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Title: The Tradeoff Between Treatment Plan Quality and Required Number of Monitor Units in Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy

Abstract

Purpose: To provide a mathematical approach for quantifying the tradeoff between intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) complexity and plan quality. Methods and Materials: We solve a multi-objective program that includes IMRT complexity, measured as the number of monitor units (MU) needed to deliver the plan using a multileaf collimator, as an objective. Clinical feasibility of plans is ensured by the use of hard constraints in the formulation. Optimization output is a Pareto surface of treatment plans, which allows the tradeoffs between IMRT complexity, tumor coverage, and tissue sparing to be observed. Paraspinal and lung cases are presented. Results: Although the amount of possible MU reduction is highly dependent on the difficulty of the underlying treatment plan (difficult plans requiring a high degree of intensity modulation are more sensitive to MU reduction), in some cases the number of MU can be reduced more than twofold with a <1% increase in the objective function. Conclusions: The largely increased number of MU and irradiation time in IMRT is sometimes unnecessary. Tools like the one presented should be considered for integration into daily clinical practice to avoid this problem.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States). E-mail: dcraft@partners.org
  2. Department of Optimization, Fraunhofer Institut fuer Techno- und, Wirtschaftsmathematik, Kaiserslautern (Germany)
  3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20951608
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics; Journal Volume: 67; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.034; PII: S0360-3016(06)03501-2; Copyright (c) 2007 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands, All rights reserved; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
62 RADIOLOGY AND NUCLEAR MEDICINE; CARCINOMAS; COLLIMATORS; IRRADIATION; LUNGS; MODULATION; OPTIMIZATION; RADIOTHERAPY

Citation Formats

Craft, David, Suess, Philipp, and Bortfeld, Thomas. The Tradeoff Between Treatment Plan Quality and Required Number of Monitor Units in Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.034.
Craft, David, Suess, Philipp, & Bortfeld, Thomas. The Tradeoff Between Treatment Plan Quality and Required Number of Monitor Units in Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy. United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.034.
Craft, David, Suess, Philipp, and Bortfeld, Thomas. Sun . "The Tradeoff Between Treatment Plan Quality and Required Number of Monitor Units in Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy". United States. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.034.
@article{osti_20951608,
title = {The Tradeoff Between Treatment Plan Quality and Required Number of Monitor Units in Intensity-modulated Radiotherapy},
author = {Craft, David and Suess, Philipp and Bortfeld, Thomas},
abstractNote = {Purpose: To provide a mathematical approach for quantifying the tradeoff between intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) complexity and plan quality. Methods and Materials: We solve a multi-objective program that includes IMRT complexity, measured as the number of monitor units (MU) needed to deliver the plan using a multileaf collimator, as an objective. Clinical feasibility of plans is ensured by the use of hard constraints in the formulation. Optimization output is a Pareto surface of treatment plans, which allows the tradeoffs between IMRT complexity, tumor coverage, and tissue sparing to be observed. Paraspinal and lung cases are presented. Results: Although the amount of possible MU reduction is highly dependent on the difficulty of the underlying treatment plan (difficult plans requiring a high degree of intensity modulation are more sensitive to MU reduction), in some cases the number of MU can be reduced more than twofold with a <1% increase in the objective function. Conclusions: The largely increased number of MU and irradiation time in IMRT is sometimes unnecessary. Tools like the one presented should be considered for integration into daily clinical practice to avoid this problem.},
doi = {10.1016/j.ijrobp.2006.11.034},
journal = {International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology and Physics},
number = 5,
volume = 67,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}
  • Purpose: To investigate the effect of monitor unit (MU) constraints on the dose distribution created by intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) treatment planning using single-field optimization (SFO). Methods: Ninety-four energies between 72.5 and 221.8 MeV are available for scanning beam IMPT delivery at our institution. The minimum and maximum MUs for delivering each pencil beam (spot) are 0.005 and 0.04, respectively. These MU constraints are not considered during optimization by the treatment planning system; spots are converted to deliverable MUs during postprocessing. Treatment plans for delivering uniform doses to rectangular volumes with and without MU constraints were generated for differentmore » target doses, spot spacings, spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) widths, and ranges in a homogeneous phantom. Four prostate cancer patients were planned with and without MU constraints using different spot spacings. Rounding errors were analyzed using an in-house software tool. Results: From the phantom study, the authors have found that both the number of spots that have rounding errors and the magnitude of the distortion of the dose distribution from the ideally optimized distribution increases as the field dose, spot spacing, and range decrease and as the SOBP width increases. From our study of patient plans, it is clear that as the spot spacing decreases the rounding error increases, and the dose coverage of the target volume becomes unacceptable for very small spot spacings. Conclusions: Constraints on deliverable MU for each spot could create a significant distortion from the ideally optimized dose distributions for IMPT fields using SFO. To eliminate this problem, the treatment planning system should incorporate the MU constraints in the optimization process and the delivery system should reliably delivery smaller minimum MUs.« less
  • Purpose: The implementation of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) technique into clinical practice is becoming routine, but still lacks a generally accepted method for plan evaluation. We present a comparison of the dose distribution of conformal three-dimensional radiotherapy plans with IMRT plans for cranial lesions in stereotactic radiotherapy. The primary aim of this study was to judge the quality of the treatment plans. The next purpose was to assess the usefulness of several quality factors for plan evaluation. Methods and Materials: Five patients, who were treated in our department, were analyzed. Four had meningioma and one had pituitary adenoma. For each case,more » 10 different plans were created and analyzed: 2 conventional conformal three-dimensional plans and 8 IMRT plans, using the 'step and shoot' delivery method. The first conventional plan was an individually designed beam arrangement and was used for patient treatment. The second plan was a standard plan with the same beam arrangement for all patients. Beam arrangements from the conformal plans were the base for the inversely planned IMRT. To evaluate the plans, the following factors were investigated: minimal and maximal dose to the planning target volume, homogeneity index, coverage index, conformity index, and tumor control probabilities and normal tissue complication probabilities. These quantities were incorporated into scoring factors and assigned to each plan. Results: The greatest homogeneity was reached in the conformal plans and IMRT plans with high planning target volume priority in the optimization process. This consequently led to a better probability of tumor control. Better protection of organs at risk and thereby lower normal tissue complication probabilities were achieved in the IMRT plans with increased weighting of the organs at risk. Conclusion: These results show the efficiency, as well as some limitations, of the IMRT techniques. The use of different quality factors allowed us to assess the dose distribution in more depth.« less
  • Purpose: To compare the plan quality and performance of Simultaneous Integrated Boost (SIB) Treatment plan between Seven field (7F) and Nine field(9F) Intensity Modulated Radiotherapies and Single Arc (SA) and Dual Arc (DA) Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy( VMAT). Methods: Retrospective planning study of 16 patients treated in Elekta Synergy Platform (mlci2) by 9F-IMRT were replanned with 7F-IMRT, Single Arc VMAT and Dual Arc VMAT using CMS, Monaco Treatment Planning System (TPS) with Monte Carlo simulation. Target delineation done as per Radiation Therapy Oncology Protocols (RTOG 0225&0615). Dose Prescribed as 70Gy to Planning Target Volumes (PTV70) and 61Gy to PTV61 inmore » 33 fraction as a SIB technique. Conformity Index(CI), Homogeneity Index(HI) were used as analysis parameter for Target Volumes as well as Mean dose and Max dose for Organ at Risk(OAR,s).Treatment Delivery Time(min), Monitor unit per fraction (MU/fraction), Patient specific quality assurance were also analysed. Results: A Poor dose coverage and Conformity index (CI) was observed in PTV70 by 7F-IMRT among other techniques. SA-VMAT achieved poor dose coverage in PTV61. No statistical significance difference observed in OAR,s except Spinal cord (P= 0.03) and Right optic nerve (P=0.03). DA-VMAT achieved superior target coverage, higher CI (P =0.02) and Better HI (P=0.03) for PTV70 other techniques (7F-IMRT/9F-IMRT/SA-VMAT). A better dose spare for Parotid glands and spinal cord were seen in DA-VMAT. The average treatment delivery time were 5.82mins, 6.72mins, 3.24mins, 4.3mins for 7F-IMRT, 9F-IMRT, SA-VMAT and DA-VMAT respectively. Significance difference Observed in MU/fr (P <0.001) and Patient quality assurance pass rate were >95% (Gamma analysis (Γ3mm, 3%). Conclusion: DA-VAMT showed better target dose coverage and achieved better or equal performance in sparing OARs among other techniques. SA-VMAT offered least Treatment Time than other techniques but achieved poor target coverage. DA-VMAT offered shorter delivery time than 7F-IMRT and 9F-IMRT without compromising the plan quality.« less
  • Purpose: To investigate the accuracy, sensitivity and constancy of integral quality monitor (IQM), a new system for in vivo dosimetry of conventional intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) or rotational volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) Methods: A beta-version IQM system was commissioned on an Elekta Infinity LINAC equipped with 160-MLCs Agility head. The stationary and rotational dosimetric constancy of IQM was evaluated, using five-field IMRT and single-or double-arc VMAT plans for prostate and head-and-neck (H&N) patients. The plans were delivered three times over three days to assess the constancy of IQM response. Picket fence (PF) fields were used to evaluate themore » sensitivity of detecting MLC leaf errors. A single leaf offset was intentionally introduced during delivery of various PF fields with segment apertures of 3×1, 5×1, 10×1, and 24×1cm2. Both 2mm and 5mm decrease in the field width were used. Results: Repeated IQM measurements of prostate and H&N IMRT deliveries showed 0.4 and 0.5% average standard deviation (SD) for segment-by-segment comparison and 0.1 and 0.2% for cumulative comparison. The corresponding SDs for VMAT deliveries were 6.5, 9.4% and 0.7, 1.3%, respectively. Statistical analysis indicates that the dosimetric differences detected by IQM were significant (p < 0.05) in all PF test deliveries. The largest average IQM signal response of a 2 mm leaf error was found to be 2.1% and 5.1% by a 5mm leaf error for 3×1 cm2 field size. The same error in 24×1 cm2 generates a 0.7% and 1.4% difference in the signal. Conclusion: IQM provides an effective means for real-time dosimetric verification of IMRT/ VMAT treatment delivery. For VMAT delivery, the cumulative dosimetry of IQM needs to be used in clinical practice.« less
  • Purpose: To compare dosimetric endpoints between three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) at our center with limited IMRT experience, and to perform an external audit of the IMRT plans. Methods and Materials: Ten patients, who received adjuvant chemoradiation for gastric cancer, formed the study cohort. For standardization, the planning target volume (PTV) and organs at risk were recontoured with the assistance of a study protocol radiologic atlas. The cohort was replanned with CMS Xio to generate coplanar 3D-CRT and IMRT plans. All 10 datasets, including volumes but without the plans (i.e., blinded), were transmitted to an experienced centermore » where IMRT plans were designed using Nomos Corvus (IMRT-C) and ADAC Pinnacle (IMRT-P). All IMRT plans were normalized to D95% receiving 45 Gy. Results: Intensity-modulated radiotherapy yielded higher PTV V45 (volume that receives {>=}45 Gy) (p < 0.001) than 3D-CRT. No difference in V20 was seen in the right (p = 0.9) and left (p 0.3) kidneys, but the liver mean dose (p < 0.001) was superior with IMRT. For the external audit, IMRT-C (p = 0.002) and IMRT-P (p < 0.001) achieved significantly lower left kidney V20 than IMRT, and IMRT-P (p < 0.001) achieved lower right kidney V20 than IMRT. The IMRT-C (p = 0.003) but not IMRT-P (p = 0.6) had lower liver mean doses than IMRT. Conclusions: At our institution with early IMRT experience, IMRT improved PTV dose coverage and liver doses but not kidney doses. An external audit of IMRT plans showed that an experienced center can yield superior IMRT plans.« less