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Due to the complexity of advanced radiotherapy techniques, treatment planning process is usually time consuming and plan quality can vary considerably among planners and institutions. It is also impractical to generate all possible treatment plans based on available radiotherapy techniques and select the best option for a specific patient. Automatic dose prediction will be very helpful in these situations, while there were a few studies of three-dimensional (3D) dose prediction for patients who received radiotherapy. The purpose of this work was to develop a novel atlas-based method to predict 3D dose prediction and to evaluate its performance. Previously treated nineteen left-sided post-mastectomy breast cancer patients and sixteen prostate cancer patients were included in this study. One patient was arbitrarily chosen as the reference for each type of cancer and all the remaining patients' computed tomography (CT) images and contours were aligned to it using deformable image registration (DIR). Deformable vector field (DVF) for each patient i (DVFi-ref) was used to deform the original 3D dose matrix of that patient. CT scan of a test patient was also registered with the same reference patient using DIR and both direct DVF (DVFtest-ref) and inverse DVF () were derived. Similarity of atlas patients to the test patient was determined based on the similarity of DVFtest-ref to atlas DVFs (DVFi-ref) and appropriate weighting factors were calculated. Patients' doses in the atlas were deformed again using to transform them from the reference patient's coordinates to the test patient's coordinates and the final 3D dose distribution for the test patient was predicted by summing the weighted individual 3D dose distributions. Performance of our method was evaluated and the results revealed that the proposed method was able to predict the 3D dose distributions accurately. The mean dose difference between clinical and predicted 3D dose distributions were 0.9 ± 1.1 Gy and 1.9 ± 1.2 Gy for breast and prostate plans. The proposed dose prediction method can be used to improve planning quality and facilitate plan comparisons.

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Physics in Medicine and Biology