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Integrated-boost IMRT or 3-D-CRT using FET-PET based auto-contoured target volume delineation for glioblastoma multiforme - a dosimetric comparison

Marc D Piroth14*, Michael Pinkawa14, Richard Holy14, Gabriele Stoffels34, Cengiz Demirel1, Charbel Attieh1, Hans J Kaiser2, Karl J Langen34 and Michael J Eble14

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen Germany

2 Department of Nuclear Medicine, RWTH Aachen University Hospital, Pauwelsstrasse 30, 52074 Aachen Germany

3 Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine, Research Centre Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany

4 JARA (Jülich Aachen Research Alliance) Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH Wilhelm-Johnen-Straße, 52428 Jülich, Germany

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Radiation Oncology 2009, 4:57  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-4-57

Published: 23 November 2009



Biological brain tumor imaging using O-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-L-tyrosine (FET)-PET combined with inverse treatment planning for locally restricted dose escalation in patients with glioblastoma multiforme seems to be a promising approach.

The aim of this study was to compare inverse with forward treatment planning for an integrated boost dose application in patients suffering from a glioblastoma multiforme, while biological target volumes are based on FET-PET and MRI data sets.


In 16 glioblastoma patients an intensity-modulated radiotherapy technique comprising an integrated boost (IB-IMRT) and a 3-dimensional conventional radiotherapy (3D-CRT) technique were generated for dosimetric comparison. FET-PET, MRI and treatment planning CT (P-CT) were co-registrated. The integrated boost volume (PTV1) was auto-contoured using a cut-off tumor-to-brain ratio (TBR) of ≥ 1.6 from FET-PET. PTV2 delineation was MRI-based. The total dose was prescribed to 72 and 60 Gy for PTV1 and PTV2, using daily fractions of 2.4 and 2 Gy.


After auto-contouring of PTV1 a marked target shape complexity had an impact on the dosimetric outcome. Patients with 3-4 PTV1 subvolumes vs. a single volume revealed a significant decrease in mean dose (67.7 vs. 70.6 Gy). From convex to complex shaped PTV1 mean doses decreased from 71.3 Gy to 67.7 Gy. The homogeneity and conformity for PTV1 and PTV2 was significantly improved with IB-IMRT. With the use of IB-IMRT the minimum dose within PTV1 (61.1 vs. 57.4 Gy) and PTV2 (51.4 vs. 40.9 Gy) increased significantly, and the mean EUD for PTV2 was improved (59.9 vs. 55.3 Gy, p < 0.01). The EUD for PTV1 was only slightly improved (68.3 vs. 67.3 Gy). The EUD for the brain was equal with both planning techniques.


In the presented planning study the integrated boost concept based on inversely planned IB-IMRT is feasible. The FET-PET-based automatically contoured PTV1 can lead to very complex geometric configurations, limiting the achievable mean dose in the boost volume. With IB-IMRT a better homogeneity and conformity, compared to 3D-CRT, could be achieved.