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Impact of different leaf velocities and dose rates on the number of monitor units and the dose-volume-histograms using intensity modulated radiotherapy with sliding-window technique

, 1 , 1 , 1

Radiation Oncology (London, England)

BioMed Central

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      Abstract

      BackgroundIntensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) using sliding window technique utilises a leaf sequencing algorithm, which takes some control system limitations like dose rates (DR) and velocity of the leafs (LV) into account. The effect of altering these limitations on the number of monitor units and radiation dose to the organs at risk (OAR) were analysed.MethodsIMRT plans for different LVs from 1.0 cm/sec to 10.0 cm/sec and different DRs from 100 MU/min to 600 MU/min for two patients with prostate cancer and two patients with squamous cell cancer of the scalp (SCCscalp) were calculated using the same "optimal fluence map". For each field the number of monitor units, the dose volume histograms and the differences in the "actual fluence maps" of the fields were analysed.ResultsWith increase of the DR and decrease of the LV the number of monitor units increased and consequentially the radiation dose given to the OAR. In particular the serial OARs of patients with SCCscalp, which are located outside the end position of the leafs and inside the open field, received an additional dose of a higher DR and lower LV is used.ConclusionFor best protection of organs at risk, a low DR and high LV should be applied. But the consequence of a low DR is both a long treatment time and also that a LV of higher than 3.0 cm/sec is mechanically not applicable. Our recommendation for an optimisation of the discussed parameters is a leaf velocity of 2.5 cm/sec and a dose rate of 300–400 MU/min (prostate cancer) and 100–200 MU/min (SCCscalp) for best protection of organs at risk, short treatment time and number of monitor units.

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      The importance of knowledge on tolerance of normal tissue organs to irradiation by radiation oncologists cannot be overemphasized. Unfortunately, current knowledge is less than adequate. With the increasing use of 3-D treatment planning and dose delivery, this issue, particularly volumetric information, will become even more critical. As a part of the NCI contract N01 CM-47316, a task force, chaired by the primary author, was formed and an extensive literature search was carried out to address this issue. In this issue. In this manuscript we present the updated information on tolerance of normal tissues of concern in the protocols of this contract, based on available data, with a special emphasis on partial volume effects. Due to a lack of precise and comprehensive data base, opinions and experience of the clinicians from four universities involved in the contract have also been contributory. Obviously, this is not and cannot be a comprehensive work, which is beyond the scope of this contract.
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        Out-of-field photon and neutron dose equivalents from step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

        To measure the photon and neutron out-of-treatment-field dose equivalents to various organs from different treatment strategies (conventional vs. intensity-modulated radiation therapy [IMRT]) at different treatment energies and delivered by different accelerators. Independent measurements were made of the photon and neutron out-of-field dose equivalents resulting from one conventional and six IMRT treatments for prostate cancer. The conventional treatment used an 18-MV beam from a Clinac 2100; the IMRT treatments used 6-MV, 10-MV, 15-MV, and 18-MV beams from a Varian Clinac 2100 accelerator and 6-MV and 15-MV beams from a Siemens Primus accelerator. Photon doses were measured with thermoluminescent dosimeters in a Rando phantom, and neutron fluence was measured with gold foils. Dose equivalents to the colon, liver, stomach, lung, esophagus, thyroid, and active bone marrow were determined for each treatment approach. For each treatment approach, the relationship between dose equivalent per MU, distance from the treatment field, and depth in the patient was examined. Photon dose equivalents decreased approximately exponentially with distance from the treatment field. Neutron dose equivalents were independent of distance from the treatment field and decreased with increasing tissue depth. Neutrons were a significant contributor to the out-of field dose equivalent for beam energies > or =15 MV. Out-of-field photon and neutron dose equivalents can be estimated to any point in a patient undergoing a similar treatment approach from the distance of that point to the central axis and from the tissue depth. This information is useful in determining the dose to critical structures and in evaluating the risk of associated carcinogenesis.
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          A fast algorithm for gamma evaluation in 3D.

          The gamma-evaluation method is a tool by which dose distributions can be compared in a quantitative manner combining dose-difference and distance-to-agreement criteria. Since its introduction, the gamma evaluation has been used in many studies and is on the verge of becoming the preferred dose distribution comparison method, particularly for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) verification. One major disadvantage, however, is its long computation time, which especially applies to the comparison of three-dimensional (3D) dose distributions. We present a fast algorithm for a full 3D gamma evaluation at high resolution. Both the reference and evaluated dose distributions are first resampled on the same grid. For each point of the reference dose distribution, the algorithm searches for the best point of agreement according to the gamma method in the evaluated dose distribution, which can be done at a subvoxel resolution. Speed, computer memory efficiency, and high spatial resolution are achieved by searching around each reference point with increasing distance in a sphere, which has a radius of a chosen maximum search distance and is interpolated "on-the-fly" at a chosen sample step size. The smaller the sample step size and the larger the differences between the dose distributions, the longer the gamma evaluation takes. With decreasing sample step size, statistical measures of the 3D gamma distribution converge. Two clinical examples were investigated using 3% of the prescribed dose as dose-difference and 0.3 cm as distance-to-agreement criteria. For 0.2 cm grid spacing, the change in gamma indices was negligible below a sample step size of 0.02 cm. Comparing the full 3D gamma evaluation and slice-by-slice 2D gamma evaluations ("2.5D") for these clinical examples, the gamma indices improved by searching in full 3D space, with the average gamma index decreasing by at least 8%.
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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Department of Radiotherapy and Radiooncology, University Hospital Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Str. 40, 37099 Göttingen, Germany
            Contributors
            Journal
            Radiat Oncol
            Radiation Oncology (London, England)
            BioMed Central
            1748-717X
            2008
            23 September 2008
            : 3
            : 31
            2561032
            1748-717X-3-31
            18811954
            10.1186/1748-717X-3-31
            Copyright © 2008 Vorwerk et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Categories
            Research

            Oncology & Radiotherapy

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