To optimize inguinal nodal clinical target volume (CTV) delineation based on analysis of the anatomical locations and embryonic development of normal and metastatic inguinal lymph nodes (ILNs) in patients with pelvic malignant tumors, including cervical, vaginal, vulvar, and anal tumors. One hundred and eighty-one patients with pelvic malignancies and 415 involved ILNs treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy were selected. First, the inguinal nodal CTV was divided into three fields as follows: I, horizontal superficial inguinal field; II, vertical superficial inguinal field; and III, deep inguinal field. Initial CTV delineation of each field was based on analysis of the anatomical locations and embryonic development of normal ILNs. Subsequently, the positions of metastatic ILNs relative to the proper anatomical landmarks or vessels were determined to optimally delineate the final ILN CTV contours. Eighty percent of the data acquired (n=145) were used as test data for optimization and analysis, the remaining 20% (n=36) were used for delineation validation. In total, 252 positive ILNs in 103 cervical cancer patients, 94 positive ILNs in 41 vulvar cancer patients, 8 positive ILNs in 3 vaginal cancer patients, and 61 positive ILNs in 34 anal cancer patients were enrolled. Detailed target volume contouring guidelines for the three divisions were determined on images. All positive ILNs from the remaining 20% patients were located in the CTV boundaries delineated based on analysis of 80% of the data acquired. Importantly, the final inguinal nodal CTV field determined using our method was substantially smaller than defined by existing atlases, and the femoral vessels were excluded in the delineation. This study provided anatomical, embryonic, surgical, and statistical evidence to facilitate ILN CTV delineation in radiotherapy planning for patients with pelvic malignancies.

Full Text

Published Version
Open DOI Link

Get access to 115M+ research papers

Discover from 40M+ Open access, 2M+ Pre-prints, 9.5M Topics and 32K+ Journals.

Sign Up Now! It's FREE