Automatic planning on hippocampal avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy

Shuo Wang, Dandan Zheng, Chi Zhang, Rongtao Ma, Nathan R. Bennion, Yu Lei, Xiaofeng Zhu, Charles Arthur Enke, Sumin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Mounting evidence suggests that radiation-induced damage to the hippocampus plays a role in neurocognitive decline for patients receiving whole-brain radiotherapy (WBRT). Hippocampal avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy (HA-WBRT) has been proposed to reduce the putative neurocognitive deficits by limiting the dose to the hippocampus. However, urgency of palliation for patients as well as the complexities of the treatment planning may be barriers to protocol enrollment to accumulate further clinical evidence. This warrants expedited quality planning of HA-WBRT. Pinnacle3 Automatic treatment planning was designed to increase planning efficiency while maintaining or improving plan quality and consistency. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the performance of the Pinnacle3 Auto-Planning on HA-WBRT treatment planning. Ten patients previously treated for brain metastases were selected. Hippocampal volumes were contoured on T1 magnetic resonance (MR) images, and planning target volumes (PTVs) were generated based on RTOG0933. The following 2 types of plans were generated by Pinnacle3 Auto-Planning: the one with 2 coplanar volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) arcs and the other with 9-field noncoplanar intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). D2% and D98% of PTV were used to calculate homogeneity index (HI). HI and Paddick Conformity index (CI) of PTV as well as D100% and Dmax of the hippocampus were used to evaluate the plan quality. All the auto-plans met the dose coverage and constraint objectives based on RTOG0933. The auto-plans eliminated the necessity of generating pseudostructures by the planners, and it required little manual intervention which expedited the planning process. IMRT quality assurance (QA) results also suggest that all the auto-plans are practically acceptable on delivery. Pinnacle3 Auto-Planning generates acceptable plans by RTOG0933 criteria without time-consuming planning process. The expedited quality planning achieved by Auto-Planning (AP) may facilitate protocol enrollment of patients to further investigate the hippocampal-sparing effect and be used to ensure timely start of palliative treatment in future clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017


  • Auto-planning
  • Hippocampal avoidance whole-brain radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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