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Volume 19, Number 3, 2014

The impact of PET/CT scanning on the size of target volumes, radiation exposure of organs at risk, TCP and NTCP, in the radiotherapy planning of non-small cell lung cancer

Radovan Vojtíšek, Jan Mužík, Pavel Šlampa, Marie Budíková, Jaroslav Hejsek, Petr Smolák,



To compare radiotherapy plans made according to CT and PET/CT and to investigate the impact of changes in target volumes on tumour control probability (TCP), normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and the impact of PET/CT on the staging and treatment strategy.


Contemporary studies have proven that PET/CT attains higher sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of lung cancer and also leads to higher accuracy than CT alone in the process of target volume delineation in NSCLC.

Materials and methods

Between October 2009 and March 2012, 31 patients with locally advanced NSCLC, who had been referred to radical radiotherapy were involved in our study. They all underwent planning PET/CT examination. Then we carried out two separate delineations of target volumes and two radiotherapy plans and we compared the following parameters of those plans: staging, treatment purpose, the size of GTV and PTV and the exposure of organs at risk (OAR). TCP and NTCP were also compared.


PET/CT information led to a significant decrease in the sizes of target volumes, which had the impact on the radiation exposure of OARs. The reduction of target volume sizes was not reflected in the significant increase of the TCP value. We found that there is a very strong direct linear relationship between all evaluated dosimetric parameters and NTCP values of all evaluated OARs.


Our study found that the use of planning PET/CT in the radiotherapy planning of NSCLC has a crucial impact on the precise determination of target volumes, more precise staging of the disease and thus also on possible changes of treatment strategy.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2014; 19(3) : 182-190

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