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A quality and efficiency analysis of the IMFAST segmentation algorithm in head and neck "step & shoot" IMRT treatments.

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Medical physics


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      The performance of segmentation algorithms used in IMFAST for "step & shoot" IMRT treatment delivery is evaluated for three head and neck clinical treatments of different optimization objectives. The segmentation uses the intensity maps generated by the in-house TPS PLANUNC using the index-dose minimization algorithm. The dose optimization objectives include PTV dose uniformity and dose volume histogram-specified critical structure sparing. The optimized continuous intensity maps were truncated into five and ten intensity levels and exported to IMFAST for MLC segments optimization. The MLC segments were imported back to PLUNC for dose optimization quality calculation. The five basic segmentation algorithms included in IMFAST were evaluated alone and in combination with either tongue and groove/match line correction or fluence correction or both. Two criteria were used in the evaluation: treatment efficiency represented by the total number of MLC segments and optimization quality represented by a clinically relevant optimization quality factor. We found that the treatment efficiency depends first on the number of intensity levels used in the intensity map and second the segmentation technique used. The standard optimal segmentation with fluence correction is a consistent good performer for all treatment plans studied. All segmentation techniques evaluated produced treatments with similar dose optimization quality values, especially when ten-level intensity maps are used.

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      [1 ] Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27514, USA.
      Med Phys
      Medical physics
      Mar 2002
      : 29
      : 3
      11929009 10.1118/1.1428755


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