skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: SU-E-T-578: MCEBRT, A Monte Carlo Code for External Beam Treatment Plan Verifications

Abstract

Purpose: Present a new Monte Carlo code (MCEBRT) for patient-specific dose calculations in external beam radiotherapy. The code MLC model is benchmarked and real patient plans are re-calculated using MCEBRT and compared with commercial TPS. Methods: MCEBRT is based on the GEPTS system (Med. Phys. 29 (2002) 835–846). Phase space data generated for Varian linac photon beams (6 – 15 MV) are used as source term. MCEBRT uses a realistic MLC model (tongue and groove, rounded ends). Patient CT and DICOM RT files are used to generate a 3D patient phantom and simulate the treatment configuration (gantry, collimator and couch angles; jaw positions; MLC sequences; MUs). MCEBRT dose distributions and DVHs are compared with those from TPS in absolute way (Gy). Results: Calculations based on the developed MLC model closely matches transmission measurements (pin-point ionization chamber at selected positions and film for lateral dose profile). See Fig.1. Dose calculations for two clinical cases (whole brain irradiation with opposed beams and lung case with eight fields) are carried out and outcomes are compared with the Eclipse AAA algorithm. Good agreement is observed for the brain case (Figs 2-3) except at the surface where MCEBRT dose can be higher by 20%. Thismore » is due to better modeling of electron contamination by MCEBRT. For the lung case an overall good agreement (91% gamma index passing rate with 3%/3mm DTA criterion) is observed (Fig.4) but dose in lung can be over-estimated by up to 10% by AAA (Fig.5). CTV and PTV DVHs from TPS and MCEBRT are nevertheless close (Fig.6). Conclusion: A new Monte Carlo code is developed for plan verification. Contrary to phantombased QA measurements, MCEBRT simulate the exact patient geometry and tissue composition. MCEBRT can be used as extra verification layer for plans where surface dose and tissue heterogeneity are an issue.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA (United States)
  2. (Egypt)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22369695
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; BRAIN; COLLIMATORS; IONIZATION CHAMBERS; LINEAR ACCELERATORS; LUNGS; MONTE CARLO METHOD; PATIENTS; PHANTOMS; PHASE SPACE; PHOTON BEAMS; RADIATION DOSE DISTRIBUTIONS; RADIOTHERAPY; VERIFICATION

Citation Formats

Chibani, O, Ma, C, Eldib, A, and Al-Azhar University, Cairo. SU-E-T-578: MCEBRT, A Monte Carlo Code for External Beam Treatment Plan Verifications. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4888914.
Chibani, O, Ma, C, Eldib, A, & Al-Azhar University, Cairo. SU-E-T-578: MCEBRT, A Monte Carlo Code for External Beam Treatment Plan Verifications. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4888914.
Chibani, O, Ma, C, Eldib, A, and Al-Azhar University, Cairo. 2014. "SU-E-T-578: MCEBRT, A Monte Carlo Code for External Beam Treatment Plan Verifications". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4888914.
@article{osti_22369695,
title = {SU-E-T-578: MCEBRT, A Monte Carlo Code for External Beam Treatment Plan Verifications},
author = {Chibani, O and Ma, C and Eldib, A and Al-Azhar University, Cairo},
abstractNote = {Purpose: Present a new Monte Carlo code (MCEBRT) for patient-specific dose calculations in external beam radiotherapy. The code MLC model is benchmarked and real patient plans are re-calculated using MCEBRT and compared with commercial TPS. Methods: MCEBRT is based on the GEPTS system (Med. Phys. 29 (2002) 835–846). Phase space data generated for Varian linac photon beams (6 – 15 MV) are used as source term. MCEBRT uses a realistic MLC model (tongue and groove, rounded ends). Patient CT and DICOM RT files are used to generate a 3D patient phantom and simulate the treatment configuration (gantry, collimator and couch angles; jaw positions; MLC sequences; MUs). MCEBRT dose distributions and DVHs are compared with those from TPS in absolute way (Gy). Results: Calculations based on the developed MLC model closely matches transmission measurements (pin-point ionization chamber at selected positions and film for lateral dose profile). See Fig.1. Dose calculations for two clinical cases (whole brain irradiation with opposed beams and lung case with eight fields) are carried out and outcomes are compared with the Eclipse AAA algorithm. Good agreement is observed for the brain case (Figs 2-3) except at the surface where MCEBRT dose can be higher by 20%. This is due to better modeling of electron contamination by MCEBRT. For the lung case an overall good agreement (91% gamma index passing rate with 3%/3mm DTA criterion) is observed (Fig.4) but dose in lung can be over-estimated by up to 10% by AAA (Fig.5). CTV and PTV DVHs from TPS and MCEBRT are nevertheless close (Fig.6). Conclusion: A new Monte Carlo code is developed for plan verification. Contrary to phantombased QA measurements, MCEBRT simulate the exact patient geometry and tissue composition. MCEBRT can be used as extra verification layer for plans where surface dose and tissue heterogeneity are an issue.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4888914},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 41,
place = {United States},
year = 2014,
month = 6
}
  • The Monte Carlo (MC) method has been shown through many research studies to calculate accurate dose distributions for clinical radiotherapy, particularly in heterogeneous patient tissues where the effects of electron transport cannot be accurately handled with conventional, deterministic dose algorithms. Despite its proven accuracy and the potential for improved dose distributions to influence treatment outcomes, the long calculation times previously associated with MC simulation rendered this method impractical for routine clinical treatment planning. However, the development of faster codes optimized for radiotherapy calculations and improvements in computer processor technology have substantially reduced calculation times to, in some instances, within minutesmore » on a single processor. These advances have motivated several major treatment planning system vendors to embark upon the path of MC techniques. Several commercial vendors have already released or are currently in the process of releasing MC algorithms for photon and/or electron beam treatment planning. Consequently, the accessibility and use of MC treatment planning algorithms may well become widespread in the radiotherapy community. With MC simulation, dose is computed stochastically using first principles; this method is therefore quite different from conventional dose algorithms. Issues such as statistical uncertainties, the use of variance reduction techniques, the ability to account for geometric details in the accelerator treatment head simulation, and other features, are all unique components of a MC treatment planning algorithm. Successful implementation by the clinical physicist of such a system will require an understanding of the basic principles of MC techniques. The purpose of this report, while providing education and review on the use of MC simulation in radiotherapy planning, is to set out, for both users and developers, the salient issues associated with clinical implementation and experimental verification of MC dose algorithms. As the MC method is an emerging technology, this report is not meant to be prescriptive. Rather, it is intended as a preliminary report to review the tenets of the MC method and to provide the framework upon which to build a comprehensive program for commissioning and routine quality assurance of MC-based treatment planning systems.« less
  • Purpose: Accurate and fast dose calculation is a prerequisite of precision radiation therapy in modern photon and particle therapy. While Monte Carlo (MC) dose calculation provides high dosimetric accuracy, the drastically increased computational time hinders its routine use. Deterministic dose calculation methods are fast, but problematic in the presence of tissue density inhomogeneity. We leverage the useful features of deterministic methods and MC to develop a hybrid dose calculation platform with autonomous utilization of MC and deterministic calculation depending on the local geometry, for optimal accuracy and speed. Methods: Our platform utilizes a Geant4 based “localized Monte Carlo” (LMC) methodmore » that isolates MC dose calculations only to volumes that have potential for dosimetric inaccuracy. In our approach, additional structures are created encompassing heterogeneous volumes. Deterministic methods calculate dose and energy fluence up to the volume surfaces, where the energy fluence distribution is sampled into discrete histories and transported using MC. Histories exiting the volume are converted back into energy fluence, and transported deterministically. By matching boundary conditions at both interfaces, deterministic dose calculation account for dose perturbations “downstream” of localized heterogeneities. Hybrid dose calculation was performed for water and anthropomorphic phantoms. Results: We achieved <1% agreement between deterministic and MC calculations in the water benchmark for photon and proton beams, and dose differences of 2%–15% could be observed in heterogeneous phantoms. The saving in computational time (a factor ∼4–7 compared to a full Monte Carlo dose calculation) was found to be approximately proportional to the volume of the heterogeneous region. Conclusion: Our hybrid dose calculation approach takes advantage of the computational efficiency of deterministic method and accuracy of MC, providing a practical tool for high performance dose calculation in modern RT. The approach is generalizable to all modalities where heterogeneities play a large role, notably particle therapy.« less
  • To fully account for finite drift orbit effect of fast ions on wave-particle interaction in ion-cyclotron radio frequency (ICRF) heating experiments in tokamaks, the 5-D finite orbit Monte-Carlo plasma distribution solver ORBIT-RF is coupled with the 2-D full wave code AORSA in a self-consistent way. Comparison results of ORBIT-RF/AORSA simulation against fast-ion D{sub {alpha}}(FIDA) measurement of fast-ion distribution as well as CQL3D/ray-tracing simulation with zero-orbit approximation in the DIII-D ICRF wave beam-ion acceleration experiment are presented. Preliminary ORBIT-RF/AORSA results suggest that finite orbit width effects may explain the outward radial shift of the spatial profile measured by FIDA.
  • Purpose: Monte Carlo codes are becoming important tools for proton beam dosimetry. However, the relationships between the customizing parameters and percentage depth dose (PDD) of GATE and PHITS codes have not been reported which are studied for PDD and proton range compared to the FLUKA code and the experimental data. Methods: The beam delivery system of the Indiana University Health Proton Therapy Center was modeled for the uniform scanning beam in FLUKA and transferred identically into GATE and PHITS. This computational model was built from the blue print and validated with the commissioning data. Three parameters evaluated are the maximummore » step size, cut off energy and physical and transport model. The dependence of the PDDs on the customizing parameters was compared with the published results of previous studies. Results: The optimal parameters for the simulation of the whole beam delivery system were defined by referring to the calculation results obtained with each parameter. Although the PDDs from FLUKA and the experimental data show a good agreement, those of GATE and PHITS obtained with our optimal parameters show a minor discrepancy. The measured proton range R90 was 269.37 mm, compared to the calculated range of 269.63 mm, 268.96 mm, and 270.85 mm with FLUKA, GATE and PHITS, respectively. Conclusion: We evaluated the dependence of the results for PDDs obtained with GATE and PHITS Monte Carlo generalpurpose codes on the customizing parameters by using the whole computational model of the treatment nozzle. The optimal parameters for the simulation were then defined by referring to the calculation results. The physical model, particle transport mechanics and the different geometrybased descriptions need accurate customization in three simulation codes to agree with experimental data for artifact-free Monte Carlo simulation. This study was supported by Grants-in Aid for Cancer Research (H22-3rd Term Cancer Control-General-043) from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (No. 23791419), and JSPS Core-to-Core program (No. 23003). The authors have no conflict of interest.« less
  • Purpose: Retinoblastoma is the most common intraocular malignancy in the early childhood. Patients treated with external beam radiotherapy respond very well to the treatment. However, owing to the genotype of children suffering hereditary retinoblastoma, the risk of secondary radio-induced malignancies is high. The University Hospital of Essen has successfully treated these patients on a daily basis during nearly 30 years using a dedicated “D”-shaped collimator. The use of this collimator that delivers a highly conformed small radiation field, gives very good results in the control of the primary tumor as well as in preserving visual function, while it avoids themore » devastating side effects of deformation of midface bones. The purpose of the present paper is to propose a modified version of the “D”-shaped collimator that reduces even further the irradiation field with the scope to reduce as well the risk of radio-induced secondary malignancies. Concurrently, the new dedicated “D”-shaped collimator must be easier to build and at the same time produces dose distributions that only differ on the field size with respect to the dose distributions obtained by the current collimator in use. The scope of the former requirement is to facilitate the employment of the authors' irradiation technique both at the authors' and at other hospitals. The fulfillment of the latter allows the authors to continue using the clinical experience gained in more than 30 years. Methods: The Monte Carlo codePENELOPE was used to study the effect that the different structural elements of the dedicated “D”-shaped collimator have on the absorbed dose distribution. To perform this study, the radiation transport through a Varian Clinac 2100 C/D operating at 6 MV was simulated in order to tally phase-space files which were then used as radiation sources to simulate the considered collimators and the subsequent dose distributions. With the knowledge gained in that study, a new, simpler, “D”-shaped collimator is proposed. Results: The proposed collimator delivers a dose distribution which is 2.4 cm wide along the inferior-superior direction of the eyeball. This width is 0.3 cm narrower than that of the dose distribution obtained with the collimator currently in clinical use. The other relevant characteristics of the dose distribution obtained with the new collimator, namely, depth doses at clinically relevant positions, penumbrae width, and shape of the lateral profiles, are statistically compatible with the results obtained for the collimator currently in use. Conclusions: The smaller field size delivered by the proposed collimator still fully covers the planning target volume with at least 95% of the maximum dose at a depth of 2 cm and provides a safety margin of 0.2 cm, so ensuring an adequate treatment while reducing the irradiated volume.« less