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To assess the performance of a knowledge-based planning (KBP) model for generating intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) treatment plans as part of an adaptive radiotherapy (ART) strategy for patients with high-risk prostate cancer. A knowledge-based planning (KBP) model for proton adaptive treatment plan generation was developed based on thirty patient treatment plans utilizing RapidPlanTM PT (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA). The model was subsequently validated using an additional eleven patient cases. All patients in the study were administered a prescribed dose of 70.2 Gy to the prostate and seminal vesicle (CTV70.2), along with 46.8 Gy to the pelvic lymph nodes (CTV46.8) through simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) technique. To assess the quality of the validation knowledge-based proton plans (KBPPs), target coverage and organ-at-risk (OAR) dose-volume constraints were compared against those of clinically used expert plans using paired t-tests. The KBP model training statistics (R2) (mean ± SD, 0.763 ± 0.167, range, 0.406 to 0.907) and χ² values (1.162 ± 0.0867, 1.039-1.253) indicate acceptable model training quality. Moreover, the average total treatment planning optimization and calculation time for adaptive plan generation is approximately 10 minutes. The CTV70.2 D98% for the KBPPs (mean ± SD, 69.1 ± 0.08 Gy) and expert plans (69.9 ± 0.04 Gy) shows a significant difference (p < 0.05) but are both within 1.1 Gy of the prescribed dose which is clinically acceptable. While the maximum dose for some organs-at-risk (OARs) such as the bladder and rectum is generally higher in the KBPPs, the doses still fall within clinical constraints. Among all the OARs, most of them received comparable results to the expert plan, except the cauda equina Dmax, which shows statistical significance and was lower in the KBPPs than in expert plans (48.5 ± 0.06 Gy vs 49.3 ± 0.05 Gy). The generated KBPPs were clinically comparable to manually crafted plans by expert treatment planners. The adaptive plan generation process was completed within an acceptable timeframe, offering a quick same-day adaptive treatment option. Our study supports the integration of KBP as a crucial component of an ART strategy, including maintaining plan consistency, improving quality, and enhancing efficiency. This advancement in speed and adaptability promises more precise treatment in proton ART.

Original publication




Journal article


Medical Dosimetry

Publication Date





19 - 24