Volume 42, Issue 4, April 2015
Index of content:
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4903901View Description Hide Description
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
A deformable head and neck phantom with in-vivo dosimetry for adaptive radiotherapy quality assurance42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4908205View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Patients’ interfractional anatomic changes can compromise the initial treatment plan quality. To overcome this issue, adaptive radiotherapy (ART) has been introduced. Deformable image registration (DIR) is an important tool for ART and several deformable phantoms have been built to evaluate the algorithms’ accuracy. However, there is a lack of deformable phantoms that can also provide dosimetric information to verify the accuracy of the whole ART process. The goal of this work is to design and construct a deformable head and neck (HN) ART quality assurance (QA) phantom with in vivo dosimetry.Methods:
An axial slice of a HN patient is taken as a model for the phantom construction. Six anatomic materials are considered, with HU numbers similar to a real patient. A filled balloon inside the phantom tissue is inserted to simulate tumor. Deflation of the balloon simulates tumor shrinkage. Nonradiopaque surface markers, which do not influence DIR algorithms, provide the deformation ground truth. Fixed and movable holders are built in the phantom to hold a diode for dosimetric measurements.Results:
The measured deformations at the surface marker positions can be compared with deformations calculated by a DIR algorithm to evaluate its accuracy. In this study, the authors selected a Demons algorithm as a DIR algorithm example for demonstration purposes. The average error magnitude is 2.1 mm. The point dose measurements from the in vivo diode dosimeters show a good agreement with the calculated doses from the treatment planning system with a maximum difference of 3.1% of prescription dose, when the treatment plans are delivered to the phantom with original or deformed geometry.Conclusions:
In this study, the authors have presented the functionality of this deformable HN phantom for testing the accuracy of DIR algorithms and verifying the ART dosimetric accuracy. The authors’ experiments demonstrate the feasibility of this phantom serving as an end-to-end ART QA phantom.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914166View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Due to the potentially periodic collimator dynamic in volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) dose deliveries with the sweeping-window arc therapy (SWAT) technique, additional manifestations of dosimetric deviations in the presence of intrafractional motion may occur. With a fast multileaf collimator (MLC), and a flattening filter free dose delivery, treatment times close to 60 s per fraction are clinical reality. For these treatment sequences, the human breathing period can be close to the collimator sweeping period. Compared to a random arrangement of the segments, this will cause a further degradation of the dose homogeneity.Methods:
Fifty VMAT sequences of potentially moving target volumes were delivered on a two dimensional ionization chamber array. In order to detect interplay effects along all three coordinate axes, time resolved measurements were performed twice—with the detector aligned in vertical (V) or horizontal (H) orientation. All dose matrices were then moved within a simulation software by a time-dependent motion vector. The minimum relative equivalent uniform dose EUD r,m for all breathing starting phases was determined for each amplitude and period. Furthermore, an estimation of periods with minimum EUD was performed. Additionally, LINAC logfiles were recorded during plan delivery. The MLC, jaw, gantry angle, and monitor unit settings were continuously saved and used to calculate the correlation coefficient between the target motion and the dose weighed collimator motion component for each direction (CC, LR, AP) separately.Results:
The resulting EUD r,m were EUD r,m (CC V ) = (98.3 ± 0.6)%, EUD r,m (CC H ) = (98.6 ± 0.5)%, EUD r,m (AP V ) = (97.7 ± 0.9)%, and EUD r,m (LR H ) = (97.8 ± 0.9)%. The overall minimum relative EUD observed for 360∘ arc midventilation treatments was 94.6%. The treatment plan with the shortest period and a minimum relative EUD of less than 97% was found at T = 6.1 s. For a partial 120∘ arc, an EUD r,m = 92.0% was found. In all cases, a correlation coefficient above 0.5 corresponded to a minimum in EUD.Conclusions:
With the advent of fast VMAT delivery techniques, nonrobust treatment sequences for human breathing patterns can be generated. These sequences are characterized by a large correlation coefficient between a target motion component and the corresponding collimator dynamic. By iteratively decreasing the maximum allowed dose rate, a low correlation coefficient and consequentially a robust treatment sequence are ensured.
Ion chamber absorbed dose calibration coefficients, N D,w , measured at ADCLs: Distribution analysis and stability42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914381View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To analyze absorbed dose calibration coefficients, N D,w , measured at accredited dosimetry calibration laboratories (ADCLs) for client ionization chambers to study (i) variability among N D,w coefficients for chambers of the same type calibrated at each ADCL to investigate ion chamber volume fluctuations and chamber manufacturing tolerances; (ii) equivalency of ion chamber calibration coefficients measured at different ADCLs by intercomparing N D,w coefficients for chambers of the same type; and (iii) the long-term stability of N D,w coefficients for different chamber types by investigating repeated chamber calibrations.Methods:
Large samples of N D,w coefficients for several chamber types measured over the time period between 1998 and 2014 were obtained from the three ADCLs operating in the United States. These are analyzed using various graphical and numerical statistical tests for the four chamber types with the largest samples of calibration coefficients to investigate (i) and (ii) above. Ratios of calibration coefficients for the same chamber, typically obtained two years apart, are calculated to investigate (iii) above and chambers with standard deviations of old/new ratios less than 0.3% meet stability requirements for accurate reference dosimetry recommended in dosimetry protocols.Results:
It is found that N D,w coefficients for a given chamber type compared among different ADCLs may arise from differing probability distributions potentially due to slight differences in calibration procedures and/or the transfer of the primary standard. However, average N D,w coefficients from different ADCLs for given chamber types are very close with percent differences generally less than 0.2% for Farmer-type chambers and are well within reported uncertainties.Conclusions:
The close agreement among calibrations performed at different ADCLs reaffirms the Calibration Laboratory Accreditation Subcommittee process of ensuring ADCL conformance with National Institute of Standards and Technology standards. This study shows that N D,w coefficients measured at different ADCLs are statistically equivalent, especially considering reasonable uncertainties. This analysis of N D,w coefficients also allows identification of chamber types that can be considered stable enough for accurate reference dosimetry.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914140View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To develop and evaluate the clinical applicability of advanced machine learning models that simultaneously predict multiple optimization objective function weights from patient geometry for intensity-modulated radiation therapy of prostate cancer.Methods:
A previously developed inverse optimization method was applied retrospectively to determine optimal objective function weights for 315 treated patients. The authors used an overlap volume ratio (OV) of bladder and rectum for different PTV expansions and overlap volume histogram slopes (OVSR and OVSB for the rectum and bladder, respectively) as explanatory variables that quantify patient geometry. Using the optimal weights as ground truth, the authors trained and applied three prediction models: logistic regression (LR), multinomial logistic regression (MLR), and weighted K-nearest neighbor (KNN). The population average of the optimal objective function weights was also calculated.Results:
The OV at 0.4 cm and OVSR at 0.1 cm features were found to be the most predictive of the weights. The authors observed comparable performance (i.e., no statistically significant difference) between LR, MLR, and KNN methodologies, with LR appearing to perform the best. All three machine learning models outperformed the population average by a statistically significant amount over a range of clinical metrics including bladder/rectum V53Gy, bladder/rectum V70Gy, and dose to the bladder, rectum, CTV, and PTV. When comparing the weights directly, the LR model predicted bladder and rectum weights that had, on average, a 73% and 74% relative improvement over the population average weights, respectively. The treatment plans resulting from the LR weights had, on average, a rectum V70Gy that was 35% closer to the clinical plan and a bladder V70Gy that was 29% closer, compared to the population average weights. Similar results were observed for all other clinical metrics.Conclusions:
The authors demonstrated that the KNN and MLR weight prediction methodologies perform comparably to the LR model and can produce clinical quality treatment plans by simultaneously predicting multiple weights that capture trade-offs associated with sparing multiple OARs.
Comparison of film measurements and Monte Carlo simulations of dose delivered with very high-energy electron beams in a polystyrene phantom42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914371View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To measure radiation dose in a water-equivalent medium from very high-energy electron (VHEE) beams and make comparisons to Monte Carlo (MC) simulation results.Methods:
Dose in a polystyrene phantom delivered by an experimental VHEE beam line was measured with Gafchromic films for three 50 MeV and two 70 MeV Gaussian beams of 4.0–6.9 mm FWHM and compared to corresponding MC-simulated dose distributions. MC dose in the polystyrene phantom was calculated with the EGSnrc/BEAMnrc and DOSXYZnrc codes based on the experimental setup. Additionally, the effect of 2% beam energy measurement uncertainty and possible non-zero beam angular spread on MC dose distributions was evaluated.Results:
MC simulated percentage depth dose (PDD) curves agreed with measurements within 4% for all beam sizes at both 50 and 70 MeV VHEE beams. Central axis PDD at 8 cm depth ranged from 14% to 19% for the 5.4–6.9 mm 50 MeV beams and it ranged from 14% to 18% for the 4.0–4.5 mm 70 MeV beams. MC simulated relative beam profiles of regularly shaped Gaussian beams evaluated at depths of 0.64 to 7.46 cm agreed with measurements to within 5%. A 2% beam energy uncertainty and 0.286° beam angular spread corresponded to a maximum 3.0% and 3.8% difference in depth dose curves of the 50 and 70 MeV electron beams, respectively. Absolute dose differences between MC simulations and film measurements of regularly shaped Gaussian beams were between 10% and 42%.Conclusions:
The authors demonstrate that relative dose distributions for VHEE beams of 50–70 MeV can be measured with Gafchromic films and modeled with Monte Carlo simulations to an accuracy of 5%. The reported absolute dose differences likely caused by imperfect beam steering and subsequent charge loss revealed the importance of accurate VHEE beam control and diagnostics.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914419View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To evaluate multislice computed tomography (CT) scanning for fast and reliable readout of radiation therapy (RT) dose distributions using CT polymer gel dosimetry (PGD) and to establish a baseline assessment of image noise and uniformity in an unirradiated gel dosimeter.Methods:
A 16-slice CT scanner was used to acquire images through a 1 L cylinder filled with water. Additional images were collected using a single slice machine. The variability in CT number (N CT ) associated with the anode heel effect was evaluated and used to define a new slice-by-slice background subtraction artifact removal technique for CT PGD. Image quality was assessed for the multislice system by evaluating image noise and uniformity. The agreement in N CT for slices acquired simultaneously using the multislice detector array was also examined. Further study was performed to assess the effects of increasing x-ray tube load on the constancy of measured N CT and overall scan time. In all cases, results were compared to the single slice machine. Finally, images were collected throughout the volume of an unirradiated gel dosimeter to quantify image noise and uniformity before radiation is delivered.Results:
Slice-by-slice background subtraction effectively removes the variability in N CT observed across images acquired simultaneously using the multislice scanner and is the recommended background subtraction method when using a multislice CT system. Image noise was higher for the multislice system compared to the single slice scanner, but overall image quality was comparable between the two systems. Further study showed N CT was consistent across image slices acquired simultaneously using the multislice detector array for each detector configuration of the slice thicknesses examined. In addition, the multislice system was found to eliminate variations in N CT due to increasing x-ray tube load and reduce scanning time by a factor of 4 when compared to imaging a large volume using a single slice scanner. Images acquired through an unirradiated, active gel revealed N CT varies between the top and bottom of the 1 L cylinder as well as across the diameter of the cylinder by up to 7 HU.Conclusions:
Multislice CT imaging has been evaluated for CT PGD and found to be the superior technique compared to single slice imaging in terms of the time required to complete a scan and the tube load characteristics associated with each scanning method. The implementation of multislice scanning is straightforward and expected to facilitate routine gel dosimetry measurements for complex dose distributions in modern RT centers.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914391View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To evaluate the feasibility of using optical surface imaging (OSI) to measure the dynamic tidal volume (TV) of the human torso during free breathing.Methods:
We performed experiments to measure volume or volume change in geometric and deformable phantoms as well as human subjects using OSI. To assess the accuracy of OSI in volume determination, we performed experiments using five geometric phantoms and two deformable body phantoms and compared the values with those derived from geometric calculations and computed tomography (CT) measurements, respectively. To apply this technique to human subjects, an institutional review board protocol was established and three healthy volunteers were studied. In the human experiment, a high-speed image capture mode of OSI was applied to acquire torso images at 4–5 frames per second, which was synchronized with conventional spirometric measurements at 5 Hz. An in-house matlab program was developed to interactively define the volume of interest (VOI), separate the thorax and abdomen, and automatically calculate the thoracic and abdominal volumes within the VOIs. The torso volume change (TV C = ΔV torso = ΔV thorax + ΔV abdomen) was automatically calculated using full-exhalation phase as the reference. The volumetric breathing pattern (BP v = ΔV thorax/ΔV torso) quantifying thoracic and abdominal volume variations was also calculated. Under quiet breathing, TVC should equal the tidal volume measured concurrently by a spirometer with a conversion factor (1.08) accounting for internal and external differences of temperature and moisture. Another matlab program was implemented to control the conventional spirometer that was used as the standard.Results:
The volumes measured from the OSI imaging of geometric phantoms agreed with the calculated volumes with a discrepancy of 0.0% ± 1.6% (range −1.9% to 2.5%). In measurements from the deformable torso/thorax phantoms, the volume differences measured using OSI imaging and CT imaging were 1.2% ± 2.1% (range −0.5% to 3.6%), with a linear regression fitting (slope = 1.02 and R 2 = 0.999). In volunteers, the relative error in OSI tidal volume measurement was −2.2% ± 4.9% (range −9.2% to 4.8%) and a correlation of r = 0.98 was found with spirometric measurement. The breathing pattern values of the three volunteers were substantially different from each other (BP v = 0.15, 0.45, and 0.32).Conclusions:
This study demonstrates the feasibility of using OSI to measure breathing tidal volumes and breathing patterns with adequate accuracy. This is the first time that dynamic breathing tidal volume as well as breathing patterns is measured using optical surface imaging. The OSI-observed movement of the entire torso could serve as a new respiratory surrogate in the treatment room during radiation therapy.
Dosimetric measurements of an n-butyl cyanoacrylate embolization material for arteriovenous malformations42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915080View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The therapeutic regimen for cranial arteriovenous malformations often involves both stereotactic radiosurgery and endovascular embolization. Embolization agents may contain tantalum or other contrast agents to assist the neurointerventionalists, leading to concerns regarding the dosimetric effects of these agents. This study investigated dosimetric properties of n-butyl cyanoacrylate (n-BCA) plus lipiodol with and without tantalum powder.Methods:
The embolization agents were provided cured from the manufacturer with and without added tantalum. Attenuation measurements were made for the samples and compared to the attenuation of a solid water substitute using a 6 MV photon beam. Effective linear attenuation coefficients (ELAC) were derived from attenuation measurements made using a portal imager and derived sample thickness maps projected in an identical geometry. Probable dosimetric errors for calculations in which the embolized regions are overridden with the properties of water were calculated using the ELAC values. Interface effects were investigated using a parallel plate ion chamber placed at set distances below fixed samples. Finally, Hounsfield units (HU) were measured using a stereotactic radiosurgery CT protocol, and more appropriate HU values were derived from the ELAC results and the CT scanner’s HU calibration curve.Results:
The ELAC was 0.0516 ± 0.0063 cm−1 and 0.0580 ± 0.0091 cm−1 for n-BCA without and with tantalum, respectively, compared to 0.0487 ± 0.0009 cm−1 for the water substitute. Dose calculations with the embolized region set to be water equivalent in the treatment planning system would result in errors of −0.29% and −0.93% per cm thickness of n-BCA without and with tantalum, respectively. Interface effects compared to water were small in magnitude and limited in distance for both embolization materials. CT values at 120 kVp were 2082 and 2358 HU for n-BCA without and with tantalum, respectively; dosimetrically appropriate HU values were estimated to be 79 and 199 HU, respectively.Conclusions:
The dosimetric properties of the embolization agents are very close to those of water for a 6 MV beam. Therefore, treating the entire intracranial space as uniform in composition will result in less than 1% dosimetric error for n-BCA emboli smaller than 3.4 cm without added tantalum and n-BCA emboli smaller than 1.1 cm with added tantalum. Furthermore, when effective embolization can be achieved by the neurointerventionalist using n-BCA without tantalum, the dosimetric impact of overriding material properties will be lessened. However, due to the high attenuation of embolization agents with and without added tantalum for diagnostic energies, artifacts may occur that necessitate additional imaging to accurately identify the spatial extent of the region to be treated.
Implementation of biological washout processes within gate/geant4—A Monte Carlo study in the case of carbon therapy treatments42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914449View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The imaging of positron emitting isotopes produced during patient irradiation is the only in vivo method used for hadrontherapy dose monitoring in clinics nowadays. However, the accuracy of this method is limited by the loss of signal due to the metabolic decay processes (biological washout). In this work, a generic modeling of washout was incorporated into the gate simulation platform. Additionally, the influence of the washout on the β + activity distributions in terms of absolute quantification and spatial distribution was studied.Methods:
First, the irradiation of a human head phantom with a 12C beam, so that a homogeneous dose distribution was achieved in the tumor, was simulated. The generated 11C and 15O distribution maps were used as β + sources in a second simulation, where the PET scanner was modeled following a detailed Monte Carlo approach. The activity distributions obtained in the presence and absence of washout processes for several clinical situations were compared.Results:
Results show that activity values are highly reduced (by a factor of 2) in the presence of washout. These processes have a significant influence on the shape of the PET distributions. Differences in the distal activity falloff position of 4 mm are observed for a tumor dose deposition of 1 Gy (T ini = 0 min). However, in the case of high doses (3 Gy), the washout processes do not have a large effect on the position of the distal activity falloff (differences lower than 1 mm). The important role of the tumor washout parameters on the activity quantification was also evaluated.Conclusions:
With this implementation, gate/geant 4 is the only open-source code able to simulate the full chain from the hadrontherapy irradiation to the PET dose monitoring including biological effects. Results show the strong impact of the washout processes, indicating that the development of better models and measurement of biological washout data are essential.
Adaptive beamlet-based finite-size pencil beam dose calculation for independent verification of IMRT and VMAT42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914858View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The use of sophisticated dose calculation procedure in modern radiation therapy treatment planning is inevitable in order to account for complex treatment fields created by multileaf collimators (MLCs). As a consequence, independent volumetric dose verification is time consuming, which affects the efficiency of clinical workflow. In this study, the authors present an efficient adaptive beamlet-based finite-size pencil beam (AB-FSPB) dose calculation algorithm that minimizes the computational procedure while preserving the accuracy.Methods:
The computational time of finite-size pencil beam (FSPB) algorithm is proportional to the number of infinitesimal and identical beamlets that constitute an arbitrary field shape. In AB-FSPB, dose distribution from each beamlet is mathematically modeled such that the sizes of beamlets to represent an arbitrary field shape no longer need to be infinitesimal nor identical. As a result, it is possible to represent an arbitrary field shape with combinations of different sized and minimal number of beamlets. In addition, the authors included the model parameters to consider MLC for its rounded edge and transmission.Results:
Root mean square error (RMSE) between treatment planning system and conventional FSPB on a 10 × 10 cm2 square field using 10 × 10, 2.5 × 2.5, and 0.5 × 0.5 cm2 beamlet sizes were 4.90%, 3.19%, and 2.87%, respectively, compared with RMSE of 1.10%, 1.11%, and 1.14% for AB-FSPB. This finding holds true for a larger square field size of 25 × 25 cm2, where RMSE for 25 × 25, 2.5 × 2.5, and 0.5 × 0.5 cm2 beamlet sizes were 5.41%, 4.76%, and 3.54% in FSPB, respectively, compared with RMSE of 0.86%, 0.83%, and 0.88% for AB-FSPB. It was found that AB-FSPB could successfully account for the MLC transmissions without major discrepancy. The algorithm was also graphical processing unit (GPU) compatible to maximize its computational speed. For an intensity modulated radiation therapy (∼12 segments) and a volumetric modulated arc therapy fields (∼90 control points) with a 3D grid size of 2.0 × 2.0 × 2.0 mm3, dose was computed within 3–5 and 10–15 s timeframe, respectively.Conclusions:
The authors have developed an efficient adaptive beamlet-based pencil beam dose calculation algorithm. The fast computation nature along with GPU compatibility has shown better performance than conventional FSPB. This enables the implementation of AB-FSPB in the clinical environment for independent volumetric dose verification.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915286View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The advent of automated beam orientation and fluence optimization enables more complex intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) planning using an increasing number of fields to exploit the expanded solution space. This has created a challenge in converting complex fluences to robust multileaf collimator (MLC) segments for delivery. A novel method to regularize the fluence map and simplify MLC segments is introduced to maximize delivery efficiency, accuracy, and plan quality.Methods:
In this work, we implemented a novel approach to regularize optimized fluences in the dose domain. The treatment planning problem was formulated in an optimization framework to minimize the segmentation-induced dose distribution degradation subject to a total variation regularization to encourage piecewise smoothness in fluence maps. The optimization problem was solved using a first-order primal-dual algorithm known as the Chambolle-Pock algorithm. Plans for 2 GBM, 2 head and neck, and 2 lung patients were created using 20 automatically selected and optimized noncoplanar beams. The fluence was first regularized using Chambolle-Pock and then stratified into equal steps, and the MLC segments were calculated using a previously described level reducing method. Isolated apertures with sizes smaller than preset thresholds of 1–3 bixels, which are square units of an IMRT fluence map from MLC discretization, were removed from the MLC segments. Performance of the dose domain regularized (DDR) fluences was compared to direct stratification and direct MLC segmentation (DMS) of the fluences using level reduction without dose domain fluence regularization.Results:
For all six cases, the DDR method increased the average planning target volume dose homogeneity (D95/D5) from 0.814 to 0.878 while maintaining equivalent dose to organs at risk (OARs). Regularized fluences were more robust to MLC sequencing, particularly to the stratification and small aperture removal. The maximum and mean aperture sizes using the DDR were consistently larger than those from DMS for all tested number of segments.Conclusions:
The fluence map to MLC segmentation conversion problem was formulated as a secondary optimization problem in the dose domain to minimize the smoothness-regularized dose discrepancy. The large scale optimization problem was solved using a primal-dual algorithm that transformed complicated fluences into maps that were more robust to the MLC segmentation and sequencing, affording fewer and larger segments with minimal degradation to dose distribution.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915492View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In recent years, there has been a movement toward single-detector proton radiography, due to its potential ease of implementation within the clinical environment. One such single-detector technique is the dose ratio method in which the dose maps from two pristine Bragg peaks are recorded beyond the patient. To date, this has only been investigated on the distal side of the lower energy Bragg peak, due to the sharp falloff. The authors investigate the limits and applicability of the dose ratio method on the proximal side of the lower energy Bragg peak, which has the potential to allow a much wider range of water-equivalent thicknesses (WET) to be imaged. Comparisons are made with the use of the distal side of the Bragg peak.Methods:
Using the analytical approximation for the Bragg peak, the authors generated theoretical dose ratio curves for a range of energy pairs, and then determined how an uncertainty in the dose ratio would translate to a spread in the WET estimate. By defining this spread as the accuracy one could achieve in the WET estimate, the authors were able to generate lookup graphs of the range on the proximal side of the Bragg peak that one could reliably use. These were dependent on the energy pair, noise level in the dose ratio image and the required accuracy in the WET. Using these lookup graphs, the authors investigated the applicability of the technique for a range of patient treatment sites. The authors validated the theoretical approach with experimental measurements using a complementary metal oxide semiconductor active pixel sensor (CMOS APS), by imaging a small sapphire sphere in a high energy proton beam.Results:
Provided the noise level in the dose ratio image was 1% or less, a larger spread of WETs could be imaged using the proximal side of the Bragg peak (max 5.31 cm) compared to the distal side (max 2.42 cm). In simulation, it was found that, for a pediatric brain, it is possible to use the technique to image a region with a square field equivalent size of 7.6 cm2, for a required accuracy in the WET of 3 mm and a 1% noise level in the dose ratio image. The technique showed limited applicability for other patient sites. The CMOS APS demonstrated a good accuracy, with a root-mean-square-error of 1.6 mm WET. The noise in the measured images was found to be σ = 1.2% (standard deviation) and theoretical predictions with a 1.96σ noise level showed good agreement with the measured errors.Conclusions:
After validating the theoretical approach with measurements, the authors have shown that the use of the proximal side of the Bragg peak when performing dose ratio imaging is feasible, and allows for a wider dynamic range than when using the distal side. The dynamic range available increases as the demand on the accuracy of the WET decreases. The technique can only be applied to clinical sites with small maximum WETs such as for pediatric brains.
Improvement of registration accuracy in accelerated partial breast irradiation using the point-based rigid-body registration algorithm for patients with implanted fiducial markers42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915534View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To investigate image-registration errors when using fiducial markers with a manual method and the point-based rigid-body registration (PRBR) algorithm in accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) patients, with accompanying fiducial deviations.Methods:
Twenty-two consecutive patients were enrolled in a prospective trial examining 10-fraction APBI. Titanium clips were implanted intraoperatively around the seroma in all patients. For image-registration, the positions of the clips in daily kV x-ray images were matched to those in the planning digitally reconstructed radiographs. Fiducial and gravity registration errors (FREs and GREs, respectively), representing resulting misalignments of the edge and center of the target, respectively, were compared between the manual and algorithm-based methods.Results:
In total, 218 fractions were evaluated. Although the mean FRE/GRE values for the manual and algorithm-based methods were within 3 mm (2.3/1.7 and 1.3/0.4 mm, respectively), the percentages of fractions where FRE/GRE exceeded 3 mm using the manual and algorithm-based methods were 18.8%/7.3% and 0%/0%, respectively. Manual registration resulted in 18.6% of patients with fractions of FRE/GRE exceeding 5 mm. The patients with larger clip deviation had significantly more fractions showing large FRE/GRE using manual registration.Conclusions:
For image-registration using fiducial markers in APBI, the manual registration results in more fractions with considerable registration error due to loss of fiducial objectivity resulting from their deviation. The authors recommend the PRBR algorithm as a safe and effective strategy for accurate, image-guided registration and PTV margin reduction.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915541View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Several authors have recommended a 2 mm tolerance for multileaf collimator (MLC) positioning in sliding window treatments. In volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatments, however, the optimal tolerance for MLC positioning remains unknown. In this paper, the authors present the results of a multicenter study to determine the optimal tolerance for both techniques.Methods:
The procedure used is based on dynalog file analysis. The study was carried out using seven Varian linear accelerators from five different centers. Dynalogs were collected from over 100 000 clinical treatments and in-house software was used to compute the number of tolerance faults as a function of the user-defined tolerance. Thus, the optimal value for this tolerance, defined as the lowest achievable value, was investigated.Results:
Dynalog files accurately predict the number of tolerance faults as a function of the tolerance value, especially for low fault incidences. All MLCs behaved similarly and the Millennium120 and the HD120 models yielded comparable results. In sliding window techniques, the number of beams with an incidence of hold-offs >1% rapidly decreases for a tolerance of 1.5 mm. In VMAT techniques, the number of tolerance faults sharply drops for tolerances around 2 mm. For a tolerance of 2.5 mm, less than 0.1% of the VMAT arcs presented tolerance faults.Conclusions:
Dynalog analysis provides a feasible method for investigating the optimal tolerance for MLC positioning in dynamic fields. In sliding window treatments, the tolerance of 2 mm was found to be adequate, although it can be reduced to 1.5 mm. In VMAT treatments, the typically used 5 mm tolerance is excessively high. Instead, a tolerance of 2.5 mm is recommended.
Validation of an in-vivo proton beam range check method in an anthropomorphic pelvic phantom using dose measurements42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915923View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In-vivo dosimetry and beam range verification in proton therapy could play significant role in proton treatment validation and improvements. In-vivo beam range verification, in particular, could enable new treatment techniques one of which could be the use of anterior fields for prostate treatment instead of opposed lateral fields as in current practice. This paper reports validation study of an in-vivo range verification method which can reduce the range uncertainty to submillimeter levels and potentially allow for in-vivo dosimetry.Methods:
An anthropomorphic pelvic phantom is used to validate the clinical potential of the time-resolved dose method for range verification in the case of prostrate treatment using range modulated anterior proton beams. The method uses a 3 × 4 matrix of 1 mm diodes mounted in water balloon which are read by an ADC system at 100 kHz. The method is first validated against beam range measurements by dose extinction measurements. The validation is first completed in water phantom and then in pelvic phantom for both open field and treatment field configurations. Later, the beam range results are compared with the water equivalent path length (WEPL) values computed from the treatment planning system XIO.Results:
Beam range measurements from both time-resolved dose method and the dose extinction method agree with submillimeter precision in water phantom. For the pelvic phantom, when discarding two of the diodes that show sign of significant range mixing, the two methods agree with ±1 mm. Only a dose of 7 mGy is sufficient to achieve this result. The comparison to the computed WEPL by the treatment planning system (XIO) shows that XIO underestimates the protons beam range. Quantifying the exact XIO range underestimation depends on the strategy used to evaluate the WEPL results. To our best evaluation, XIO underestimates the treatment beam range between a minimum of 1.7% and maximum of 4.1%.Conclusions:
Time-resolved dose measurement method satisfies the two basic requirements, WEPL accuracy and minimum dose, necessary for clinical use, thus, its potential for in-vivo protons range verification. Further development is needed, namely, devising a workflow that takes into account the limits imposed by proton range mixing and the susceptibility of the comparison of measured and expected WEPLs to errors on the detector positions. The methods may also be used for in-vivo dosimetry and could benefit various proton therapy treatments.
- RADIATION IMAGING PHYSICS
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4907970View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
M5L, a fully automated computer-aided detection (CAD) system for the detection and segmentation of lung nodules in thoracic computed tomography (CT), is presented and validated on several image datasets.Methods:
M5L is the combination of two independent subsystems, based on the Channeler Ant Model as a segmentation tool [lung channeler ant model (lungCAM)] and on the voxel-based neural approach. The lungCAM was upgraded with a scan equalization module and a new procedure to recover the nodules connected to other lung structures; its classification module, which makes use of a feed-forward neural network, is based of a small number of features (13), so as to minimize the risk of lacking generalization, which could be possible given the large difference between the size of the training and testing datasets, which contain 94 and 1019 CTs, respectively. The lungCAM (standalone) and M5L (combined) performance was extensively tested on 1043 CT scans from three independent datasets, including a detailed analysis of the full Lung Image Database Consortium/Image Database Resource Initiative database, which is not yet found in literature.Results:
The lungCAM and M5L performance is consistent across the databases, with a sensitivity of about 70% and 80%, respectively, at eight false positive findings per scan, despite the variable annotation criteria and acquisition and reconstruction conditions. A reduced sensitivity is found for subtle nodules and ground glass opacities (GGO) structures. A comparison with other CAD systems is also presented.Conclusions:
The M5L performance on a large and heterogeneous dataset is stable and satisfactory, although the development of a dedicated module for GGOs detection could further improve it, as well as an iterative optimization of the training procedure. The main aim of the present study was accomplished: M5L results do not deteriorate when increasing the dataset size, making it a candidate for supporting radiologists on large scale screenings and clinical programs.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914143View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The present work proposes an iterative reconstruction technique designed for x-ray transmission computed tomography (CT). The main objective is to provide a model-based solution to the cone-beam CT reconstruction problem, yielding accurate low-dose images via few-views acquisitions in clinically acceptable time frames.Methods:
The proposed technique combines a modified ordered subsets convex (OSC) algorithm and the total variation minimization (TV) regularization technique and is called OSC-TV. The number of subsets of each OSC iteration follows a reduction pattern in order to ensure the best performance of the regularization method. Considering the high computational cost of the algorithm, it is implemented on a graphics processing unit, using parallelization to accelerate computations.Results:
The reconstructions were performed on computer-simulated as well as human pelvic cone-beam CT projection data and image quality was assessed. In terms of convergence and image quality, OSC-TV performs well in reconstruction of low-dose cone-beam CT data obtained via a few-view acquisition protocol. It compares favorably to the few-view TV-regularized projections onto convex sets (POCS-TV) algorithm. It also appears to be a viable alternative to full-dataset filtered backprojection. Execution times are of 1–2 min and are compatible with the typical clinical workflow for nonreal-time applications.Conclusions:
Considering the image quality and execution times, this method may be useful for reconstruction of low-dose clinical acquisitions. It may be of particular benefit to patients who undergo multiple acquisitions by reducing the overall imaging radiation dose and associated risks.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914368View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Reconstruction of x-ray computed tomography (CT) data remains a mathematically challenging problem in medical imaging. Complementing the standard analytical reconstruction methods, sparse regularization is growing in importance, as it allows inclusion of prior knowledge. The paper presents a method for sparse regularization based on the curvelet frame for the application to iterative reconstruction in x-ray computed tomography.Methods:
In this work, the authors present an iterative reconstruction approach based on the alternating direction method of multipliers using curvelet sparse regularization.Results:
Evaluation of the method is performed on a specifically crafted numerical phantom dataset to highlight the method’s strengths. Additional evaluation is performed on two real datasets from commercial scanners with different noise characteristics, a clinical bone sample acquired in a micro-CT and a human abdomen scanned in a diagnostic CT. The results clearly illustrate that curvelet sparse regularization has characteristic strengths. In particular, it improves the restoration and resolution of highly directional, high contrast features with smooth contrast variations. The authors also compare this approach to the popular technique of total variation and to traditional filtered backprojection.Conclusions:
The authors conclude that curvelet sparse regularization is able to improve reconstruction quality by reducing noise while preserving highly directional features.