Treatment plan comparison of proton vs photon radiotherapy for lower-grade gliomas

Camilla S. Byskov*, Christian R. Hansen, Rikke H. Dahlrot, Lene Haldbo-Classen, Charlotte A. Haslund, Flemming Kjær-Kristoffersen, Thomas O. Kristensen, Yasmin Lassen-Ramshad, Slávka Lukacova, Aida Muhic, Petra W. Nyström, Britta Weber, Jesper F. Kallehauge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and purpose: Patients with lower-grade gliomas are long-term survivors after radiotherapy and may benefit from the reduced dose to normal tissue achievable with proton therapy. Here, we aimed to quantify differences in dose to the uninvolved brain and contralateral hippocampus and compare the risk of radiation-induced secondary cancer for photon and proton plans for lower-grade glioma patients. Materials and methods: Twenty-three patients were included in this in-silico planning comparative study and had photon and proton plans calculated (50.4 Gy(RBE = 1.1), 28 Fx) applying similar dose constraints to the target and organs at risk. Automatically calculated photon plans were generated with a 3 mm margin from clinical target volume (CTV) to planning target volume. Manual proton plans were generated using robust optimisation on the CTV. Dose metrics of organs at risk were compared using population mean dose-volume histograms and Wilcoxon signed-rank test. Secondary cancer risk per 10,000 persons per year (PPY) was estimated using dose-volume data and a risk model for secondary cancer induction. Results: CTV coverage (V95%>98%) was similar for the two treatment modalities. Mean dose (Dmean) to the uninvolved brain was significantly reduced from 21.5 Gy (median, IQR 17.1–24.4 Gy) with photons compared to 10.3 Gy(RBE) (8.1–13.9 Gy(RBE)) with protons. Dmean to the contralateral hippocampus was significantly reduced from 6.5 Gy (5.4–11.7 Gy) with photons to 1.5 Gy(RBE) (0.4–6.8 Gy(RBE)) with protons. The estimated secondary cancer risk was reduced from 6.7 PPY (median, range 3.3–10.4 PPY) with photons to 3.0 PPY (1.3–7.5 PPY) with protons. Conclusion: A significant reduction in mean dose to uninvolved brain and contralateral hippocampus was found with proton planning. The estimated secondary cancer risk was reduced with proton therapy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysics and imaging in radiation oncology
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors.


  • Brain cancer
  • proton therapy
  • Radiotherapy
  • secondary cancer risk
  • Treatment Planning


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