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Volume 40, Issue 8, August 2013
Emission guided radiation therapy (EGRT) is a new modality that uses PET emissions in real-time for direct tumor tracking during radiation delivery. Radiation beamlets are delivered along positron emission tomography (PET) lines of response (LORs) by a fast rotating ring therapy unit consisting of a linear accelerator (Linac) and PET detectors. The feasibility of tumor tracking and a primitive modulation method to compensate for attenuation have been demonstrated using a 4D digital phantom in our prior work. However, the essential capability of achieving dose modulation as in conventional intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatments remains absent. In this work, the authors develop a planning scheme for EGRT to accomplish sophisticated intensity modulation based on an IMRT plan while preserving tumor tracking.Methods:
The planning scheme utilizes a precomputed LOR response probability distribution to achieve desired IMRT planning modulation with effects of inhomogeneous attenuation and nonuniform background activity distribution accounted for. Evaluation studies are performed on a 4D digital patient with a simulated lung tumor and a clinical patient who has a moving breast cancer metastasis in the lung. The Linac dose delivery is simulated using a voxel-based Monte Carlo algorithm. The IMRT plan is optimized for a planning target volume (PTV) that encompasses the tumor motion using the MOSEK package and a Pinnacle3™ workstation (Philips Healthcare, Fitchburg, WI) for digital and clinical patients, respectively. To obtain the emission data for both patients, the Geant4 application for tomographic emission (GATE) package and a commercial PET scanner are used. As a comparison, 3D and helical IMRT treatments covering the same PTV based on the same IMRT plan are simulated.Results:
3D and helical IMRT treatments show similar dose distribution. In the digital patient case, compared with the 3D IMRT treatment, EGRT achieves a 15.1% relative increase in dose to 95% of the gross tumor volume (GTV) and a 31.8% increase to 50% of the GTV. In the patient case, EGRT yields a 15.2% relative increase in dose to 95% of the GTV and a 20.7% increase to 50% of the GTV. The organs at risk (OARs) doses are kept similar or lower for EGRT in both cases. Tumor tracking is observed in the presence of planning modulation in all EGRT treatments.Conclusions:
As compared to conventional IMRT treatments, the proposed EGRT planning scheme allows an escalated target dose while keeping dose to the OARs within the same planning limits. With the capabilities of incorporating planning modulation and accurate tumor tracking, EGRT has the potential to greatly improve targeting in radiation therapy and enable a practical and effective implementation of 4D radiation therapy for planning and delivery.
- REVIEW ARTICLE (Online only)
40(2013); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4813296View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
With recently introduced technical innovations for CT systems, the dose of CT scan acquisitions has been substantially reduced; even effective dose values below 1 mSv have been reported. Due to this development, dose of the localizer radiograph may contribute substantially to dose of the whole CT examination. Since there are only limited data in the literature regarding patient dose for the different types of localizer radiographs, patient dose values were estimated in our study by measurements and Monte Carlo simulations and compared to dose values of typical CT examinations.Methods:
First, dose distributions were measured in anthropomorphic phantoms for three different body regions (head, thorax, abdomen-pelvic) and three positions of the x-ray tube (AP, PA, and lateral views); measured values were compared to simulated data using Monte Carlo techniques for validation purposes. Second, organ and effective dose values for the various investigated localizer radiograph scenarios were calculated and compared with published dose values for standard CT and low-dose CT examinations.Results:
For the anthropomorphic phantom, deviations of the dose values between measured and calculated results were in the range of 15%. Organ and effective dose values showed a strong dependence on the tube position. The largest differences were observed for chest localizer radiographs in the female phantom for the dose to the breast (AP: 1.01 mGy vs PA: 0.24 mGy). Overall effective dose values were in the range of 0.04–0.42 mSv per localizer radiograph acquisition.Conclusions:
In view of the technical dose-reducing innovations in CT, localizer radiographs may substantially contribute to the total dose of the whole CT examination, particularly in the case of dedicated low-dose scans used, e.g., for young patients or screening purposes. Optimization of dose in localizer radiographs should be pursued further in the same way as it was done in CT.