Aims: To quantify the reliability of a commercially available auto-segmentation tool in locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer using serial four-dimensional computed tomography (4DCT) scans during conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. Materials and methods: Eight patients with serial 4DCT scans (n = 44) acquired over the course of radiotherapy were assessed. Each 4DCT had a physician-defined primary tumour manual contour (MC). An auto-contour (AC) and a user-adjusted auto-contour (UA-AC) were created for each scan. Geometric agreement of the AC and the UA-AC to the MC was assessed using the dice similarity coefficient (DSC), the centre of mass (COM) shift from the MC and the structure volume difference from the MC. Bland Altman analysis was carried out to assess agreement between contouring methods. Dosimetric reliability was assessed by comparison of planning target volume dose coverage on the MC and UA-AC. The time trend analysis of the geometric accuracy measures from the initial planning scan through to the final scan for each patient was evaluated using a Wilcoxon signed ranks test to assess the reliability of the UA-AC over the duration of radiotherapy. Results: User adjustment significantly improved all geometric comparison metrics over the AC alone. Improved agreement was observed in smaller tumours not abutting normal soft tissue and median values for geometric comparisons to the MC for DSC, tumour volume difference and COM offset were 0.80 (range 0.49–0.89), 0.8 cm3 (range 0.0–5.9 cm3) and 0.16 cm (range 0.09–0.69 cm), respectively. There were no significant differences in dose metrics measured from the MC and the UA-AC after Bonferroni correction. Variation in geometric agreement between the MC and the UA-AC were observed over the course of radiotherapy with both DSC (P = 0.035) and COM shift from the MC (ns) worsening. The median tumour volume difference from the MC improved at the later time point. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the UA-AC can produce geometrically and dosimetrically acceptable contours for appropriately selected patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Larger studies are required to confirm the findings.
- non-small cell lung cancer
- target volume definition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging