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This article has been peer reviewed and is published in BMC Radiation Oncology Volume 5, Issue 1, 3 June 2010, Article number 48. The published version is available at DOI: 10.1186/1748-717X-5-48. Copyright © BioMed Central Ltd.


BACKGROUND: To evaluate and compare the biological impact on different proposed margin recipes for the same geometric uncertainties for intra-hepatic tumors with different tumor cell types or clinical stages. METHOD: Three different margin recipes based on tumor motion were applied to sixteen IMRT plans with a total of twenty two intra-hepatic tumors. One recipe used the full amplitude of motion measured from patients to generate margins. A second used 70% of the full amplitude of motion, while the third had no margin for motion. The biological effects of geometric uncertainty in these three situations were evaluated with Equivalent Uniform Doses (EUD) for various survival fractions at 2 Gy (SF2). RESULTS: There was no significant difference in the biological impact between the full motion margin and the 70% motion margin. Also, there was no significant difference between different tumor cell types. When the margin for motion was eliminated, the difference of the biological impact was significant among different cell types due to geometric uncertainties. Elimination of the motion margin requires dose escalation to compensate for the biological dose reduction due to the geometric misses during treatment. CONCLUSIONS: Both patient-based margins of full motion and of 70% motion are sufficient to prevent serious dosimetric error. Clinical implementation of margin reduction should consider the tumor sensitivity to radiation.

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