour the CTV and how the corresponding dose distributions should look like for this patient. To simulate multiple physician styles, we use a previously developed in-house CTV segmentation model that can produce physician style-aware segmentations. The corresponding dose distribution is predicted using another in-house deep learning tool, which, averaging across all structures, is capable of predicting dose within 3% of the prescription dose on the test data. For every test patient, four different physician-style CTVs are considered and four different dose distributions are analyzed. OAR dose metrics are compared, showing that even though physician style variations results in organs getting different doses, all the important dose metrics except Maximum Dose point are within the clinically acceptable limit.

Knowledge Graph



Sign up or login to leave a comment