Background: One in three high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy recur. Detection of lymph node metastasis and microscopic disease spread using conventional imaging is poor, and many patients are under-treated due to suboptimal seminal vesicle or lymph node irradiation. We use Image Based Data Mining (IBDM) to investigate association between dose distributions, and prognostic variables and biochemical recurrence (BCR) in prostate cancer patients treated with radiotherapy. We further test whether including dose information in risk-stratification models improves performance. Method: Planning CTs, dose distributions and clinical information were collected for 612 high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with conformal hypo-fractionated radiotherapy, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), or IMRT plus a single fraction high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy boost. Dose distributions (including HDR boost) of all studied patients were mapped to a reference anatomy using the prostate delineations. Regions where dose distributions significantly differed between patients that did and did-not experience BCR were assessed voxel-wise using 1) a binary endpoint of BCR at four-years (dose only) and 2) Cox-IBDM (dose and prognostic variables). Regions where dose was associated with outcome were identified. Cox proportional-hazard models with and without region dose information were produced and the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) was used to assess model performance. Results: No significant regions were observed for patients treated with hypo-fractionated radiotherapy or IMRT. Regions outside the target where higher dose was associated with lower BCR were observed for patients treated with brachytherapy boost. Cox-IBDM revealed that dose response was influenced by age and T-stage. A region at the seminal vesicle tips was identified in binary- and Cox-IBDM. Including the mean dose in this region in a risk-stratification model (hazard ratio=0.84, p=0.005) significantly reduced AIC values (p=0.019), indicating superior performance, compared with prognostic variables only. The region dose was lower in the brachytherapy boost patients compared with the external beam cohorts supporting the occurrence of marginal misses. Conclusion: Association was identified between BCR and dose outside of the target region in high-risk prostate cancer patients treated with IMRT plus brachytherapy boost. We show, for the first-time, that the importance of irradiating this region is linked to prognostic variables.
- image based data mining
- radiation oncology