University of Wisconsin–Madison

UW16064: PET/MRI to Enhance Precision Guidance in Head and Neck Radiation Treatment Planning

September 2017 to October 2019

This proposal focuses on the use of a new positron emission tomography/magnetic resonance imaging hybrid technology (PET/MRI) for target delineation in head and neck radiation treatment planning. The feasibility of implementing such technology for characterization of gross tumor volume (GTV) will be studied. Effects on clinical target volume (CTV) and planning target volume (PTV) will also be assessed. The specific aims of this proposal are to:
i) Evaluate the feasibility of PET/MRI as an imaging guide for head and neck cancer radiation treatment planning by reporting:
a. the percentage of patients able to successfully complete the PET/MRI exam
b. the resulting image quality
c. the suitability of the resulting image data regarding fusion with treatment planning imaging as compared to current PET/CT imaging techniques.
ii) Evaluate the suitability of investigational MRI sequences designed to provide improved image quality, more accurate perfusion imaging and improved fat-water separation to currently approved MRI pulse sequences.
iii) Investigate the impact of PET/MRI on the assigned tumor stage, specifically the tumor “T” classification and the regional nodal “N” classification compared to standard PET/CT imaging techniques.
iv) Examine the impact of PET/MRI morphologic data on the design of radiation target volumes including GTV, CTV and PTV with comparison to standard, currently available imaging techniques.
v) Examine the impact of PET/MRI-derived quantitative imaging biomarkers on the design of radiation target volumes including GTV, CTV and PTV with comparison to standard, currently available imaging techniques.

This project led by: Gregory D Avey MD