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Niyazi, Maximilian; Bartenstein, Peter; Belka, Claus und Ganswindt, Ute: Choline PET based dose-painting in prostate cancer - Modelling of dose effects. In: Radiation Oncology 2010, 5:23


Background: Several randomized trials have documented the value of radiation dose escalation in patients with prostate cancer, especially in patients with intermediate risk profile. Up to now dose escalation is usually applied to the whole prostate. IMRT and related techniques currently allow for dose escalation in sub-volumes of the organ. However, the sensitivity of the imaging modality and the fact that small islands of cancer are often dispersed within the whole organ may limit these approaches with regard to a clear clinical benefit. In order to assess potential effects of a dose escalation in certain sub-volumes based on choline PET imaging a mathematical dose-response model was developed. Methods: Based on different assumptions for alpha/beta, gamma 50, sensitivity and specificity of choline PET, the influence of the whole prostate and simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) dose on tumor control probability (TCP) was calculated. Based on the given heterogeneity of all potential variables certain representative permutations of the parameters were chosen and, subsequently, the influence on TCP was assessed. Results: Using schedules with 74 Gy within the whole prostate and a SIB dose of 90 Gy the TCP increase ranged from 23.1% (high detection rate of choline PET, low whole prostate dose, high gamma 50/ASTRO definition for tumor control) to 1.4% TCP gain (low sensitivity of PET, high whole prostate dose, CN + 2 definition for tumor control) or even 0% in selected cases. The corresponding initial TCP values without integrated boost ranged from 67.3% to 100%. According to a large data set of intermediate-risk prostate cancer patients the resulting TCP gains ranged from 22.2% to 10.1% (ASTRO definition) or from 13.2% to 6.0% (CN + 2 definition). Discussion: Although a simplified mathematical model was employed, the presented model allows for an estimation in how far given schedules are relevant for clinical practice. However, the benefit of a SIB based on choline PET seems less than intuitively expected. Only under the assumption of high detection rates and low initial TCP values the TCP gain has been shown to be relevant. Conclusions: Based on the employed assumptions, specific dose escalation to choline PET positive areas within the prostate may increase the local control rates. Due to the lack of exact PET sensitivity and prostate alpha/beta parameter, no firm conclusions can be made. Small variations may completely abrogate the clinical benefit of a SIB based on choline PET imaging.