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      Comparing planning time, delivery time and plan quality for IMRT, RapidArc and tomotherapy

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          The purpose of this study is to examine plan quality, treatment planning time, and estimated treatment delivery time for 5‐ and 9‐field sliding window IMRT, single and dual arc RapidArc, and tomotherapy. For four phantoms, 5‐ and 9‐field IMRT, single and dual arc RapidArc and tomotherapy plans were created. Plans were evaluated based on the ability to meet dose‐volume constraints, dose homogeneity index, radiation conformity index, planning time, estimated delivery time, integral dose, and volume receiving more than 2 and 5 Gy. For all of the phantoms, tomotherapy was able to meet the most optimization criteria during planning (50% for P1, 67% for P2, 0% for P3, and 50% for P4). RapidArc met less of the optimization criteria (25% for P1, 17% for P2, 0% for P3, and 0% for P4), while IMRT was never able to meet any of the constraints. In addition, tomotherapy plans were able to produce the most homogeneous dose. Tomotherapy plans had longer planning time, longer estimated treatment times, lower conformity index, and higher integral dose. Tomotherapy plans can produce plans of higher quality and have the capability to conform dose distributions better than IMRT or RapidArc in the axial plane, but exhibit increased dose superior and inferior to the target volume. RapidArc, however, is capable of producing better plans than IMRT for the test cases examined in this study.

          PACS number: 87.55.x, 87.55.D,,

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          Most cited references 40

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          Volumetric modulated arc therapy: IMRT in a single gantry arc.

          In this work a novel plan optimization platform is presented where treatment is delivered efficiently and accurately in a single dynamically modulated arc. Improvements in patient care achieved through image-guided positioning and plan adaptation have resulted in an increase in overall treatment times. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has also increased treatment time by requiring a larger number of beam directions, increased monitor units (MU), and, in the case of tomotherapy, a slice-by-slice delivery. In order to maintain a similar level of patient throughput it will be necessary to increase the efficiency of treatment delivery. The solution proposed here is a novel aperture-based algorithm for treatment plan optimization where dose is delivered during a single gantry arc of up to 360 deg. The technique is similar to tomotherapy in that a full 360 deg of beam directions are available for optimization but is fundamentally different in that the entire dose volume is delivered in a single source rotation. The new technique is referred to as volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT). Multileaf collimator (MLC) leaf motion and number of MU per degree of gantry rotation is restricted during the optimization so that gantry rotation speed, leaf translation speed, and dose rate maxima do not excessively limit the delivery efficiency. During planning, investigators model continuous gantry motion by a coarse sampling of static gantry positions and fluence maps or MLC aperture shapes. The technique presented here is unique in that gantry and MLC position sampling is progressively increased throughout the optimization. Using the full gantry range will theoretically provide increased flexibility in generating highly conformal treatment plans. In practice, the additional flexibility is somewhat negated by the additional constraints placed on the amount of MLC leaf motion between gantry samples. A series of studies are performed that characterize the relationship between gantry and MLC sampling, dose modeling accuracy, and optimization time. Results show that gantry angle and MLC sample spacing as low as 1 deg and 0.5 cm, respectively, is desirable for accurate dose modeling. It is also shown that reducing the sample spacing dramatically reduces the ability of the optimization to arrive at a solution. The competing benefits of having small and large sample spacing are mutually realized using the progressive sampling technique described here. Preliminary results show that plans generated with VMAT optimization exhibit dose distributions equivalent or superior to static gantry IMRT. Timing studies have shown that the VMAT technique is well suited for on-line verification and adaptation with delivery times that are reduced to approximately 1.5-3 min for a 200 cGy fraction.
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            Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, protons, and the risk of second cancers.

             Daniel Hall (2006)
            Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) allows dose to be concentrated in the tumor volume while sparing normal tissues. However, the downside to IMRT is the potential to increase the number of radiation-induced second cancers. The reasons for this potential are more monitor units and, therefore, a larger total-body dose because of leakage radiation and, because IMRT involves more fields, a bigger volume of normal tissue is exposed to lower radiation doses. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy may double the incidence of solid cancers in long-term survivors. This outcome may be acceptable in older patients if balanced by an improvement in local tumor control and reduced acute toxicity. On the other hand, the incidence of second cancers is much higher in children, so that doubling it may not be acceptable. IMRT represents a special case for children for three reasons. First, children are more sensitive to radiation-induced cancer than are adults. Second, radiation scattered from the treatment volume is more important in the small body of the child. Third, the question of genetic susceptibility arises because many childhood cancers involve a germline mutation. The levels of leakage radiation in current Linacs are not inevitable. Leakage can be reduced but at substantial cost. An alternative strategy is to replace X-rays with protons. However, this change is only an advantage if the proton machine employs a pencil scanning beam. Many proton facilities use passive modulation to produce a field of sufficient size, but the use of a scattering foil produces neutrons, which results in an effective dose to the patient higher than that characteristic of IMRT. The benefit of protons is only achieved if a scanning beam is used in which the doses are 10 times lower than with IMRT.
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              CERR: a computational environment for radiotherapy research.

              A software environment is described, called the computational environment for radiotherapy research (CERR, pronounced "sir"). CERR partially addresses four broad needs in treatment planning research: (a) it provides a convenient and powerful software environment to develop and prototype treatment planning concepts, (b) it serves as a software integration environment to combine treatment planning software written in multiple languages (MATLAB, FORTRAN, C/C++, JAVA, etc.), together with treatment plan information (computed tomography scans, outlined structures, dose distributions, digital films, etc.), (c) it provides the ability to extract treatment plans from disparate planning systems using the widely available AAPM/RTOG archiving mechanism, and (d) it provides a convenient and powerful tool for sharing and reproducing treatment planning research results. The functional components currently being distributed, including source code, include: (1) an import program which converts the widely available AAPM/RTOG treatment planning format into a MATLAB cell-array data object, facilitating manipulation; (2) viewers which display axial, coronal, and sagittal computed tomography images, structure contours, digital films, and isodose lines or dose colorwash, (3) a suite of contouring tools to edit and/or create anatomical structures, (4) dose-volume and dose-surface histogram calculation and display tools, and (5) various predefined commands. CERR allows the user to retrieve any AAPM/RTOG key word information about the treatment plan archive. The code is relatively self-describing, because it relies on MATLAB structure field name definitions based on the AAPM/RTOG standard. New structure field names can be added dynamically or permanently. New components of arbitrary data type can be stored and accessed without disturbing system operation. CERR has been applied to aid research in dose-volume-outcome modeling, Monte Carlo dose calculation, and treatment planning optimization. In summary, CERR provides a powerful, convenient, and common framework which allows researchers to use common patient data sets, and compare and share research results.

                Author and article information

                J Appl Clin Med Phys
                J Appl Clin Med Phys
                Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
                John Wiley and Sons Inc. (Hoboken )
                07 October 2009
                Fall 2009
                : 10
                : 4 ( doiID: 10.1002/acm2.2009.10.issue-4 )
                : 117-131
                [ 1 ] Department of Medical Physics British Columbia Cancer Agency Victoria British Columbia Canada
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Mike Oliver, Department of Medical Physics, British Columbia Cancer Agency, 2410 Lee Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8R 6V5; phone: (250) 519‐5530; fax: (250) 519‐2024; email: moliver3@
                © 2009 The Authors.

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Page count
                Figures: 6, Tables: 4, References: 37, Pages: 15, Words: 6000
                Radiation Oncology Physics
                Radiation Oncology Physics
                Custom metadata
                Fall 2009
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_NLMPMC version:5.2.5 mode:remove_FC converted:16.11.2017

                treatment planning, tomotherapy, rapidarc, imrt


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