Background: Mobility of lung tumors is induced by respiration and causes inadequate dose coverage.
Objective: This study quantified lung tumor motion, velocity, and stability for small (≤ 5cm) and large (> 5cm) tumors to adapt radiation therapy techniques for lung cancer patients.
Material and Methods: In this retrospective study, 70 patients with lung cancer were included that 50 and 20 patients had a small and large gross tumor volume (GTV). To quantify the tumor motion and velocity in the upper lobe (UL) and lower lobe (LL) for the central region (CR) and a peripheral region (PR), the GTV was contoured in all ten respiratory phases, using 4D-CT.
Results: The amplitude of tumor motion was greater in the LL, with motion in the superior-inferior (SI) direction compared to the UL, with an elliptical motion for small and large tumors. Tumor motion was greater in the CR, rather than in the PR, by 63% and 49% in the UL compared to 50% and 38% in the LL, for the left and right lung. The maximum tumor velocity for a small GTV was 44.1 mm/s in the LL (CR), decreased to 4 mm/s for both ULs (PR), and a large GTV ranged from 0.4 to 9.4 mm/s.
Conclusion: The tumor motion and velocity depend on the tumor localization and the greater motion was in the CR for both lobes due to heart contribution. The tumor velocity and stability can help select the best technique for motion management during radiation therapy.