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Title: Feasibility and robustness of dose painting by numbers in proton therapy with contour-driven plan optimization

Purpose: To prove the ability of protons to reproduce a dose gradient that matches a dose painting by numbers (DPBN) prescription in the presence of setup and range errors, by using contours and structure-based optimization in a commercial treatment planning system. Methods: For two patients with head and neck cancer, voxel-by-voxel prescription to the target volume (GTV{sub PET}) was calculated from {sup 18}FDG-PET images and approximated with several discrete prescription subcontours. Treatments were planned with proton pencil beam scanning. In order to determine the optimal plan parameters to approach the DPBN prescription, the effects of the scanning pattern, number of fields, number of subcontours, and use of range shifter were separately tested on each patient. Different constant scanning grids (i.e., spot spacing = Δx = Δy = 3.5, 4, and 5 mm) and uniform energy layer separation [4 and 5 mm WED (water equivalent distance)] were analyzed versus a dynamic and automatic selection of the spots grid. The number of subcontours was increased from 3 to 11 while the number of beams was set to 3, 5, or 7. Conventional PTV-based and robust clinical target volumes (CTV)-based optimization strategies were considered and their robustness against range and setup errors assessed.more » Because of the nonuniform prescription, ensuring robustness for coverage of GTV{sub PET} inevitably leads to overdosing, which was compared for both optimization schemes. Results: The optimal number of subcontours ranged from 5 to 7 for both patients. All considered scanning grids achieved accurate dose painting (1% average difference between the prescribed and planned doses). PTV-based plans led to nonrobust target coverage while robust-optimized plans improved it considerably (differences between worst-case CTV dose and the clinical constraint was up to 3 Gy for PTV-based plans and did not exceed 1 Gy for robust CTV-based plans). Also, only 15% of the points in the GTV{sub PET} (worst case) were above 5% of DPBN prescription for robust-optimized plans, while they were more than 50% for PTV plans. Low dose to organs at risk (OARs) could be achieved for both PTV and robust-optimized plans. Conclusions: DPBN in proton therapy is feasible with the use of a sufficient number subcontours, automatically generated scanning patterns, and no more than three beams are needed. Robust optimization ensured the required target coverage and minimal overdosing, while PTV-approach led to nonrobust plans with excessive overdose. Low dose to OARs can be achieved even in the presence of a high-dose escalation as in DPBN.« less
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  1. Center of Molecular Imaging, Radiotherapy and Oncology, Institut de Recherche Expérimentale et Clinique, Université catholique de Louvain, Brussels B-1200 (Belgium)
  2. Ion Beam Applications S.A., Louvain-la-Neuve 1348 (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States