Quantifying variability of intrafractional target motion in stereotactic body radiotherapy for lung cancers

Mark Ka Heng Chan*, Dora L W Kwong, Eric Tam, Anthony Tong, Sherry C Y Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


In lung stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), variability of intrafractional target motion can negate the potential benefits of four-dimensional (4D) treatment planning that aims to account for the dosimetric impacts of organ motion. This study used tumor motion data obtained from CyberKnife SBRT treatments to quantify the reproducibility of probability motion function (pmf) of 37 lung tumors. The reproducibility of pmf was analyzed with and without subtracting the intrafractional baseline drift from the original motion data. Statistics of intrafractional tumor motion including baseline drift, target motion amplitude and period, were also calculated. The target motion amplitude significantly correlates with variations (1SD) of motion amplitude and baseline drift. Significant correlation between treatment time and variations (1 SD) of motion amplitude was observed in anterior-posterior (AP) motion, but not in craniocaudal (CC) and left-right (LR) motion. The magnitude of AP and LR baseline drifts significantly depend on the treatment time, while the CC baseline drift does not. The reproducibility of pmf as a function of time can be well described by a two-exponential function with a fast and slow component. The reproducibility of pmf is over 60% for the CC motion and over 50% for the AP and LR motions when baseline variations were subtracted from the original motion data. It decreases to just over 30% for the CC motion and about 20% for the AP and LR motion, otherwise. 4D planning has obvious limitations due to variability of intrafractional target motion. To account for potential risks of overdosing critical organs, it is important to simulate the dosimetric impacts of intra- and interfractional baseline drift using population statistics obtained from SBRT treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-152
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6-Sep-2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Algorithms
  • Four-Dimensional Computed Tomography
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms/diagnostic imaging
  • Movement
  • Organs at Risk/radiation effects
  • Radiosurgery
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
  • Tumor Burden

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