Volume 40, Issue 12, December 2013
Index of content:
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4825097View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To develop a technique to estimate onboard 4D-CBCT using prior information and limited-angle projections for potential 4D target verification of lung radiotherapy.Methods:
Each phase of onboard 4D-CBCT is considered as a deformation from one selected phase (prior volume) of the planning 4D-CT. The deformation field maps (DFMs) are solved using a motion modeling and free-form deformation (MM-FD) technique. In the MM-FD technique, the DFMs are estimated using a motion model which is extracted from planning 4D-CT based on principal component analysis (PCA). The motion model parameters are optimized by matching the digitally reconstructed radiographs of the deformed volumes to the limited-angle onboard projections (data fidelity constraint). Afterward, the estimated DFMs are fine-tuned using a FD model based on data fidelity constraint and deformation energy minimization. The 4D digital extended-cardiac-torso phantom was used to evaluate the MM-FD technique. A lung patient with a 30 mm diameter lesion was simulated with various anatomical and respirational changes from planning 4D-CT to onboard volume, including changes of respiration amplitude, lesion size and lesion average-position, and phase shift between lesion and body respiratory cycle. The lesions were contoured in both the estimated and “ground-truth” onboard 4D-CBCT for comparison. 3D volume percentage-difference (VPD) and center-of-mass shift (COMS) were calculated to evaluate the estimation accuracy of three techniques: MM-FD, MM-only, and FD-only. Different onboard projection acquisition scenarios and projection noise levels were simulated to investigate their effects on the estimation accuracy.Results:
For all simulated patient and projection acquisition scenarios, the mean VPD (±S.D.)/COMS (±S.D.) between lesions in prior images and “ground-truth” onboard images were 136.11% (±42.76%)/15.5 mm (±3.9 mm). Using orthogonal-view 15°-each scan angle, the mean VPD/COMS between the lesion in estimated and “ground-truth” onboard images for MM-only, FD-only, and MM-FD techniques were 60.10% (±27.17%)/4.9 mm (±3.0 mm), 96.07% (±31.48%)/12.1 mm (±3.9 mm) and 11.45% (±9.37%)/1.3 mm (±1.3 mm), respectively. For orthogonal-view 30°-each scan angle, the corresponding results were 59.16% (±26.66%)/4.9 mm (±3.0 mm), 75.98% (±27.21%)/9.9 mm (±4.0 mm), and 5.22% (±2.12%)/0.5 mm (±0.4 mm). For single-view scan angles of 3°, 30°, and 60°, the results for MM-FD technique were 32.77% (±17.87%)/3.2 mm (±2.2 mm), 24.57% (±18.18%)/2.9 mm (±2.0 mm), and 10.48% (±9.50%)/1.1 mm (±1.3 mm), respectively. For projection angular-sampling-intervals of 0.6°, 1.2°, and 2.5° with the orthogonal-view 30°-each scan angle, the MM-FD technique generated similar VPD (maximum deviation 2.91%) and COMS (maximum deviation 0.6 mm), while sparser sampling yielded larger VPD/COMS. With equal number of projections, the estimation results using scattered 360° scan angle were slightly better than those using orthogonal-view 30°-each scan angle. The estimation accuracy of MM-FD technique declined as noise level increased.Conclusions:
The MM-FD technique substantially improves the estimation accuracy for onboard 4D-CBCT using prior planning 4D-CT and limited-angle projections, compared to the MM-only and FD-only techniques. It can potentially be used for the inter/intrafractional 4D-localization verification.
Evaluation of the dosimetric properties of a synthetic single crystal diamond detector in high energy clinical proton beams40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828777View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To investigate the dosimetric properties of a synthetic single crystal diamond Schottky diode for accurate relative dose measurements in large and small field high-energy clinical proton beams.Methods:
The dosimetric properties of a synthetic single crystal diamond detector were assessed by comparison with a reference Markus parallel plate ionization chamber, an Exradin A16 microionization chamber, and Exradin T1a ion chamber. The diamond detector was operated at zero bias voltage at all times. Comparative dose distribution measurements were performed by means of Fractional depth dose curves and lateral beam profiles in clinical proton beams of energies 155 and 250 MeV for a 14 cm square cerrobend aperture and 126 MeV for 3, 2, and 1 cm diameter circular brass collimators. ICRU Report No. 78 recommended beam parameters were used to compare fractional depth dose curves and beam profiles obtained using the diamond detector and the reference ionization chamber. Warm-up/stability of the detector response and linearity with dose were evaluated in a 250 MeV proton beam and dose rate dependence was evaluated in a 126 MeV proton beam. Stem effect and the azimuthal angle dependence of the diode response were also evaluated.Results:
A maximum deviation in diamond detector signal from the average reading of less than 0.5% was found during the warm-up irradiation procedure. The detector response showed a good linear behavior as a function of dose with observed deviations below 0.5% over a dose range from 50 to 500 cGy. The detector response was dose rate independent, with deviations below 0.5% in the investigated dose rates ranging from 85 to 300 cGy/min. Stem effect and azimuthal angle dependence of the diode signal were within 0.5%. Fractional depth dose curves and lateral beam profiles obtained with the diamond detector were in good agreement with those measured using reference dosimeters.Conclusions:
The observed dosimetric properties of the synthetic single crystal diamond detector indicate that its behavior is proton energy independent and dose rate independent in the investigated energy and dose rate range and it is suitable for accurate relative dosimetric measurements in large as well as in small field high energy clinical proton beams.
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828778View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To present dynamic rotating shield brachytherapy (D-RSBT), a novel form of high-dose-rate brachytherapy (HDR-BT) with electronic brachytherapy source, where the radiation shield is capable of changing emission angles during the radiation delivery process.Methods:
A D-RSBT system uses two layers of independently rotating tungsten alloy shields, each with a 180° azimuthal emission angle. The D-RSBT planning is separated into two stages: anchor plan optimization and optimal sequencing. In the anchor plan optimization, anchor plans are generated by maximizing theD 90 for the high-risk clinical-tumor-volume (HR-CTV) assuming a fixed azimuthal emission angle of 11.25°. In the optimal sequencing, treatment plans that most closely approximate the anchor plans under the delivery-time constraint will be efficiently computed. Treatment plans for five cervical cancer patients were generated for D-RSBT, single-shield RSBT (S-RSBT), and 192Ir-based intracavitary brachytherapy with supplementary interstitial brachytherapy (IS + ICBT) assuming five treatment fractions. External beam radiotherapy doses of 45 Gy in 25 fractions of 1.8 Gy each were accounted for. The high-risk clinical target volume (HR-CTV) doses were escalated such that the D 2cc of the rectum, sigmoid colon, or bladder reached its tolerance equivalent dose in 2 Gy fractions (EQD2 with α/β = 3 Gy) of 75 Gy, 75 Gy, or 90 Gy, respectively.Results:
For the patients considered, IS + ICBT had an average total dwell time of 5.7 minutes/fraction (min/fx) assuming a 10 Ci192 Ir source, and the average HR-CTV D 90 was 78.9 Gy. In order to match the HR-CTV D 90 of IS + ICBT, D-RSBT required an average of 10.1 min/fx more delivery time, and S-RSBT required 6.7 min/fx more. If an additional 20 min/fx of delivery time is allowed beyond that of the IS + ICBT case, D-RSBT and S-RSBT increased the HR-CTV D 90 above IS + ICBT by an average of 16.3 Gy and 9.1 Gy, respectively.Conclusions:
For cervical cancer patients, D-RSBT can boost HR-CTVD 90 over IS + ICBT and S-RSBT without violating the tolerance doses to the bladder, rectum, or sigmoid. The D 90 improvements from D-RSBT depend on the patient, the delivery time budget, and the applicator structure.
Modeling the dosimetry of organ-at-risk in head and neck IMRT planning: An intertechnique and interinstitutional study40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828788View Description Hide Description
Purpose: To build a statistical model to quantitatively correlate the anatomic features of structures and the corresponding dose-volume histogram (DVH) of head and neck (HN) Tomotherapy (Tomo) plans. To study if the model built upon one intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) technique (such as conventional Linac) can be used to predict anticipated organs-at-risk (OAR) DVH of patients treated with a different IMRT technique (such as Tomo). To study if the model built upon the clinical experience of one institution can be used to aid IMRT planning for another institution.
Methods: Forty-four Tomotherapy intensity modulate radiotherapy plans of HN cases (Tomo-IMRT) from Institution A were included in the study. A different patient group of 53 HN fixed gantry IMRT (FG-IMRT) plans was selected from Institution B. The analyzed OARs included the parotid, larynx, spinal cord, brainstem, and submandibular gland. Two major groups of anatomical features were considered: the volumetric information and the spatial information. The volume information includes the volume of target, OAR, and overlapped volume between target and OAR. The spatial information of OARs relative to PTVs was represented by the distance-to-target histogram (DTH). Important anatomical and dosimetric features were extracted from DTH and DVH by principal component analysis. Two regression models, one for Tomotherapy plan and one for IMRT plan, were built independently. The accuracy of intratreatment-modality model prediction was validated by a leave one out cross-validation method. The intertechnique and interinstitution validations were performed by using the FG-IMRT model to predict the OAR dosimetry of Tomo-IMRT plans. The dosimetry of OARs, under the same and different institutional preferences, was analyzed to examine the correlation between the model prediction and planning protocol.
Results: Significant patient anatomical factors contributing to OAR dose sparing in HN Tomotherapy plans have been analyzed and identified. For all the OARs, the discrepancies of dose indices between the model predicted values and the actual plan values were within 2.1%. Similar results were obtained from the modeling of FG-IMRT plans. The parotid gland was spared in a comparable fashion during the treatment planning of two institutions. The model based on FG-IMRT plans was found to predict the median dose of the parotid of Tomotherapy plans quite well, with a mean error of 2.6%. Predictions from the FG-IMRT model suggested the median dose of the larynx, median dose of the brainstem and D2 of the brainstem could be reduced by 10.5%, 12.8%, and 20.4%, respectively, in the Tomo-IMRT plans. This was found to be correlated to the institutional differences in OAR constraint settings. Re-planning of six Tomotherapy patients confirmed the potential of optimization improvement predicted by the FG-IMRT model was correct.
Conclusions: The authors established a mathematical model to correlate the anatomical features and dosimetric indexes of OARs of HN patients in Tomotherapy plans. The model can be used for the setup of patient-specific OAR dose sparing goals and quality control of planning results.
The institutional clinical experience was incorporated into the model which allows the model from one institution to generate a reference plan for another institution, or another IMRT technique.
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828792View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To cope with intrafraction tumor motion, integrated MRI-linac systems for real-time image guidance are currently under development. The multileaf collimator (MLC) is a key component in every state-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment system, allowing for accurate field shaping and tumor tracking. This work quantifies the magnetic impact of a widely used MLC on the MRI field homogeneity for such a modality.Methods:
The finite element method was employed to model a MRI-linac assembly comprised of a split-bore MRI magnet and the key ferromagnetic components of a Varian Millennium 120 MLC, namely, the leaves and motors. Full 3D magnetic field maps of the system were generated. From these field maps, the peak-to-peak distortion within the MRI imaging volume was evaluated over a diameter sphere volume (DSV) around the isocenter and compared to a maximum preshim inhomogeneity of . Five parametric studies were performed: (1) The source-to-isocenter distance (SID) was varied from 100 to , to span the range of a compact system to that with lower magnetic coupling. (2) The MLC model was changed from leaves only to leaves with motors, to determine the contribution to the total distortion caused by MLC leaves and motors separately. (3) The system was configured in the inline or perpendicular orientation, i.e., the linac treatment beam was oriented parallel or perpendicular to the magnetic field direction. (4) The treatment field size was varied from 0 × 0 to , to span the range of clinical treatment fields. (5) The coil currents were scaled linearly to produce magnetic field strengths B 0 of 0.5, 1.0, and , to estimate how the MLC impact changes with B 0.Results:
(1) The MLC-induced MRI field distortion fell continuously with increasing SID. (2) MLC leaves and motors were found to contribute to the distortion in approximately equal measure. (3) Due to faster falloff of the fringe field, the field distortion was generally smaller in the perpendicular beam orientation. The peak-to-peak DSV distortion was below at (perpendicular) and (inline) for the design. (4) The simulation of different treatment fields was identified to cause dynamic changes in the field distribution. However, the estimated residual distortion was below geometric distortion at (perpendicular) and (inline) for a frequency-encoding gradient. (5) Due to magnetic saturation of the MLC materials, the field distortion remained constant at .Conclusions:
This work shows that the MRI field distortions caused by the MLC cannot be ignored and must be thoroughly investigated for any MRI-linac system. The numeric distortion values obtained for our magnet may vary for other magnet designs with substantially different fringe fields, however the concept of modest increases in the SID to reduce the distortion to a shimmable level is generally applicable.
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828841View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning typically combines multiple criteria into a single objective function by taking a weighted sum. The authors propose a statistical model that predicts objective function weights from patient anatomy for prostate IMRT treatment planning. This study provides a proof of concept for geometry-driven weight determination.Methods:
A previously developed inverse optimization method (IOM) was used to generate optimal objective function weights for 24 patients using their historical treatment plans (i.e., dose distributions). These IOM weights were around 1% for each of the femoral heads, while bladder and rectum weights varied greatly between patients. A regression model was developed to predict a patient's rectum weight using the ratio of the overlap volume of the rectum and bladder with the planning target volume at a 1 cm expansion as the independent variable. The femoral head weights were fixed to 1% each and the bladder weight was calculated as one minus the rectum and femoral head weights. The model was validated using leave-one-out cross validation. Objective values and dose distributions generated through inverse planning using the predicted weights were compared to those generated using the original IOM weights, as well as an average of the IOM weights across all patients.Results:
The IOM weight vectors were on average six times closer to the predicted weight vectors than to the average weight vector, usingl 2 distance. Likewise, the bladder and rectum objective values achieved by the predicted weights were more similar to the objective values achieved by the IOM weights. The difference in objective value performance between the predicted and average weights was statistically significant according to a one-sided sign test. For all patients, the difference in rectum V54.3 Gy, rectum V70.0 Gy, bladder V54.3 Gy, and bladder V70.0 Gy values between the dose distributions generated by the predicted weights and IOM weights was less than 5 percentage points. Similarly, the difference in femoral head V54.3 Gy values between the two dose distributions was less than 5 percentage points for all but one patient.Conclusions:
This study demonstrates a proof of concept that patient anatomy can be used to predict appropriate objective function weights for treatment planning. In the long term, such geometry-driven weights may serve as a starting point for iterative treatment plan design or may provide information about the most clinically relevant region of the Pareto surface to explore.
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828845View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To evaluate a patient-specific QA program and system for constancy checking of a scanning delivery system developed at the National Institute of Radiological Sciences.Methods:
For the patient-specific QA, all the planned beams are recalculated on a water phantom with treatment planning software (TPS). The recalculated dose distributions are compared with the measured distributions using a 2D ionization chamber array at several depths, and evaluated using gamma index analysis with criteria of 3% and 3 mm and a pass rate of 90%. For the constancy check, the authors developed the multiwire proportional chamber (MWPC), which can record the delivered 2D fluence images in a slice-by-slice manner. During irradiation for dosimetric QA with the 2D ionization chamber array and an accordion-type water phantom, the 2D fluence images are recorded using the MWPC in the delivery system. These recorded images are then compared to those taken in the treatment session to check the constancy check. This analysis also employs gamma index analysis using the same criteria as in the patient-specific QA. These patient-specific QA and constancy check evaluations were performed using the data of 122 patients.Results:
In the patient-specific QA, the measured dose distributions agreed well with those calculated by the TPS, and the QA criteria were satisfied in all measurements. The additional check of the fluence comparison ensured the constancy of the delivered field during each treatment irradiation.Conclusions:
The authors established a patient-specific QA program and additional check of delivery constancy in every treatment session. Fluence comparison is a strong tool for constancy checking of the delivery system.
Improving spot-scanning proton therapy patient specific quality assurance with HPlusQA, a second-check dose calculation engine40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828775View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The purpose of this study was to validate the use of HPlusQA, spot-scanning proton therapy (SSPT) dose calculation software developed at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, as second-check dose calculation software for patient-specific quality assurance (PSQA). The authors also showed how HPlusQA can be used within the current PSQA framework.Methods:
The authors compared the dose calculations of HPlusQA and the Eclipse treatment planning system with 106 planar dose measurements made as part of PSQA. To determine the relative performance and the degree of correlation between HPlusQA and Eclipse, the authors compared calculated with measured point doses. Then, to determine how well HPlusQA can predict when the comparisons between Eclipse calculations and the measured dose will exceed tolerance levels, the authors compared gamma index scores for HPlusQA versus Eclipse with those of measured doses versus Eclipse. The authors introduce theαβγ transformation as a way to more easily compare gamma scores.Results:
The authors compared measured and calculated dose planes using the relative depth, z/R × 100%, where z is the depth of the measurement and R is the proton beam range. For relative depths than less than 80%, both Eclipse and HPlusQA calculations were within 2 cGy of dose measurements on average. When the relative depth was greater than 80%, the agreement between the calculations and measurements fell to 4 cGy. For relative depths less than 10%, the Eclipse and HPlusQA dose discrepancies showed a negative correlation, −0.21. Otherwise, the correlation between the dose discrepancies was positive and as large as 0.6. For the dose planes in this study, HPlusQA correctly predicted when Eclipse had and had not calculated the dose to within tolerance 92% and 79% of the time, respectively. In 4 of 106 cases, HPlusQA failed to predict when the comparison between measurement and Eclipse's calculation had exceeded the tolerance levels of 3% for dose and 3 mm for distance-to-agreement.Conclusions:
The authors found HPlusQA to be reasonably effective (79% ± 10%) in determining when the comparison between measured dose planes and the dose planes calculated by the Eclipse treatment planning system had exceeded the acceptable tolerance levels. When used as described in this study, HPlusQA can reduce the need for patient specific quality assurance measurements by 64%. The authors believe that the use of HPlusQA as a dose calculation second check can increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the QA process.
I-125 ROPES eye plaque dosimetry: Validation of a commercial 3D ophthalmic brachytherapy treatment planning system and independent dose calculation software with GafChromic® EBT3 films40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4828786View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The purpose of this study was to measure the dose distributions for different Radiation Oncology Physics and Engineering Services, Australia (ROPES) type eye plaques loaded with I-125 (model 6711) seeds using GafChromic® EBT3 films, in order to verify the dose distributions in the Plaque Simulator™ (PS) ophthalmic 3D treatment planning system. The brachytherapy module of RADCALC® was used to independently check the dose distributions calculated by PS. Correction factors were derived from the measured data to be used in PS to account for the effect of the stainless steel ROPES plaque backing on the 3D dose distribution.Methods:
Using GafChromic® EBT3 films inserted in a specially designed Solid Water™ eye ball phantom, dose distributions were measured three-dimensionally both along and perpendicular to I-125 (model 6711) loaded ROPES eye plaque's central axis (CAX) with 2 mm depth increments. Each measurement was performed in full scatter conditions both with and without the stainless steel plaque backing attached to the eye plaque, to assess its effect on the dose distributions. Results were compared to the dose distributions calculated by Plaque Simulator™ and checked independently with RADCALC®.Results:
The EBT3 film measurements without the stainless steel backing were found to agree with PS and RADCALC® to within 2% and 4%, respectively, on the plaque CAX. Also, RADCALC® was found to agree with PS to within 2%. The CAX depth doses measured using EBT3 film with the stainless steel backing were observed to result in a 4% decrease relative to when the backing was not present. Within experimental uncertainty, the 4% decrease was found to be constant with depth and independent of plaque size. Using a constant dose correction factor of T = 0.96 in PS, where the calculated dose for the full water scattering medium is reduced by 4% in every voxel in the dose grid, the effect of the plaque backing was accurately modeled in the planning system. Off-axis profiles were also modeled in PS by taking into account the three-dimensional model of the plaque backing.Conclusions:
The doses calculated by PS and RADCALC® for uniformly loaded ROPES plaques in full and uniform scattering conditions were validated by the EBT3 film measurements. The stainless steel plaque backing was observed to decrease the measured dose by 4%. Through the introduction of a scalar correction factor (0.96) in PS, the dose homogeneity effect of the stainless steel plaque backing was found to agree with the measured EBT3 film measurements.
Motion-map constrained image reconstruction (MCIR): Application to four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829504View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Utilization of respiratory correlated four-dimensional cone-beam computed tomography (4DCBCT) has enabled verification of internal target motion and volume immediately prior to treatment. However, with current standard CBCT scan, 4DCBCT poses challenge for reconstruction due to the fact that multiple phase binning leads to insufficient number of projection data to reconstruct and thus cause streaking artifacts. The purpose of this study is to develop a novel 4DCBCT reconstruction algorithm framework called motion-map constrained image reconstruction (MCIR), that allows reconstruction of high quality and high phase resolution 4DCBCT images with no more than the imaging dose as well as projections used in a standard free breathing 3DCBCT (FB-3DCBCT) scan.Methods:
The unknown 4DCBCT volume at each phase was mathematically modeled as a combination of FB-3DCBCT and phase-specific update vector which has an associated motion-map matrix. The motion-map matrix, which is the key innovation of the MCIR algorithm, was defined as the matrix that distinguishes voxels that are moving from stationary ones. This 4DCBCT model was then reconstructed with compressed sensing (CS) reconstruction framework such that the voxels with high motion would be aggressively updated by the phase-wise sorted projections and the voxels with less motion would be minimally updated to preserve the FB-3DCBCT. To evaluate the performance of our proposed MCIR algorithm, we evaluated both numerical phantoms and a lung cancer patient. The results were then compared with the (1) clinical FB-3DCBCT reconstructed using the FDK, (2) 4DCBCT reconstructed using the FDK, and (3) 4DCBCT reconstructed using the well-known prior image constrained compressed sensing (PICCS).Results:
Examination of the MCIR algorithm showed that high phase-resolved 4DCBCT with sets of up to 20 phases using a typical FB-3DCBCT scan could be reconstructed without compromising the image quality. Moreover, in comparison with other published algorithms, the image quality of the MCIR algorithm is shown to be excellent.Conclusions:
This work demonstrates the potential for providing high-quality 4DCBCT during on-line image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), without increasing the imaging dose. The results showed that (at least) 20 phase images could be reconstructed using the same projections data, used to reconstruct a single FB-3DCBCT, without streak artifacts that are caused by insufficient projections.
Tomotherapy treatment plan quality assurance: The impact of applied criteria on passing rate in gamma index method40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829515View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Pretreatment patient plan verification with gamma index (GI) metric analysis is standard procedure for intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the variability of the local and global gamma index obtained during standard pretreatment quality assurance (QA) measurements for plans performed with Tomotherapy unit. The QA measurements were performed with a 3D diode array, using variable passing criteria: 3%/3 mm, 2%/2 mm, 1%/1 mm, each with both local and global normalization.Methods:
The authors analyzed the pretreatment QA results for 73 verifications; 37 were prostate cancer plans, 16 were head and neck plans, and 20 were other clinical sites. All plans were treated using the Tomotherapy Hi-Art System. Pretreatment QA plans were performed with the commercially available 3D diode array ArcCHECK™. This device has 1386 diodes arranged in a helical geometry spaced 1 cm apart. The dose measurements were acquired on the ArcCHECK™ and then compared with the calculated dose using the standard gamma analysis method. The gamma passing rate (%GP), defined as the percentage of points satisfying the condition GI < 1, was calculated for different criteria (3%/3 mm, 2%/2 mm, 1%/1 mm) and for both global and local normalization. In the case of local normalization method, the authors set three dose difference threshold (DDT) values of 2, 3, and 5 cGy. Dose difference threshold is defined as the minimum absolute dose error considered in the analysis when using local normalization. Low-dose thresholds (TH) of 5% and 10% were also applied and analyzed.Results:
Performing a paired-t-test, the authors determined that the gamma passing rate is independent of the threshold values for all of the adopted criteria (5%TH vs 10%TH, p > 0.1). Our findings showed that mean %GPs for local (or global) normalization for the entire study group were 93% (98%), 84% (92%), and 66% (61%) for 3%/3 mm, 2%/2 mm, and 1%/1 mm criteria, respectively. DDT was equal to 2 cGy for the local normalization analysis cases. The authors observed great variability in the resulting %GP. With 3%/3 mm gamma criteria, the overall passing rate with local normalization was 4.6% less on the average than with global one, as expected. The wide difference between %GP calculated with global or local approach is also confirmed by an unpaired t-test statistical analysis.Conclusions:
The variability of %GP obtained confirmed the necessity to establish defined agreement criteria that could be universal and comparable between institutions. In particular, while the gamma passing rate does not depend on the choice of threshold, the choice of DDT strongly influences the gamma passing rate for local calculations. The difference between global and local %GP was statistically significant for prostate and other treatment sites when DDT was changed from 2 to 3 cGy.
Patient-specific quantification of respiratory motion-induced dose uncertainty for step-and-shoot IMRT of lung cancer40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829522View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The objective of this study was to quantify respiratory motion-induced dose uncertainty at the planning stage for step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) using an analytical technique.Methods:
Ten patients with stage II/III lung cancer who had undergone a planning four-dimensional (4D) computed tomographic scan and step-and-shoot IMRT planning were selected with a mix of motion and tumor size for this retrospective study. A step-and-shoot IMRT plan was generated for each patient. The maximum and minimum doses with respiratory motion were calculated for each plan, and the mean deviation from the 4D dose was calculated, taking delivery time, fractionation, and patient breathing cycle into consideration.Results:
For all patients evaluated in this study, the mean deviation from the 4D dose in the planning target volume (PTV) was <2.5%, with a standard deviation <1.2%, and maximum point dose variation from the 4D dose was <6.2% in the PTV assuming delivery dose rate of 200 MU/min and patient breathing cycle of 8 s. The motion-induced dose uncertainty is a function of motion, fractionation, MU (plan modulation), dose rate, and patient breathing cycle.Conclusions:
Respiratory motion-induced dose uncertainty varies from patient to patient. Therefore, it is important to evaluate the dose uncertainty on a patient-specific basis, which could be useful for plan evaluation and treatment strategy determination for selected patients.
Four-dimensional Monte Carlo simulations demonstrating how the extent of intensity-modulation impacts motion effects in proton therapy lung treatments40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829500View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To compare motion effects in intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) lung treatments with different levels of intensity modulation.Methods:
Spot scanning IMPT treatment plans were generated for ten lung cancer patients for 2.5Gy(RBE) and 12Gy(RBE) fractions and two distinct energy-dependent spot sizes (σ ∼8–17 mm and ∼2–4 mm). IMPT plans were generated with the target homogeneity of each individual field restricted to <20% (IMPT20%). These plans were compared to full IMPT (IMPTfull), which had no restriction on the single field homogeneity. 4D Monte Carlo simulations were performed upon the patient 4DCT geometry, including deformable image registration and incorporating the detailed timing structure of the proton delivery system. Motion effects were quantified via comparison of the results of the 4D simulations (4D-IMPT20%, 4D-IMPTfull) with those of a 3D Monte Carlo simulation (3D-IMPT20%, 3D-IMPTfull) upon the planning CT using the equivalent uniform dose (EUD), V95 and D1-D99. The effects in normal lung were quantified using mean lung dose (MLD) and V90%.Results:
For 2.5Gy(RBE), the mean EUD for the large spot size is 99.9% ± 2.8% for 4D-IMPT20% compared to 100.1% ± 2.9% for 4D-IMPTfull. The corresponding values are 88.6% ± 8.7% (4D-IMPT20%) and 91.0% ± 9.3% (4D-IMPTfull) for the smaller spot size. The EUD value is higher in 69.7% of the considered deliveries for 4D-IMPTfull. The V95 is also higher in 74.7% of the plans for 4D-IMPTfull, implying that IMPTfull plans experience less underdose compared to IMPT20%. However, the target dose homogeneity is improved in the majority (67.8%) of plans for 4D-IMPT20%. The higher EUD and V95 suggests that the degraded homogeneity in IMPTfull is actually due to the introduction of hot spots in the target volume, perhaps resulting from the sharper in-target dose gradients. The greatest variations between the IMPT20% and IMPTfull deliveries are observed for patients with the largest motion amplitudes. These patients would likely be treated using gating or another motion mitigation technique, which was not the focus of this study.Conclusions:
For the treatment parameters considered in this study, the differences between IMPTfull and IMPT20% are only likely to be clinically significant for patients with large (>20 mm) motion amplitudes.
Monte Carlo and analytical model predictions of leakage neutron exposures from passively scattered proton therapy40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829512View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Stray neutron radiation is of concern after radiation therapy, especially in children, because of the high risk it might carry for secondary cancers. Several previous studies predicted the stray neutron exposure from proton therapy, mostly using Monte Carlo simulations. Promising attempts to develop analytical models have also been reported, but these were limited to only a few proton beam energies. The purpose of this study was to develop an analytical model to predict leakage neutron equivalent dose from passively scattered proton beams in the 100-250-MeV interval.Methods:
To develop and validate the analytical model, the authors used values of equivalent dose per therapeutic absorbed dose (H/D) predicted with Monte Carlo simulations. The authors also characterized the behavior of the mean neutron radiation-weighting factor, , as a function of depth in a water phantom and distance from the beam central axis.Results:
The simulated and analytical predictions agreed well. On average, the percentage difference between the analytical model and the Monte Carlo simulations was 10% for the energies and positions studied. The authors found that was highest at the shallowest depth and decreased with depth until around 10 cm, where it started to increase slowly with depth. This was consistent among all energies.Conclusion:
Simple analytical methods are promising alternatives to complex and slow Monte Carlo simulations to predict H/D values. The authors' results also provide improved understanding of the behavior of which strongly depends on depth, but is nearly independent of lateral distance from the beam central axis.
Three independent one-dimensional margins for single-fraction frameless stereotactic radiosurgery brain cases using CBCT40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829517View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Setting a proper margin is crucial for not only delivering the required radiation dose to a target volume, but also reducing the unnecessary radiation to the adjacent organs at risk. This study investigated the independent one-dimensional symmetric and asymmetric margins between the clinical target volume (CTV) and the planning target volume (PTV) for linac-based single-fraction frameless stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS).Methods:
The authors assumed a Dirac delta function for the systematic error of a specific machine and a Gaussian function for the residual setup errors. Margin formulas were then derived in details to arrive at a suitable CTV-to-PTV margin for single-fraction frameless SRS. Such a margin ensured that the CTV would receive the prescribed dose in 95% of the patients. To validate our margin formalism, the authors retrospectively analyzed nine patients who were previously treated with noncoplanar conformal beams. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) was used in the patient setup. The isocenter shifts between the CBCT and linac were measured for a Varian Trilogy linear accelerator for three months. For each plan, the authors shifted the isocenter of the plan in each direction by ±3 mm simultaneously to simulate the worst setup scenario. Subsequently, the asymptotic behavior of the CTV V80% for each patient was studied as the setup error approached the CTV-PTV margin.Results:
The authors found that the proper margin for single-fraction frameless SRS cases with brain cancer was about 3 mm for the machine investigated in this study. The isocenter shifts between the CBCT and the linac remained almost constant over a period of three months for this specific machine. This confirmed our assumption that the machine systematic error distribution could be approximated as a delta function. This definition is especially relevant to a single-fraction treatment. The prescribed dose coverage for all the patients investigated was 96.1% ± 5.5% with an extreme 3-mm setup error in all three directions simultaneously. It was found that the effect of the setup error on dose coverage was tumor location dependent. It mostly affected the tumors located in the posterior part of the brain, resulting in a minimum coverage of approximately 72%. This was entirely due to the unique geometry of the posterior head.Conclusions:
Margin expansion formulas were derived for single-fraction frameless SRS such that the CTV would receive the prescribed dose in 95% of the patients treated for brain cancer. The margins defined in this study are machine-specific and account for nonzero mean systematic error. The margin for single-fraction SRS for a group of machines was also derived in this paper.
Repopulation of interacting tumor cells during fractionated radiotherapy: Stochastic modeling of the tumor control probability40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829495View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Optimal treatment planning for fractionated external beam radiation therapy requires inputs from radiobiology based on recent thinking about the “five Rs” (repopulation, radiosensitivity, reoxygenation, redistribution, and repair). The need is especially acute for the newer, often individualized, protocols made feasible by progress in image guided radiation therapy and dose conformity. Current stochastic tumor control probability (TCP) models incorporating tumor repopulation effects consider “stem-like cancer cells” (SLCC) to be independent, but the authors here propose that SLCC-SLCC interactions may be significant. The authors present a new stochastic TCP model for repopulating SLCC interacting within microenvironmental niches. Our approach is meant mainly for comparing similar protocols. It aims at practical generalizations of previous mathematical models.Methods:
The authors consider protocols with complete sublethal damage repair between fractions. The authors use customized open-source software and recent mathematical approaches from stochastic process theory for calculating the time-dependent SLCC number and thereby estimating SLCC eradication probabilities. As specific numerical examples, the authors consider predicted TCP results for a 2 Gy per fraction, 60 Gy protocol compared to 64 Gy protocols involving early or late boosts in a limited volume to some fractions.Results:
In sample calculations with linear quadratic parameters α = 0.3 per Gy, α/β = 10 Gy, boosting is predicted to raise TCP from a dismal 14.5% observed in some older protocols for advanced NSCLC to above 70%. This prediction is robust as regards: (a) the assumed values of parameters other than α and (b) the choice of models for intraniche SLCC-SLCC interactions. However, α = 0.03 per Gy leads to a prediction of almost no improvement when boosting.Conclusions:
The predicted efficacy of moderate boosts depends sensitively on α. Presumably, the larger values of α are the ones appropriate for individualized treatment protocols, with the smaller values relevant only to protocols for a heterogeneous patient population. On that assumption, boosting is predicted to be highly effective. Front boosting, apart from practical advantages and a possible advantage as regards iatrogenic second cancers, also probably gives a slightly higher TCP than back boosting. If the total number of SLCC at the start of treatment can be measured even roughly, it will provide a highly sensitive way of discriminating between various models and parameter choices. Updated mathematical methods for calculating repopulation allow credible generalizations of earlier results.
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829501View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
4D-CT typically delivers more accurate information about anatomical structures in the lung, over 3D-CT, due to its ability to capture visual information of the lung motion across different respiratory phases. This helps to better determine the dose during radiation therapy for lung cancer. However, a critical concern with 4D-CT that substantially compromises this advantage is the low superior-inferior resolution due to less number of acquired slices, in order to control the CT radiation dose. To address this limitation, the authors propose an approach to reconstruct missing intermediate slices, so as to improve the superior-inferior resolution.Methods:
In this method the authors exploit the observation that sampling information across respiratory phases in 4D-CT can be complimentary due to lung motion. The authors’ approach uses this locally complimentary information across phases in a patch-based sparse-representation framework. Moreover, unlike some recent approaches that treat local patches independently, the authors’ approach employs the group-sparsity framework that imposes neighborhood and similarity constraints between patches. This helps in mitigating the trade-off between noise robustness and structure preservation, which is an important consideration in resolution enhancement. The authors discuss the regularizing ability of group-sparsity, which helps in reducing the effect of noise and enables better structural localization and enhancement.Results:
The authors perform extensive experiments on the publicly available DIR-Lab Lung 4D-CT dataset [R. Castillo, E. Castillo, R. Guerra, V. Johnson, T. McPhail, A. Garg, and T. Guerrero, “A framework for evaluation of deformable image registration spatial accuracy using large landmark point sets,” Phys. Med. Biol.54, 1849–1870 (2009)]. First, the authors carry out empirical parametric analysis of some important parameters in their approach. The authors then demonstrate, qualitatively as well as quantitatively, the ability of their approach to achieve more accurate and better localized results over bicubic interpolation as well as a related state-of-the-art approach. The authors also show results on some datasets with tumor, to further emphasize the clinical importance of their method.Conclusions:
The authors have proposed to improve the superior-inferior resolution of 4D-CT by estimating intermediate slices. The authors’ approach exploits neighboring constraints in the group-sparsity framework, toward the goal of achieving better localization and noise robustness. The authors’ results are encouraging, and positively demonstrate the role of group-sparsity for 4D-CT resolution enhancement.
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4829595View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To investigate the possibility of detecting patient mispositioning in carbon-ion therapy with particle therapy positron emission tomography (PET) in an automated image registration based manner.Methods:
Tumors in the head and neck (H&N), pelvic, lung, and brain region were investigated. Biologically optimized carbon ion treatment plans were created with TRiP98. From these treatment plans, the reference β+-activity distributions were calculated using a Monte Carlo simulation. Setup errors were simulated by shifting or rotating the computed tomography (CT). The expected β+ activity was calculated for each plan with shifts. Finally, the reference particle therapy PET images were compared to the “shifted” β+-activity distribution simulations using the Pearson's correlation coefficient (PCC). To account for different PET monitoring options the inbeam PET was compared to three different inroom scenarios. Additionally, the dosimetric effects of the CT misalignments were investigated.Results:
The automated PCC detection of patient mispositioning was possible in the investigated indications for cranio-caudal shifts of 4 mm and more, except for prostate tumors. In the rather homogeneous pelvic region, the generated β+-activity distribution of the reference and compared PET image were too much alike. Thus, setup errors in this region could not be detected. Regarding lung lesions the detection strongly depended on the exact tumor location: in the center of the lung tumor misalignments could be detected down to 2 mm shifts while resolving shifts of tumors close to the thoracic wall was more challenging. Rotational shifts in the H&N and lung region of +6° and more could be detected using inroom PET and partly using inbeam PET. Comparing inroom PET to inbeam PET no obvious trend was found. However, among the inroom scenarios a longer measurement time was found to be advantageous.Conclusions:
This study scopes the use of various particle therapy PET verification techniques in four indications. The automated detection of patients' setup errors was investigated in a broad accumulation of data sets. The evaluation of introduced setup errors is performed automatically, which is of utmost importance to introduce highly required particle therapy monitoring devices into the clinical routine.