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Title: Beamlet based direct aperture optimization for MERT using a photon MLC

Purpose: A beamlet based direct aperture optimization (DAO) for modulated electron radiotherapy (MERT) using photon multileaf collimator (pMLC) shaped electron fields is developed and investigated. Methods: The Swiss Monte Carlo Plan (SMCP) allows the calculation of dose distributions for pMLC shaped electron beams. SMCP is interfaced with the Eclipse TPS (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA) which can thus be included into the inverse treatment planning process for MERT. This process starts with the import of a CT-scan into Eclipse, the contouring of the target and the organs at risk (OARs), and the choice of the initial electron beam directions. For each electron beam, the number of apertures, their energy, and initial shape are defined. Furthermore, the DAO requires dose–volume constraints for the structures contoured. In order to carry out the DAO efficiently, the initial electron beams are divided into a grid of beamlets. For each of those, the dose distribution is precalculated using a modified electron beam model, resulting in a dose list for each beamlet and energy. Then the DAO is carried out, leading to a set of optimal apertures and corresponding weights. These optimal apertures are now converted into pMLC shaped segments and the dose calculation formore » each segment is performed. For these dose distributions, a weight optimization process is launched in order to minimize the differences between the dose distribution using the optimal apertures and the pMLC segments. Finally, a deliverable dose distribution for the MERT plan is obtained and loaded back into Eclipse for evaluation. For an idealized water phantom geometry, a MERT treatment plan is created and compared to the plan obtained using a previously developed forward planning strategy. Further, MERT treatment plans for three clinical situations (breast, chest wall, and parotid metastasis of a squamous cell skin carcinoma) are created using the developed inverse planning strategy. The MERT plans are compared to clinical standard treatment plans using photon beams and the differences between the optimal and the deliverable dose distributions are determined. Results: For the idealized water phantom geometry, the inversely optimized MERT plan is able to obtain the same PTV coverage, but with an improved OAR sparing compared to the forwardly optimized plan. Regarding the right-sided breast case, the MERT plan is able to reduce the lung volume receiving more than 30% of the prescribed dose and the mean lung dose compared to the standard plan. However, the standard plan leads to a better homogeneity within the CTV. The results for the left-sided thorax wall are similar but also the dose to the heart is reduced comparing MERT to the standard treatment plan. For the parotid case, MERT leads to lower doses for almost all OARs but to a less homogeneous dose distribution for the PTV when compared to a standard plan. For all cases, the weight optimization successfully minimized the differences between the optimal and the deliverable dose distribution. Conclusions: A beamlet based DAO using multiple beam angles is implemented and successfully tested for an idealized water phantom geometry and clinical situations.« less
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  1. Division of Medical Radiation Physics and Department of Radiation Oncology, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and University of Bern, Berne CH-3010 (Switzerland)
  2. Clinic for Radiation-Oncology, Lindenhofspital, Berne CH-3012 (Switzerland)
  3. Institute for Biomedical Engineering, ETH Zürich and Paul Scherrer Institut, Villigen CH-5234 (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 12; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States