Purpose: Clarity Autoscan ultrasound monitoring system allows acquisition of raw radiofrequency (RF) ultrasound data prior and during radiotherapy. This enables the computation of 3D Quantitative Ultrasound (QUS) tissue parametric maps from. We aim to evaluate whether QUS parameters undergo changes with radiotherapy and thus potentially be used as early predictors and/or markers of treatment response in prostate cancer patients.
Methods: In-vivo evaluation was performed under IRB protocol to allow data collection in prostate patients treated with VMAT whereby prostate was imaged through the acoustic window of the perineum. QUS spectroscopy analysis was carried out by computing a tissue power spectrum normalized to the power spectrum obtained from a quartz to remove system transfer function effects. A ROI was selected within the 3D image volume of the prostate. Because longitudinal registration was optimal, the same features could be used to select ROIs at roughly the same location in images acquired on different days. Parametric maps were generated within the rectangular ROIs with window sizes that were approximately 8 times the wavelength of the ultrasound. The mid-band fit (MBF), spectral slope (SS) and spectral intercept (SI) QUS parameters were computed for each window within the ROI and displayed as parametric maps. Quantitative parameters were obtained by averaging each of the spectral parameters over the whole ROI.
Results: Data was acquired for over 21 treatment fractions. Preliminary results show changes in the parametric maps. MBF values decreased from −33.9 dB to −38.7 dB from pre-treatment to the last day of treatment. The spectral slope increased from −1.1 a.u. to −0.5 a.u., and spectral intercept decreased from −28.2 dB to −36.3 dB over the 21 treatment regimen.
Conclusions: QUS parametric maps change over the course of treatment which warrants further investigation in their potential use for treatment planning and predicting treatment outcomes. Research was supported by Elekta.