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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Radiation Oncology 1/2017

Improved plan quality with automated radiotherapy planning for whole brain with hippocampus sparing: a comparison to the RTOG 0933 trial

Radiation Oncology > Ausgabe 1/2017
J. Krayenbuehl, M. Di Martino, M. Guckenberger, N. Andratschke
Wichtige Hinweise
The original version of this article was revised, because the figure legends of figure 2 and 4 were swapped.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13014-017-0901-1.



Whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) with hippocampus sparing (HS) has been investigated by the radiation oncology working group (RTOG) 0933 trial for patients with multiple brain metastases. They showed a decrease of adverse neurocognitive effects with HS WBRT compared to WBRT alone. With the development of automated treatment planning system (aTPS) in the last years, a standardization of the plan quality at a high level was achieved. The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of using an aTPS for the treatment of HS WBRT and see if the RTOG 0933 dose constraints could be achieved and improved.


Ten consecutive patients treated with HS WBRT were enrolled in this study. 10 × 3 Gy was prescribed according to the RTOG 0933 protocol to 92% of the target volume (whole-brain excluding the hippocampus expanded by 5 mm in 3-dimensions). In contrast to RTOG 0933, the maximum allowed point dose to normal brain was significantly lowered and restricted to 36.5 Gy. All patients were planned with volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) technique using four arcs. Plans were optimized using Auto-Planning (AP) (Philips Radiation Oncology Systems) with one single AP template and optimization.


All the constraints from the RTOG 0933 trial were achieved. A significant improvement for the maximal dose to 2% of the brain with a reduction of 4 Gy was achieved (33.5 Gy vs. RTOG 37.5 Gy) and the minimum hippocampus dose was reduced by 10% (8.1 Gy vs. RTOG 9 Gy). A steep dose gradient around the hippocampus was achieved with a mean dose of 27.3 Gy at a distance between 0.5 cm and 1 cm from the hippocampus. The effective working time to optimize a plan was kept below 6′.


Automated treatment planning for HS WBRT was able to fulfil all the recommendations from the RTOG 0933 study while significantly improving dose homogeneity and decreasing unnecessary hot spot in the normal brain. With this approach, a standardization of plan quality was achieved and the effective time required for plan optimization was minimized.
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