Volume 42, Issue 5, May 2015
- radiation therapy physics
- radiation imaging physics
- radiation measurement physics
- magnetic resonance physics
- nuclear medicine physics
- optical physics
- infrared and microwave imaging
- thermotherapy physics
- tissue measurements
- anatomy and physiology
- radiation protection physics
- radiation biology
- book reviews
Index of content:
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4903902View Description Hide Description
- RADIATION THERAPY PHYSICS
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916661View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
This paper investigates, via magnetic modeling and Monte Carlo simulation, the ability to deliver proton beams to the treatment zone inside a split-bore MRI-guided proton therapy system.Methods:
Field maps from a split-bore 1 T MRI-Linac system are used as input to geant4 Monte Carlo simulations which model the trajectory of proton beams during their paths to the isocenter of the treatment area. Both inline (along the MRI bore) and perpendicular (through the split-bore gap) orientations are simulated. Monoenergetic parallel and diverging beams of energy 90, 195, and 300 MeV starting from 1.5 and 5 m above isocenter are modeled. A phase space file detailing a 2D calibration pattern is used to set the particle starting positions, and their spatial location as they cross isocenter is recorded. No beam scattering, collimation, or modulation of the proton beams is modeled.Results:
In the inline orientation, the radial symmetry of the solenoidal style fringe field acts to rotate the protons around the beam’s central axis. For protons starting at 1.5 m from isocenter, this rotation is 19° (90 MeV) and 9.8° (300 MeV). A minor focusing toward the beam’s central axis is also seen, but only significant, i.e., 2 mm shift at 150 mm off-axis, for 90 MeV protons. For the perpendicular orientation, the main MRI field and near fringe field act as the strongest to deflect the protons in a consistent direction. When starting from 1.5 m above isocenter shifts of 135 mm (90 MeV) and 65 mm (300 MeV) were observed. Further to this, off-axis protons are slightly deflected toward or away from the central axis in the direction perpendicular to the main deflection direction. This leads to a distortion of the phase space pattern, not just a shift. This distortion increases from zero at the central axis to 10 mm (90 MeV) and 5 mm (300 MeV) for a proton 150 mm off-axis. In both orientations, there is a small but subtle difference in the deflection and distortion pattern between protons fired parallel to the beam axis and those fired from a point source. This is indicative of the 3D spatially variant nature of the MRI fringe field.Conclusions:
For the first time, accurate magnetic and Monte Carlo modeling have been used to assess the transport of generic proton beams toward a 1 T split-bore MRI. Significant rotation is observed in the inline orientation, while more complex deflection and distortion are seen in the perpendicular orientation. The results of this study suggest that due to the complexity and energy-dependent nature of the magnetic deflection and distortion, the pencil beam scanning method will be the only choice for delivering a therapeutic proton beam inside a potential MRI-guided proton therapy system in either the inline or perpendicular orientation. Further to this, significant correction strategies will be required to account for the MRI fringe fields.
Optimization of leaf margins for lung stereotactic body radiotherapy using a flattening filter-free beam42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916683View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The authors sought to determine the optimal collimator leaf margins which minimize normal tissue dose while achieving high conformity and to evaluate differences between the use of a flattening filter-free (FFF) beam and a flattening-filtered (FF) beam.Methods:
Sixteen lung cancer patients scheduled for stereotactic body radiotherapy underwent treatment planning for a 7 MV FFF and a 6 MV FF beams to the planning target volume (PTV) with a range of leaf margins (−3 to 3 mm). Forty grays per four fractions were prescribed as a PTV D95. For PTV, the heterogeneity index (HI), conformity index, modified gradient index (GI), defined as the 50% isodose volume divided by target volume, maximum dose (Dmax), and mean dose (Dmean) were calculated. Mean lung dose (MLD), V20 Gy, and V5 Gy for the lung (defined as the volumes of lung receiving at least 20 and 5 Gy), mean heart dose, and Dmax to the spinal cord were measured as doses to organs at risk (OARs). Paired t-tests were used for statistical analysis.Results:
HI was inversely related to changes in leaf margin. Conformity index and modified GI initially decreased as leaf margin width increased. After reaching a minimum, the two values then increased as leaf margin increased (“V” shape). The optimal leaf margins for conformity index and modified GI were −1.1 ± 0.3 mm (mean ± 1 SD) and −0.2 ± 0.9 mm, respectively, for 7 MV FFF compared to −1.0 ± 0.4 and −0.3 ± 0.9 mm, respectively, for 6 MV FF. Dmax and Dmean for 7 MV FFF were higher than those for 6 MV FF by 3.6% and 1.7%, respectively. There was a positive correlation between the ratios of HI, Dmax, and Dmean for 7 MV FFF to those for 6 MV FF and PTV size (R = 0.767, 0.809, and 0.643, respectively). The differences in MLD, V20 Gy, and V5 Gy for lung between FFF and FF beams were negligible. The optimal leaf margins for MLD, V20 Gy, and V5 Gy for lung were −0.9 ± 0.6, −1.1 ± 0.8, and −2.1 ± 1.2 mm, respectively, for 7 MV FFF compared to −0.9 ± 0.6, −1.1 ± 0.8, and −2.2 ± 1.3 mm, respectively, for 6 MV FF. With the heart inside the radiation field, the mean heart dose showed a V-shaped relationship with leaf margins. The optimal leaf margins were −1.0 ± 0.6 mm for both beams. Dmax to the spinal cord showed no clear trend for changes in leaf margin.Conclusions:
The differences in doses to OARs between FFF and FF beams were negligible. Conformity index, modified GI, MLD, lung V20 Gy, lung V5 Gy, and mean heart dose showed a V-shaped relationship with leaf margins. There were no significant differences in optimal leaf margins to minimize these parameters between both FFF and FF beams. The authors’ results suggest that a leaf margin of −1 mm achieves high conformity and minimizes doses to OARs for both FFF and FF beams.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916685View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
During the first part of the 20th century, 226Ra was the most used radionuclide for brachytherapy. Retrospective accurate dosimetry, coupled with patient follow up, is important for advancing knowledge on long-term radiation effects. The purpose of this work was to dosimetrically characterize two 226Ra sources, commonly used in Sweden during the first half of the 20th century, for retrospective dose–effect studies.Methods:
An 8 mg 226Ra tube and a 10 mg 226Ra needle, used at Radiumhemmet (Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden), from 1925 to the 1960s, were modeled in two independent Monte Carlo (MC) radiation transport codes: geant4 and mcnp5. Absorbed dose and collision kerma around the two sources were obtained, from which the TG-43 parameters were derived for the secular equilibrium state. Furthermore, results from this dosimetric formalism were compared with results from a MC simulation with a superficial mould constituted by five needles inside a glass casing, placed over a water phantom, trying to mimic a typical clinical setup. Calculated absorbed doses using the TG-43 formalism were also compared with previously reported measurements and calculations based on the Sievert integral. Finally, the dose rate at large distances from a 226Ra point-like-source placed in the center of 1 m radius water sphere was calculated with geant4.Results:
TG-43 parameters [including gL (r), F(r, θ), Λ, and sK ] have been uploaded in spreadsheets as additional material, and the fitting parameters of a mathematical curve that provides the dose rate between 10 and 60 cm from the source have been provided. Results from TG-43 formalism are consistent within the treatment volume with those of a MC simulation of a typical clinical scenario. Comparisons with reported measurements made with thermoluminescent dosimeters show differences up to 13% along the transverse axis of the radium needle. It has been estimated that the uncertainty associated to the absorbed dose within the treatment volume is 10%–15%, whereas uncertainty of absorbed dose to distant organs is roughly 20%–25%.Conclusions:
The results provided here facilitate retrospective dosimetry studies of 226Ra using modern treatment planning systems, which may be used to improve knowledge on long term radiation effects. It is surely important for the epidemiologic studies to be aware of the estimated uncertainty provided here before extracting their conclusions.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4914863View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The authors investigated the potential of optimized noncoplanar irradiation trajectories for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatments of nasopharyngeal patients and studied the trade-off between treatment plan quality and delivery time in radiation therapy.Methods:
For three nasopharyngeal patients, the authors generated treatment plans for nine different delivery scenarios using dedicated optimization methods. They compared these scenarios according to dose characteristics, number of beam directions, and estimated delivery times. In particular, the authors generated the following treatment plans: (1) a 4π plan, which is a not sequenced, fluence optimized plan that uses beam directions from approximately 1400 noncoplanar directions and marks a theoretical upper limit of the treatment plan quality, (2) a coplanar 2π plan with 72 coplanar beam directions as pendant to the noncoplanar 4π plan, (3) a coplanar VMAT plan, (4) a coplanar step and shoot (SnS) plan, (5) a beam angle optimized (BAO) coplanar SnS IMRT plan, (6) a noncoplanar BAO SnS plan, (7) a VMAT plan with rotated treatment couch, (8) a noncoplanar VMAT plan with an optimized great circle around the patient, and (9) a noncoplanar BAO VMAT plan with an arbitrary trajectory around the patient.Results:
VMAT using optimized noncoplanar irradiation trajectories reduced the mean and maximum doses in organs at risk compared to coplanar VMAT plans by 19% on average while the target coverage remains constant. A coplanar BAO SnS plan was superior to coplanar SnS or VMAT; however, noncoplanar plans like a noncoplanar BAO SnS plan or noncoplanar VMAT yielded a better plan quality than the best coplanar 2π plan. The treatment plan quality of VMAT plans depended on the length of the trajectory. The delivery times of noncoplanar VMAT plans were estimated to be 6.5 min in average; 1.6 min longer than a coplanar plan but on average 2.8 min faster than a noncoplanar SnS plan with comparable treatment plan quality.Conclusions:
The authors’ study reconfirms the dosimetric benefits of noncoplanar irradiation of nasopharyngeal tumors. Both SnS using optimized noncoplanar beam ensembles and VMAT using an optimized, arbitrary, noncoplanar trajectory enabled dose reductions in organs at risk compared to coplanar SnS and VMAT. Using great circles or simple couch rotations to implement noncoplanar VMAT, however, was not sufficient to yield meaningful improvements in treatment plan quality. The authors estimate that noncoplanar VMAT using arbitrary optimized irradiation trajectories comes at an increased delivery time compared to coplanar VMAT yet at a decreased delivery time compared to noncoplanar SnS IMRT.
Optical eye tracking system for real-time noninvasive tumor localization in external beam radiotherapy42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4915921View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
External beam radiotherapy currently represents an important therapeutic strategy for the treatment of intraocular tumors. Accurate target localization and efficient compensation of involuntary eye movements are crucial to avoid deviations in dose distribution with respect to the treatment plan. This paper describes an eye tracking system (ETS) based on noninvasive infrared video imaging. The system was designed for capturing the tridimensional (3D) ocular motion and provides an on-line estimation of intraocular lesions position based on a priori knowledge coming from volumetric imaging.Methods:
Eye tracking is performed by localizing cornea and pupil centers on stereo images captured by two calibrated video cameras, exploiting eye reflections produced by infrared illumination. Additionally, torsional eye movements are detected by template matching in the iris region of eye images. This information allows estimating the 3D position and orientation of the eye by means of an eye local reference system. By combining ETS measurements with volumetric imaging for treatment planning [computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR)], one is able to map the position of the lesion to be treated in local eye coordinates, thus enabling real-time tumor referencing during treatment setup and irradiation. Experimental tests on an eye phantom and seven healthy subjects were performed to assess ETS tracking accuracy.Results:
Measurements on phantom showed an overall median accuracy within 0.16 mm and 0.40° for translations and rotations, respectively. Torsional movements were affected by 0.28° median uncertainty. On healthy subjects, the gaze direction error ranged between 0.19° and 0.82° at a median working distance of 29 cm. The median processing time of the eye tracking algorithm was 18.60 ms, thus allowing eye monitoring up to 50 Hz.Conclusions:
A noninvasive ETS prototype was designed to perform real-time target localization and eye movement monitoring during ocular radiotherapy treatments. The device aims at improving state-of-the-art invasive procedures based on surgical implantation of radiopaque clips and repeated acquisition of X-ray images, with expected positive effects on treatment quality and patient outcome.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916092View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
In left-sided tangential breast intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), the heart may enter the radiation field and receive excessive radiation while the patient is breathing. The patient’s breathing pattern is often irregular and unpredictable. We verify the clinical applicability of a heart-sparing robust optimization approach for breast IMRT. We compare robust optimized plans with clinical plans at free-breathing and clinical plans at deep inspiration breath-hold (DIBH) using active breathing control (ABC).Methods:
Eight patients were included in the study with each patient simulated using 4D-CT. The 4D-CT image acquisition generated ten breathing phase datasets. An average scan was constructed using all the phase datasets. Two of the eight patients were also imaged at breath-hold using ABC. The 4D-CT datasets were used to calculate the accumulated dose for robust optimized and clinical plans based on deformable registration. We generated a set of simulated breathing probability mass functions, which represent the fraction of time patients spend in different breathing phases. The robust optimization method was applied to each patient using a set of dose-influence matrices extracted from the 4D-CT data and a model of the breathing motion uncertainty. The goal of the optimization models was to minimize the dose to the heart while ensuring dose constraints on the target were achieved under breathing motion uncertainty.Results:
Robust optimized plans were improved or equivalent to the clinical plans in terms of heart sparing for all patients studied. The robust method reduced the accumulated heart dose (D10cc) by up to 801 cGy compared to the clinical method while also improving the coverage of the accumulated whole breast target volume. On average, the robust method reduced the heart dose (D10cc) by 364 cGy and improved the optBreast dose (D99%) by 477 cGy. In addition, the robust method had smaller deviations from the planned dose to the accumulated dose. The deviation of the accumulated dose from the planned dose for the optBreast (D99%) was 12 cGy for robust versus 445 cGy for clinical. The deviation for the heart (D10cc) was 41 cGy for robust and 320 cGy for clinical.Conclusions:
The robust optimization approach can reduce heart dose compared to the clinical method at free-breathing and can potentially reduce the need for breath-hold techniques.
Ultrashort echo-time MRI versus CT for skull aberration correction in MR-guided transcranial focused ultrasound: In vitro comparison on human calvaria42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916656View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Transcranial magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (TcMRgFUS) brain treatment systems compensate for skull-induced beam aberrations by adjusting the phase and amplitude of individual ultrasound transducer elements. These corrections are currently calculated based on a preacquired computed tomography (CT) scan of the patient’s head. The purpose of the work presented here is to demonstrate the feasibility of using ultrashort echo-time magnetic resonance imaging (UTE MRI) instead of CT to calculate and apply aberration corrections on a clinical TcMRgFUS system.Methods:
Phantom experiments were performed in three ex-vivo human skulls filled with tissue-mimicking hydrogel. Each skull phantom was imaged with both CT and UTE MRI. The MR images were then segmented into “skull” and “not-skull” pixels using a computationally efficient, threshold-based algorithm, and the resulting 3D binary skull map was converted into a series of 2D virtual CT images. Each skull was mounted in the head transducer of a clinical TcMRgFUS system (ExAblate Neuro, Insightec, Israel), and transcranial sonications were performed using a power setting of approximately 750 acoustic watts at several different target locations within the electronic steering range of the transducer. Each target location was sonicated three times: once using aberration corrections calculated from the actual CT scan, once using corrections calculated from the MRI-derived virtual CT scan, and once without applying any aberration correction. MR thermometry was performed in conjunction with each 10-s sonication, and the highest single-pixel temperature rise and surrounding-pixel mean were recorded for each sonication.Results:
The measured temperature rises were ∼45% larger for aberration-corrected sonications than for noncorrected sonications. This improvement was highly significant (p < 10−4). The difference between the single-pixel peak temperature rise and the surrounding-pixel mean, which reflects the sharpness of the thermal focus, was also significantly larger for aberration-corrected sonications. There was no significant difference between the sonication results achieved using CT-based and MR-based aberration correction.Conclusions:
The authors have demonstrated that transcranial focal heating can be significantly improved in vitro by using UTE MRI to compute skull-induced ultrasound aberration corrections. Their results suggest that UTE MRI could be used instead of CT to implement such corrections on current 0.7 MHz clinical TcMRgFUS devices. The MR image acquisition and segmentation procedure demonstrated here would add less than 15 min to a clinical MRgFUS treatment session.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916684View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Nonuniform spatiotemporal radiotherapy fractionation schemes, i.e., delivering distinct dose distributions in different fractions can potentially improve the therapeutic ratio. This is possible if the dose distributions are designed such that similar doses are delivered to normal tissues (exploit the fractionation effect) while hypofractionating subregions of the tumor. In this paper, the authors develop methodology for treatment planning with nonuniform fractions and demonstrate this concept in the context of intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT).Methods:
Treatment planning is performed by simultaneously optimizing (possibly distinct) IMPT dose distributions for multiple fractions. This is achieved using objective and constraint functions evaluated for the cumulative biologically equivalent dose (BED) delivered at the end of treatment. BED based treatment planning formulations lead to nonconvex optimization problems, such that local gradient based algorithms require adequate starting positions to find good local optima. To that end, the authors develop a combinatorial algorithm to initialize the pencil beam intensities.Results:
The concept of nonuniform spatiotemporal fractionation schemes is demonstrated for a spinal metastasis patient treated in two fractions using stereotactic body radiation therapy. The patient is treated with posterior oblique beams with the kidneys being located in the entrance region of the beam. It is shown that a nonuniform fractionation scheme that hypofractionates the central part of the tumor allows for a skin and kidney BED reduction of approximately 10%–20%.Conclusions:
Nonuniform spatiotemporal fractionation schemes represent a novel approach to exploit fractionation effects that deserves further exploration for selected disease sites.
Neural-network based autocontouring algorithm for intrafractional lung-tumor tracking using Linac-MR42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916657View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To develop a neural-network based autocontouring algorithm for intrafractional lung-tumor tracking using Linac-MR and evaluate its performance with phantom and in-vivo MR images.Methods:
An autocontouring algorithm was developed to determine both the shape and position of a lung tumor from each intrafractional MR image. A pulse-coupled neural network was implemented in the algorithm for contrast improvement of the tumor region. Prior to treatment, to initiate the algorithm, an expert user needs to contour the tumor and its maximum anticipated range of motion in pretreatment MR images. During treatment, however, the algorithm processes each intrafractional MR image and automatically generates a tumor contour without further user input. The algorithm is designed to produce a tumor contour that is the most similar to the expert’s manual one. To evaluate the autocontouring algorithm in the author’s Linac-MR environment which utilizes a 0.5 T MRI, a motion phantom and four lung cancer patients were imaged with 3 T MRI during normal breathing, and the image noise was degraded to reflect the image noise at 0.5 T. Each of the pseudo-0.5 T images was autocontoured using the author’s algorithm. In each test image, the Dice similarity index (DSI) and Hausdorff distance (HD) between the expert’s manual contour and the algorithm generated contour were calculated, and their centroid positions were compared (Δd centroid).Results:
The algorithm successfully contoured the shape of a moving tumor from dynamic MR images acquired every 275 ms. From the phantom study, mean DSI of 0.95–0.96, mean HD of 2.61–2.82 mm, and mean Δd centroid of 0.68–0.93 mm were achieved. From the in-vivo study, the author’s algorithm achieved mean DSI of 0.87–0.92, mean HD of 3.12–4.35 mm, as well as Δd centroid of 1.03–1.35 mm. Autocontouring speed was less than 20 ms for each image.Conclusions:
The authors have developed and evaluated a lung tumor autocontouring algorithm for intrafractional tumor tracking using Linac-MR. The autocontouring performance in the Linac-MR environment was evaluated using phantom and in-vivo MR images. From the in-vivo study, the author’s algorithm achieved 87%–92% of contouring agreement and centroid tracking accuracy of 1.03–1.35 mm. These results demonstrate the feasibility of lung tumor autocontouring in the author’s laboratory’s Linac-MR environment.
Dynamic trajectory-based couch motion for improvement of radiation therapy trajectories in cranial SRT42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4917165View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To investigate potential improvement in external beam stereotactic radiation therapy plan quality for cranial cases using an optimized dynamic gantry and patient support couch motion trajectory, which could minimize exposure to sensitive healthy tissue.Methods:
Anonymized patient anatomy and treatment plans of cranial cancer patients were used to quantify the geometric overlap between planning target volumes and organs-at-risk (OARs) based on their two-dimensional projection from source to a plane at isocenter as a function of gantry and couch angle. Published dose constraints were then used as weighting factors for the OARs to generate a map of couch-gantry coordinate space, indicating degree of overlap at each point in space. A couch-gantry collision space was generated by direct measurement on a linear accelerator and couch using an anthropomorphic solid-water phantom. A dynamic, fully customizable algorithm was written to generate a navigable ideal trajectory for the patient specific couch-gantry space. The advanced algorithm can be used to balance the implementation of absolute minimum values of overlap with the clinical practicality of large-scale couch motion and delivery time. Optimized cranial cancer treatment trajectories were compared to conventional treatment trajectories.Results:
Comparison of optimized treatment trajectories with conventional treatment trajectories indicated an average decrease in mean dose to the OARs of 19% and an average decrease in maximum dose to the OARs of 12%. Degradation was seen for homogeneity index (6.14% ± 0.67%–5.48% ± 0.76%) and conformation number (0.82 ± 0.02–0.79 ± 0.02), but neither was statistically significant. Removal of OAR constraints from volumetric modulated arc therapy optimization reveals that reduction in dose to OARs is almost exclusively due to the optimized trajectory and not the OAR constraints.Conclusions:
The authors’ study indicated that simultaneous couch and gantry motion during radiation therapy to minimize the geometrical overlap in the beams-eye-view of target volumes and the organs-at-risk can have an appreciable dose reduction to organs-at-risk.
Technical Note: Experimental carbon ion range verification in inhomogeneous phantoms using prompt gammas42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4917225View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
The purpose of this study was to experimentally assess the possibility to monitor carbon ion range variations—due to tumor shift and/or elongation or shrinking—using prompt-gamma (PG) emission with inhomogeneous phantoms. Such a study is related to the development of PG monitoring techniques to be used in a carbon ion therapy context.Methods:
A 95 MeV/u carbon ion beam was used to irradiate phantoms with a variable density along the ion path to mimic the presence of bone and lung in homogeneous humanlike tissue. PG profiles were obtained after a longitudinal scan of the phantoms. A setup comprising a narrow single-slit collimator and two detectors placed at 90° with respect to the beam axis was used. The time of flight technique was applied to allow the selection between PG and background events.Results:
Using the positions at 50% entrance and 50% falloff of the PG profiles, a quantity called prompt-gamma profile length (PGPL) is defined. It is possible to observe shifts in the PGPL when there are absolute ion range shifts as small as 1–2 mm. Quantitatively, for an ion range shift of −1.33 ± 0.46 mm (insertion of a Teflon slab), a PGPL difference of −1.93 ± 0.58 mm and −1.84 ± 1.27 mm is obtained using a BaF2 and a NaI(Tl) detector, respectively. In turn, when an ion range shift of 4.59 ± 0.42 mm (insertion of a lung-equivalent material slab) is considered, the difference is of 4.10 ± 0.54 and 4.39 ± 0.80 mm for the same detectors.Conclusions:
Herein, experimental evidence of the usefulness of employing PG to monitor carbon ion range using inhomogeneous phantoms is presented. Considering the homogeneous phantom as reference, the results show that the information provided by the PG emission allows for detecting ion range shifts as small as 1–2 mm. When considering the expected PG emission from an energy slice in a carbon ion therapy scenario, the experimental setup would allow to retrieve the same PGPL as the high statistics of the full experimental dataset in 58% of the times. However, this success rate increases to 93% when using a better optimized setup by means of Monte Carlo simulations.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4917524View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Respiratory motion may affect the accuracy of image guidance of radiation treatment of lung cancer. A cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) image spans several breathing cycles, resulting in a blurred object with a theoretical size equal to the sum of tumor size and breathing motion. However, several factors may affect this theoretical relationship. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of tumor motion on megavoltage (MV)-CBCT images, by comparing target sizes on simulation and pretreatment images of a large cohort of lung cancer patients.Methods:
Ninety-three MV-CBCT images from 17 patients were analyzed. Internal target volumes were contoured on each MV-CBCT dataset [internal target volume (ITVCB)]. Their extent in each dimension was compared to that of two volumes contoured on simulation 4-dimensional computed tomography (4D-CT) images: the combination of the tumor contours of each phase of the 4D-CT (ITV4D) and the volume contoured on the average CT calculated from the 4D-CT phases (ITVave). Tumor size and breathing amplitude were assessed by contouring the tumor on each CBCT raw projection where it could be unambiguously identified. The effect of breathing amplitude on the quality of the MV-CBCT image reconstruction was analyzed.Results:
The mean differences between the sizes of ITVCB and ITV4D were −1.6 ± 3.3 mm (p < 0.001), −2.4 ± 3.1 mm (p < 0.001), and −7.2 ± 5.3 mm (p < 0.001) in the anterior/posterior (AP), left/right (LR), and superior/inferior (SI) directions, respectively, showing that MV-CBCT underestimates the full target size. The corresponding mean differences between ITVCB and ITVave were 0.3 ± 2.6 mm (p = 0.307), 0.0 ± 2.4 mm (p = 0.86), and −4.0 ± 4.3 mm (p < 0.001), indicating that the average CT image is more representative of what is visible on MV-CBCT in the AP and LR directions. In the SI directions, differences between ITVCB and ITVave could be separated into two groups based on tumor motion: −3.2 ± 3.2 mm for tumor motion less than 15 mm and −10.9 ± 6.3 mm for tumor motion greater than 15 mm. Deviations of measured target extents from their theoretical values derived from tumor size and motion were correlated with motion amplitude similarly for both MV-CBCT and average CT images, suggesting that the two images were subject to similar motion artifacts for motion less than 15 mm.Conclusions:
MV-CBCT images are affected by tumor motion and tend to under-represent the full target volume. For tumor motion up to 15 mm, the volume contoured on average CT is comparable to that contoured on the MV-CBCT. Therefore, the average CT should be used in image registration for localization purposes, and the standard 5 mm PTV margin seems adequate. For tumor motion greater than 15 mm, an additional setup margin may need to be used to account for the increased uncertainty in tumor localization.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4917479View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Range and probability of nonelastic nuclear interactions (NNIs) for protons can be found only for a limited number of compounds and mixtures in nuclear data tables, and the proton-related analytical studies are therefore restricted to those materials for which the data are provided in these documents. In this paper, the authors present general solutions for calculating the proton range and probability of NNIs for desired compounds and mixtures.Methods:
Benefiting from the Bragg–Kleeman approximation of mass stopping power, the authors derive a concise formula for calculating the proton range in materials with arbitrary number of constituent elements. Additionally, the authors propose another relation for obtaining the probability of undergoing NNIs which is suggested to be additive.Results:
The examination of the formula presented shows that the authors’ method can be considered as general solutions for analytical evaluation of the range in compounds and mixtures. The formula proposed for probability of NNIs is valid for almost every compound except for those materials containing H. It is shown that this formula can be modified so that it covers these materials.Conclusions:
The authors present a general analytical method for calculating the range and probability of NNIs for protons which are mathematically easy to handle and valid for desired compounds or mixtures composed of an arbitrary number of constituent elements, including materials of interest for proton radiotherapy purposes.
A Monte Carlo simulation framework for electron beam dose calculations using Varian phase space files for TrueBeam Linacs42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916896View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To develop a framework for accurate electron Monte Carlo dose calculation. In this study, comprehensive validations of vendor provided electron beam phase space files for Varian TrueBeam Linacs against measurement data are presented.Methods:
In this framework, the Monte Carlo generated phase space files were provided by the vendor and used as input to the downstream plan-specific simulations including jaws, electron applicators, and water phantom computed in the EGSnrc environment. The phase space files were generated based on open field commissioning data. A subset of electron energies of 6, 9, 12, 16, and 20 MeV and open and collimated field sizes 3 × 3, 4 × 4, 5 × 5, 6 × 6, 10 × 10, 15 × 15, 20 × 20, and 25 × 25 cm2 were evaluated. Measurements acquired with a CC13 cylindrical ionization chamber and electron diode detector and simulations from this framework were compared for a water phantom geometry. The evaluation metrics include percent depth dose, orthogonal and diagonal profiles at depths R 100, R 50, Rp , and R p+ for standard and extended source-to-surface distances (SSD), as well as cone and cut-out output factors.Results:
Agreement for the percent depth dose and orthogonal profiles between measurement and Monte Carlo was generally within 2% or 1 mm. The largest discrepancies were observed within depths of 5 mm from phantom surface. Differences in field size, penumbra, and flatness for the orthogonal profiles at depths R 100, R 50, and Rp were within 1 mm, 1 mm, and 2%, respectively. Orthogonal profiles at SSDs of 100 and 120 cm showed the same level of agreement. Cone and cut-out output factors agreed well with maximum differences within 2.5% for 6 MeV and 1% for all other energies. Cone output factors at extended SSDs of 105, 110, 115, and 120 cm exhibited similar levels of agreement.Conclusions:
We have presented a Monte Carlo simulation framework for electron beam dose calculations for Varian TrueBeam Linacs. Electron beam energies of 6 to 20 MeV for open and collimated field sizes from 3 × 3 to 25 × 25 cm2 were studied and results were compared to the measurement data with excellent agreement. Application of this framework can thus be used as the platform for treatment planning of dynamic electron arc radiotherapy and other advanced dynamic techniques with electron beams.
Failure mode and effects analysis and fault tree analysis of surface image guided cranial radiosurgery42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4918319View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Surface image guided, Linac-based radiosurgery (SIG-RS) is a modern approach for delivering radiosurgery that utilizes optical stereoscopic imaging to monitor the surface of the patient during treatment in lieu of using a head frame for patient immobilization. Considering the novelty of the SIG-RS approach and the severity of errors associated with delivery of large doses per fraction, a risk assessment should be conducted to identify potential hazards, determine their causes, and formulate mitigation strategies. The purpose of this work is to investigate SIG-RS using the combined application of failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) and fault tree analysis (FTA), report on the effort required to complete the analysis, and evaluate the use of FTA in conjunction with FMEA.Methods:
A multidisciplinary team was assembled to conduct the FMEA on the SIG-RS process. A process map detailing the steps of the SIG-RS was created to guide the FMEA. Failure modes were determined for each step in the SIG-RS process, and risk priority numbers (RPNs) were estimated for each failure mode to facilitate risk stratification. The failure modes were ranked by RPN, and FTA was used to determine the root factors contributing to the riskiest failure modes. Using the FTA, mitigation strategies were formulated to address the root factors and reduce the risk of the process. The RPNs were re-estimated based on the mitigation strategies to determine the margin of risk reduction.Results:
The FMEA and FTAs for the top two failure modes required an effort of 36 person-hours (30 person-hours for the FMEA and 6 person-hours for two FTAs). The SIG-RS process consisted of 13 major subprocesses and 91 steps, which amounted to 167 failure modes. Of the 91 steps, 16 were directly related to surface imaging. Twenty-five failure modes resulted in a RPN of 100 or greater. Only one of these top 25 failure modes was specific to surface imaging. The riskiest surface imaging failure mode had an overall RPN-rank of eighth. Mitigation strategies for the top failure mode decreased the RPN from 288 to 72.Conclusions:
Based on the FMEA performed in this work, the use of surface imaging for monitoring intrafraction position in Linac-based stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) did not greatly increase the risk of the Linac-based SRS process. In some cases, SIG helped to reduce the risk of Linac-based RS. The FMEA was augmented by the use of FTA since it divided the failure modes into their fundamental components, which simplified the task of developing mitigation strategies.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4916662View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Motion interplay can affect the tumor dose in scanned proton beam therapy. This study assesses the ability of rescanning and gating to mitigate interplay effects during lung treatments.Methods:
The treatments of five lung cancer patients [48 Gy(RBE)/4fx] with varying tumor size (21.1–82.3 cm3) and motion amplitude (2.9–30.6 mm) were simulated employing 4D Monte Carlo. The authors investigated two spot sizes (σ ∼ 12 and ∼3 mm), three rescanning techniques (layered, volumetric, breath-sampled volumetric) and respiratory gating with a 30% duty cycle.Results:
For 4/5 patients, layered rescanning 6/2 times (for the small/large spot size) maintains equivalent uniform dose within the target >98% for a single fraction. Breath sampling the timing of rescanning is ∼2 times more effective than the same number of continuous rescans. Volumetric rescanning is sensitive to synchronization effects, which was observed in 3/5 patients, though not for layered rescanning. For the large spot size, rescanning compared favorably with gating in terms of time requirements, i.e., 2x-rescanning is on average a factor ∼2.6 faster than gating for this scenario. For the small spot size however, 6x-rescanning takes on average 65% longer compared to gating. Rescanning has no effect on normal lung V 20 and mean lung dose (MLD), though it reduces the maximum lung dose by on average 6.9 ± 2.4/16.7 ± 12.2 Gy(RBE) for the large and small spot sizes, respectively. Gating leads to a similar reduction in maximum dose and additionally reduces V 20 and MLD. Breath-sampled rescanning is most successful in reducing the maximum dose to the normal lung.Conclusions:
Both rescanning (2–6 times, depending on the beam size) as well as gating was able to mitigate interplay effects in the target for 4/5 patients studied. Layered rescanning is superior to volumetric rescanning, as the latter suffers from synchronization effects in 3/5 patients studied. Gating minimizes the irradiated volume of normal lung more efficiently, while breath-sampled rescanning is superior in reducing maximum doses to organs at risk.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4918577View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
It is an intriguing problem to generate an instantaneous volumetric image based on the corresponding x-ray projection. The purpose of this study is to develop a new method to achieve this goal via a sparse learning approach.Methods:
To extract motion information hidden in projection images, the authors partitioned a projection image into small rectangular patches. The authors utilized a sparse learning method to automatically select patches that have a high correlation with principal component analysis (PCA) coefficients of a lung motion model. A model that maps the patch intensity to the PCA coefficients was built along with the patch selection process. Based on this model, a measured projection can be used to predict the PCA coefficients, which are then further used to generate a motion vector field and hence a volumetric image. The authors have also proposed an intensity baseline correction method based on the partitioned projection, in which the first and the second moments of pixel intensities at a patch in a simulated projection image are matched with those in a measured one via a linear transformation. The proposed method has been validated in both simulated data and real phantom data.Results:
The algorithm is able to identify patches that contain relevant motion information such as the diaphragm region. It is found that an intensity baseline correction step is important to remove the systematic error in the motion prediction. For the simulation case, the sparse learning model reduced the prediction error for the first PCA coefficient to 5%, compared to the 10% error when sparse learning was not used, and the 95th percentile error for the predicted motion vector was reduced from 2.40 to 0.92 mm. In the phantom case with a regular tumor motion, the predicted tumor trajectory was successfully reconstructed with a 0.82 mm error for tumor center localization compared to a 1.66 mm error without using the sparse learning method. When the tumor motion was driven by a real patient breathing signal with irregular periods and amplitudes, the average tumor center error was 0.6 mm. The algorithm robustness with respect to sparsity level, patch size, and presence or absence of diaphragm, as well as computation time, has also been studied.Conclusions:
The authors have developed a new method that automatically identifies motion information from an x-ray projection, based on which a volumetric image is generated.
42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4918578View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
To develop a markerless tracking algorithm to track the tumor boundary in megavoltage (MV)-electronic portal imaging device (EPID) images for image-guided radiation therapy.Methods:
A level set method (LSM)-based algorithm is developed to track tumor boundary in EPID image sequences. Given an EPID image sequence, an initial curve is manually specified in the first frame. Driven by a region-scalable energy fitting function, the initial curve automatically evolves toward the tumor boundary and stops on the desired boundary while the energy function reaches its minimum. For the subsequent frames, the tracking algorithm updates the initial curve by using the tracking result in the previous frame and reuses the LSM to detect the tumor boundary in the subsequent frame so that the tracking processing can be continued without user intervention. The tracking algorithm is tested on three image datasets, including a 4-D phantom EPID image sequence, four digitally deformable phantom image sequences with different noise levels, and four clinical EPID image sequences acquired in lung cancer treatment. The tracking accuracy is evaluated based on two metrics: centroid localization error (CLE) and volume overlap index (VOI) between the tracking result and the ground truth.Results:
For the 4-D phantom image sequence, the CLE is 0.23 ± 0.20 mm, and VOI is 95.6% ± 0.2%. For the digital phantom image sequences, the total CLE and VOI are 0.11 ± 0.08 mm and 96.7% ± 0.7%, respectively. In addition, for the clinical EPID image sequences, the proposed algorithm achieves 0.32 ± 0.77 mm in the CLE and 72.1% ± 5.5% in the VOI. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of the authors’ proposed method both in tumor localization and boundary tracking in EPID images. In addition, compared with two existing tracking algorithms, the proposed method achieves a higher accuracy in tumor localization.Conclusions:
In this paper, the authors presented a feasibility study of tracking tumor boundary in EPID images by using a LSM-based algorithm. Experimental results conducted on phantom and clinical EPID images demonstrated the effectiveness of the tracking algorithm for visible tumor target. Compared with previous tracking methods, the authors’ algorithm has the potential to improve the tracking accuracy in radiation therapy. In addition, real-time tumor boundary information within the irradiation field will be potentially useful for further applications, such as adaptive beam delivery, dose evaluation.
Real-time markerless lung tumor tracking in fluoroscopic video: Handling overlapping of projected structures42(2015); http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4917480View Description Hide DescriptionPurpose:
Fluoroscopic imaging is a well-suited technique for online visualization of tumor motion in the thoracic region. Template-based approaches for tumor tracking in such images are commonly used. However, overlapping of different structures, mainly bones, can lead to limited visibility of the projected tumor shape, which in turn can negatively affect the performance of the tracking method. In this study, a method based on multiple-template matching was developed, providing fast and robust detection of tumor motion even under the influence of occurring tumor overlaps.Methods:
A cohort of 14 patients with varying tumor sizes and locations was investigated. Image data from eight of these patients were used for evaluation. Based on the requirement of tumor visibility, the remaining datasets did not qualify for tracking. Generation of multiple templates was improved by implementation of an algorithm for automated selection of reference images containing the most characteristic tumor appearances. Various measures were taken to ensure real-time capability of the algorithm. A prematching step was introduced in order to reduce dispensable comparison operations by selecting the most appropriate template. Subsequent matching was further optimized by using prior knowledge about likely tumor motion to effectively limit necessary matching tasks.Results:
Tracking accuracy of the developed multiple-template method was compared with that of single-template. Mean errors of the multiple-template approach were 0.6 ± 0.6 mm in left–right and 0.9 ± 0.9 mm in superior–inferior direction in the isocenter plane. The single-template approach achieved mean errors of 0.7 ± 0.7 mm in left–right and 1.5 ± 1.3 mm in superior–inferior direction. These results derive from evaluation against manual tumor tracking performed by four expert observers. Computational times needed for tumor detection in a single fluoroscopic frame ranged between 1 and 29 ms depending on the tumor size and motion amplitude.Conclusions:
This study shows that in case of tumor overlapping with dense structures, multiple-template tracking provides more accurate results than a single-template approach. The developed algorithm shows promising results in terms of suitability for real-time application and robustness against frequently changing overlapping.