The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of patient positioning on the volume of organs at risk (OARs) in or near the planning target volume (PTV) and the dose distribution in adjuvant or salvage radiotherapy for prostate cancer after prostatectomy.
Seventeen patients who received intensity-modulated radiation therapy (66 Gy in 33 fractions) as adjuvant or salvage therapy after prostatectomy were evaluated. All patients underwent CT scans in both the prone (on a belly board) and supine positions. The target volumes and OARs were delineated on each CT series. The planning target volume (PTV) was extended in every direction to generate the PTV + 0.5 cm, PTV + 1 cm, PTV + 2 cm, PTV + 3 cm, and PTV + 4 cm values. The volumes of the OARs overlapping with the PTV and the extended target volumes in the prone and supine position were compared using the Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters in the prone and supine position were compared using the paired t-test.
The mean overlapping volumes of the small intestine for each of the PTV values were as follows (prone position vs. supine position [mean ± SD]): PTV, 1.5 ± 5.5 cm3 vs. 7.9 ± 15.7 cm3 (P = 0.028); PTV + 0.5 cm, 2.6 ± 8.9 cm3 vs. 12.1 ± 22.6 cm3 (P = 0.028); PTV + 1 cm, 3.5 ± 11.4 cm3 vs. 17.1 ± 29.8 cm3 (P = 0.028); PTV + 2 cm, 5.6 ± 14.5 cm3 vs. 26.8 ± 46.9 cm3 (P = 0.028); and PTV + 3 cm, 9.0 ± 17.4 cm3 vs. 36.5 ± 63.2 cm3 (P = 0.019), respectively. Some of the overlapping volumes of the rectum and bladder were significantly smaller in the prone position. On the other hand, when the target volume was extended by ≥2 cm, the overlapping volumes of the femurs were significantly larger in the prone position. V15 of the rectum and mean dose and V65 of the bladder were significantly lower in the prone position.
This study indicated that the volumes of the small intestine, rectum, and bladder in or near the PTV decreased when the patient was placed in the prone position on a belly board in postoperative radiotherapy for prostate cancer. The dose distribution seemed superior in the prone position to the supine position.