Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists

Publisher: Elsevier

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Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) treatment planning and delivery can be accomplished using a variety of techniques that achieve highly conformal dose distributions. Herein, we describe a template-based automated treatment field approach that enables rapid delivery of more than 20 coplanar fields. A case study is presented to demonstrate how modest adaptations to traditional SBRT planning can be implemented to take clinical advantage of this technology. Treatment was planned for a left-sided lung lesion adjacent to the chest wall using 25 coplanar treatment fields spaced at 11° intervals. The plan spares the contralateral lung and is in compliance with the conformality standards set forth in Radiation Therapy and Oncology Group protocol 0915, and the dose tolerances found in the report of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine Task Group 101. Using a standard template, treatment planning was accomplished in less than 20 minutes, and each 10Gy fraction was delivered in approximately 5.4 minutes. For those centers equipped with linear accelerators capable of automated treatment field delivery, the use of more than 20 coplanar fields is a viable SBRT planning approach and yields excellent conformality and quality combined with rapid planning and treatment delivery. Although the case study discusses a laterally located lung lesion, this technique can be applied to centrally located tumors with similar results.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In recent years, small-field electron beams have been used for the treatment of superficial lesions, which requires small circular fields. However, when using very small electron fields, some significant dosimetric problems may occur. In this study, dose distributions and outputs of circular fields with dimensions of 5cm and smaller, for nominal energies of 6, 9, and 15MeV from the Siemens ONCOR Linac, were measured and compared with data from a treatment planning system using the pencil-beam algorithm in electron beam calculations. All dose distribution measurements were performed using the Gafchromic EBT film; these measurements were compared with data that were obtained from the Computerized Medical Systems (CMS) XiO treatment planning system (TPS), using the gamma-index method in the PTW VeriSoft software program. Output measurements were performed using the Gafchromic EBT film, an Advanced Markus ion chamber, and thermoluminescent dosimetry (TLD). Although the pencil-beam algorithm is used to model electron beams in many clinics, there is no substantial amount of detailed information in the literature about its use. As the field size decreased, the point of maximum dose moved closer to the surface. Output factors were consistent; differences from the values obtained from the TPS were, at maximum, 42% for 6 and 15MeV and 32% for 9MeV. When the dose distributions from the TPS were compared with the measurements from the Gafchromic EBT films, it was observed that the results were consistent for 2-cm diameter and larger fields, but the outputs for fields of 1-cm diameter and smaller were not consistent. In CMS XiO TPS, calculated using the pencil-beam algorithm, the dose distributions of electron treatment fields that were created with circular cutout of a 1-cm diameter were not appropriate for patient treatment and the pencil-beam algorithm is not convenient for monitor unit (MU) calculations in electron dosimetry.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Use of a patient test dose before single-fraction total body irradiation (TBI) allows review of in vivo dosimetry and modification of the main treatment setup. However, use of computed tomography (CT) planning and online in vivo dosimetry may reduce the need for this additional step. Patients were treated using a supine CT-planned extended source-to-surface distance (SSD) technique with lead compensators and bolus. In vivo dosimetry was performed using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) and diodes at 10 representative anatomical locations, for both a 0.1-Gy test dose and the treatment dose. In total, 28 patients were treated between April 2007 and July 2013, with changes made in 10 cases (36%) following test dose results. Overall, 98.1% of measured in vivo treatment doses were within 10% of the prescribed dose, compared with 97.0% of test dose readings. Changes made following the test dose could have been applied during the single-fraction treatment itself, assuming that the dose was delivered in subportions and online in vivo dosimetry was available for all clinically important anatomical sites. This alleviates the need for a test dose, saving considerable time and resources.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 08/2014;
  • Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is now widely used clinically, as it is capable of delivering a highly conformal dose distribution in a short time interval. We retrospectively analyzed patient-specific quality assurance (QA) of VMAT and examined the relationships between the planning parameters and the QA results. A total of 118 clinical VMAT cases underwent pretreatment QA. All plans had 3-dimensional diode array measurements, and 69 also had ion chamber measurements. Dose distribution and isocenter point dose were evaluated by comparing the measurements and the treatment planning system (TPS) calculations. In addition, the relationship between QA results and several planning parameters, such as dose level, control points (CPs), monitor units (MUs), average field width, and average leaf travel, were also analyzed. For delivered dose distribution, a gamma analysis passing rate greater than 90% was obtained for all plans and greater than 95% for 100 of 118 plans with the 3%/3-mm criteria. The difference (mean ± standard deviation) between the point doses measured by the ion chamber and those calculated by TPS was 0.9% ± 2.0% for all plans. For all cancer sites, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and gastric cancer have the lowest and highest average passing rates, respectively. From multivariate linear regression analysis, the dose level (p = 0.001) and the average leaf travel (p < 0.001) showed negative correlations with the passing rate, and the average field width (p = 0.003) showed a positive correlation with the passing rate, all indicating a correlation between the passing rate and the plan complexity. No statistically significant correlation was found between MU or CP and the passing rate. Analysis of the results of dosimetric pretreatment measurements as a function of VMAT plan parameters can provide important information to guide the plan parameter setting and optimization in TPS.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Craniospinal irradiation (CSI) requires abutting fields at the cervical spine. Junction shifts are conventionally used to prevent setup error-induced overdosage/underdosage from occurring at the same location. This study compared the dosimetric differences at the cranial-spinal junction between a single-gradient junction technique and conventional multiple-junction shifts and evaluated the effect of setup errors on the dose distributions between both techniques for a treatment course and single fraction. Conventionally, 2 lateral brain fields and a posterior spine field(s) are used for CSI with weekly 1-cm junction shifts. We retrospectively replanned 4 CSI patients using a single-gradient junction between the lateral brain fields and the posterior spine field. The fields were extended to allow a minimum 3-cm field overlap. The dose gradient at the junction was achieved using dose painting and intensity-modulated radiation therapy planning. The effect of positioning setup errors on the dose distributions for both techniques was simulated by applying shifts of ± 3 and 5mm. The resulting cervical spine doses across the field junction for both techniques were calculated and compared. Dose profiles were obtained for both a single fraction and entire treatment course to include the effects of the conventional weekly junction shifts. Compared with the conventional technique, the gradient-dose technique resulted in higher dose uniformity and conformity to the target volumes, lower organ at risk (OAR) mean and maximum doses, and diminished hot spots from systematic positioning errors over the course of treatment. Single-fraction hot and cold spots were improved for the gradient-dose technique. The single-gradient junction technique provides improved conformity, dose uniformity, diminished hot spots, lower OAR mean and maximum dose, and one plan for the entire treatment course, which reduces the potential human error associated with conventional 4-shifted plans.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated the correlation between 2-dimensional (2D) and 3D gamma analysis using the new PTW OCTAVIUS 4D system for various parameters. For this study, we selected 150 clinically approved volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans of head and neck (50), thoracic (esophagus) (50), and pelvic (cervix) (50) sites. Individual verification plans were created and delivered to the OCTAVIUS 4D phantom. Measured and calculated dose distributions were compared using the 2D and 3D gamma analysis by global (maximum), local and selected (isocenter) dose methods. The average gamma passing rate for 2D global gamma analysis in coronal and sagittal plane was 94.81% ± 2.12% and 95.19% ± 1.76%, respectively, for commonly used 3-mm/3% criteria with 10% low-dose threshold. Correspondingly, for the same criteria, the average gamma passing rate for 3D planar global gamma analysis was 95.90% ± 1.57% and 95.61% ± 1.65%. The volumetric 3D gamma passing rate for 3-mm/3% (10% low-dose threshold) global gamma was 96.49% ± 1.49%. Applying stringent gamma criteria resulted in higher differences between 2D planar and 3D planar gamma analysis across all the global, local, and selected dose gamma evaluation methods. The average gamma passing rate for volumetric 3D gamma analysis was 1.49%, 1.36%, and 2.16% higher when compared with 2D planar analyses (coronal and sagittal combined average) for 3mm/3% global, local, and selected dose gamma analysis, respectively. On the basis of the wide range of analysis and correlation study, we conclude that there is no assured correlation or notable pattern that could provide relation between planar 2D and volumetric 3D gamma analysis. Owing to higher passing rates, higher action limits can be set while performing 3D quality assurance. Site-wise action limits may be considered for patient-specific QA in VMAT.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Stereotactic radiotherapy (SRT) requires tight margins around the tumor, thus producing a steep dose gradient between the tumor and the surrounding healthy tissue. Any setup errors might become clinically significant. To date, no study has been performed to evaluate the dosimetric variations caused by setup errors with a 3-dimensional dosimeter, the PRESAGE. This research aimed to evaluate the potential effect that setup errors have on the dose distribution of intracranial SRT. Computed tomography (CT) simulation of a CIRS radiosurgery head phantom was performed with 1.25-mm slice thickness. An ideal treatment plan was generated using Brainlab iPlan. A PRESAGE was made for every treatment with and without errors. A prescan using the optical CT scanner was carried out. Before treatment, the phantom was imaged using Brainlab ExacTrac. Actual radiotherapy treatments with and without errors were carried out with the Novalis treatment machine. Postscan was performed with an optical CT scanner to analyze the dose irradiation. The dose variation between treatments with and without errors was determined using a 3-dimensional gamma analysis. Errors are clinically insignificant when the passing ratio of the gamma analysis is 95% and above. Errors were clinically significant when the setup errors exceeded a 0.7-mm translation and a 0.5° rotation. The results showed that a 3-mm translation shift in the superior-inferior (SI), right-left (RL), and anterior-posterior (AP) directions and 2° couch rotation produced a passing ratio of 53.1%. Translational and rotational errors of 1.5mm and 1°, respectively, generated a passing ratio of 62.2%. Translation shift of 0.7mm in the directions of SI, RL, and AP and a 0.5° couch rotation produced a passing ratio of 96.2%. Preventing the occurrences of setup errors in intracranial SRT treatment is extremely important as errors greater than 0.7mm and 0.5° alter the dose distribution. The geometrical displacements affect dose delivery to the tumor and the surrounding normal tissues.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Radiation fluence changes caused by the dosimeter itself and poor spatial resolution may lead to lack of 3-dimensional (3D) information depending on the features of the dosimeter and quality assurance of dose distributions for high-dose rate (HDR) iridium-192 ((192)Ir) brachytherapy sources is challenging and experimental dosimetry methods used for brachytherapy sources are limited. In this study, we investigated 3D dose distributions of (192)Ir brachytherapy sources for irradiation with single and multiple dwell positions using a normoxic gel dosimeter and compared them with treatment planning system (TPS) calculations. For dose calibration purposes, 100-mL gel-containing vials were irradiated at predefined doses and then scanned in an magnetic resonance (MR) imaging unit. Gel phantoms prepared in 2 spherical glasses were irradiated with (192)Ir for the calculated dwell positions, and MR scans of the phantoms were obtained. The images were analyzed with MATLAB software. Dose distributions and profiles derived with 1-mm resolution were compared with TPS calculations. Linearity was observed between the delivered dose and the reciprocal of the T2 relaxation time constant of the gel. The x-, y-, and z-axes were defined as the sagittal, coronal, and axial planes, respectively, the sagittal and axial planes were defined parallel to the long axis of the source while the coronal plane was defined horizontally to the long axis of the source. The differences between measured and calculated profile widths of 3-cm source length and point source for 70%, 50%, and 30% isodose lines were evaluated at 3 dose levels using 18 profiles of comparison. The calculations for 3-cm source length revealed a difference of > 3mm in 1 coordinate at 50% profile width on the sagittal plane and 3 coordinates at 70% profile width and 2 coordinates at 50% and 30% profile widths on the axial plane. Calculations on the coronal plane for 3-cm source length showed > 3-mm difference in 1 coordinate at 50% and 70% and 2 coordinates at 30% profile widths. The point source measurements and calculations for 50% profile widths revealed a difference > 3mm in 1 coordinate on the sagittal plane and 2 coordinates on the axial plane. The doses of 3 coordinates on the sagittal plane and 4 coordinates on the axial plane could not be evaluated in 30% profile width because of low doses. There was good agreement between the gel dosimetry and TPS results. Gel dosimetry provides dose distributions in all 3 planes at the same time, which enables us to define the dose distributions in any plane with high resolution. It can be used to obtain 3D dose distributions for HDR (192)Ir brachytherapy sources and 3D dose verification of TPS.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study is aimed to test a postprostatectomy volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) planning class solution. The solution applies to both the progressive resolution optimizer algorithm version 2 (PRO 2) and the algorithm version 3 (PRO 3), addressing the effect of an upgraded algorithm. A total of 10 radical postprostatectomy patients received 68Gy to 95% of the planning target volume (PTV), which was planned using VMAT. Each case followed a set of planning instructions; including contouring, field setup, and predetermined optimization parameters. Each case was run through both algorithms only once, with no user interaction. Results were averaged and compared against Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 0534 end points. In addition, the clinical target volume (CTV) D100, PTV D99, and PTV mean doses were recorded, along with conformity indices (CIs) (95% and 98%) and the homogeneity index. All cases satisfied PTV D95 of 68Gy and a maximum dose < 74.8Gy. The average result for the PTV D99 was 64.1Gy for PRO 2 and 62.1Gy for PRO 3. The average PTV mean dose for PRO 2 was 71.4Gy and 71.5Gy for PRO 3. The CTV D100 average dose was 67.7 and 68.0Gy for PRO 2 and PRO 3, respectively. The mean homogeneity index for both algorithms was 0.08. The average 95% CI was 1.17 for PRO 2 and 1.19 for PRO 3. For 98%, the average results were 1.08 and 1.12 for PRO 2 and PRO 3, respectively. All cases for each algorithm met the RTOG organs at risk dose constraints. A successful class solution has been established for prostate bed VMAT radiotherapy regardless of the algorithm used.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this report is to communicate the use of single-positron emission computed tomography scan in planning radiation treatments for patients with a history of radiation to the thoracic cavity. A patient presented with obstructive esophageal cancer, having previously received chemotherapy and radiation therapy to the mediastinum for non-Hodgkin lymphoma 11 years earlier. Owing to a number of comorbidities, the patient was not a surgical candidate and was referred to the University of Washington Medical Center for radiation therapy. Prior dose to the spinal cord and lung were taken into account before designing the radiation treatment plan.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) technique is the standard for breast cancer radiotherapy. During treatment planning, not only the coverage of the planning target volume (PTV) but also the minimization of the dose to critical structures, such as the lung, heart, and contralateral breast tissue, need to be considered. Because of the complexity and variations of patient anatomy, more advanced radiotherapy techniques are sometimes desired to better meet the planning goals. In this study, we evaluated external-beam radiation treatment techniques for left breast cancer using various delivery platforms: fixed-field including TomoDirect (TD), static intensity-modulated radiotherapy (sIMRT), and rotational radiotherapy including Elekta volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) and tomotherapy helical (TH). A total of 10 patients with left-sided breast cancer who did or did not have positive lymph nodes and were previously treated with 3DCRT/sIMRT to the entire breast were selected, their treatment was planned with Monaco VMAT, TD, and TH. Dosimetric parameters including PTV coverage, organ-at-risk (OAR) sparing, dose-volume histograms, and target minimum/maximum/mean doses were evaluated. It is found that for plans providing comparable PTV coverage, the Elekta VMAT plans were generally more inhomogeneous than the TH and TD plans. For the cases with regional node involvement, the average mean doses administered to the heart were 9.2 (± 5.2) and 8.8 (± 3.0)Gy in the VMAT and TH plans compared with 11.9 (± 6.4) and 11.8 (± 9.2)Gy for the 3DCRT and TD plans, respectively, with slightly higher doses given to the contralateral lung or breast or both. On average, the total monitor units for VMAT plans are 11.6% of those TH plans. Our studies have shown that VMAT and TH plans offer certain dosimetric advantages over fixed-field IMRT plans for advanced breast cancer requiring regional nodal treatment. However, for early-stage breast cancer fixed-field radiotherapy is potentially more beneficial in terms of OAR sparing.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Volumetric-modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) is an iteration of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), both of which deliver highly conformal dose distributions. Studies have shown the superiority of VMAT and IMRT in comparison with 3-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) in planning target volume (PTV) coverage and organs-at-risk (OARs) sparing. This is the first study examining the benefits of VMAT in pancreatic cancer for doses more than 55.8Gy. A planning study comparing 3D-CRT, IMRT, and VMAT was performed in 20 patients with pancreatic cancer. Treatments were planned for a 25-fraction delivery of 45Gy to a large field followed by a reduced-volume 8-fraction external beam boost to 59.4Gy in total. OARs and PTV doses, conformality index (CI) deviations from 1.0, monitor units (MUs) delivered, and isodose volumes were compared. IMRT and VMAT CI deviations from 1.0 for the large-field and the boost plans were equivalent (large field: 0.032 and 0.046, respectively; boost: 0.042 and 0.037, respectively; p > 0.05 for all comparisons). Both IMRT and VMAT CI deviations from 1.0 were statistically superior to 3D-CRT (large field: 0.217, boost: 0.177; p < 0.05 for all comparisons). VMAT showed reduction of the mean dose to the boost PTV (VMAT: 61.4Gy, IMRT: 62.4Gy, and 3D-CRT: 62.3Gy; p < 0.05). The mean number of MUs per fraction was significantly lower for VMAT for both the large-field and the boost plans. VMAT delivery time was less than 3 minutes compared with 8 minutes for IMRT. Although no statistically significant dose reduction to the OARs was identified when comparing VMAT with IMRT, VMAT showed a reduction in the volumes of the 100% isodose line for the large-field plans. Dose escalation to 59.4Gy in pancreatic cancer is dosimetrically feasible with shorter treatment times, fewer MUs delivered, and comparable CIs for VMAT when compared with IMRT.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This study aims to determine the optimal beam design among various combinations of field numbers and beam trajectories for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) technique for the treatment of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). We used 10 fields with gantry angles of 155°, 130°, 75°, 25°, 0° L, 0° R, 335°, 285°, 230°, and 205° denoted as F10. To decrease doses in the spinal cord, the F10 technique was designed by featuring 2 pairs of split-opposed beam fields at 155° to 335° and 205° to 25°, as well as one pair of manually split beam fields at 0°. The F10 technique was compared with 4 other common field arrangements: F7E, 7 fields with 50° equally spaced gantry angles; F7, the basis of F10 with 155°, 130°, 75°, 0°, 285°, 230°, and 205°; F9E, 9 fields with 40° equally spaced gantry angles; and FP, 7 posterior fields with 180°, 150°, 120°, 90°, 270°, 240°, and 210°. For each individual case of 10 patients, the customized constraints derived after optimization with the standard F10 technique were applied to 4 other field arrangements. The 4 new optimized plans of each individual case were normalized to achieve the same coverage of planning target volume (PTV)63Gy as that of the standard F10 technique. The F10 field arrangement exhibited the best coverage in PTV70Gy and the least mean dose in the trachea-esophagus region. Furthermore, the F10 field arrangement demonstrated the highest level of conformity in the low-dose region and the least monitor unit. The F10 field arrangement performed more outstandingly than the other field arrangements in PTV70Gy coverage and spared the central organ. This arrangement also exhibited the highest conformity and delivery efficiency. The F10 technique is recommended as the standard beam geometry for the SIB-IMRT of NPC.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy for epithelioid hemangioendothelioma (EHE) using volumetric intensity-modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT). A 48-year-old woman was referred for curative irradiation of a vertebral EHE after failure of surgery. A comparison between VMAT and conventional conformal tridimensional (3D) dosimetry was performed and potential advantage of VMAT for sparing critical organs from irradiation׳s side effects was discussed. The total delivered dose on the planning target volume was 54Gy in 27 fractions. The patient was finally treated with VMAT. The tolerance was excellent. There was no acute toxicity, including no increase in pain. With a follow-up of 18 months, no delayed toxicity was reported. The clinical response consisted of a decrease in the dorsal pain. The Dmax for the spinal cord was reduced from 55Gy (3D-radiotherapy [RT]) (which would be an unacceptable dose to the spine because of the risk of myelopathy) to 42.8Gy (VMAT), which remains below the recommended dose threshold (45Gy). The dose delivered to 20% of organ volume (D20) was reduced from 47Gy (3D-RT) to 3Gy (VMAT) for the spinal cord. The study shows that VMAT allows the delivery of curative treatment for vertebral EHEs because of critical organ sparing.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to explore the treatment planning methods of spatially fractionated megavoltage grid therapy for treating bulky lung tumors using multileaf collimator (MLC). A total of 5 patients with lung cancer who had gross tumor volumes ranging from 277 to 635cm(3) were retrospectively chosen for this study. The tumors were from 6.5 to 9.6cm at shortest dimension. Several techniques using either electronic compensation or intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) were used to create a variety of grid therapy plans on the Eclipse treatment planning system. The dose prescription point was calculated to the volume, and a dose of 20Gy with 6-MV/15-MV beams was used in each plan. The dose-volume histogram (DVH) curves were obtained to evaluate dosimetric characteristics. In addition, DVH curves from a commercially available cerrobend grid collimator were also used for comparison. The linear-quadratic radiobiological response model was used to assess therapeutic ratios (TRs) and equivalent uniform doses (EUD) for all generated plans. A total of 6 different grid therapy plans were created for each patient. Overall, 4 plans had different electronic compensation techniques: Ecomps-Tubes, Ecomps-Circles, Ecomps-Squares, and Ecomps-Weave; the other 2 plans used IMRT and IMRT-Weave techniques. The DVH curves and TRs demonstrated that these MLC-based grid therapy plans can achieve dosimetric properties very similar to those of the cerrobend grid collimator. However, the MLC-based plans have larger EUDs than those with the cerrobend grid collimator. In addition, the field shaping can be performed for targets of any shape in MLC-based plans. Thus, they can deliver a more conformal dose to the targets and spare normal structures better than the cerrobend grid collimator can. The plans generated by the MLC technique demonstrated the advantage over the standard cerrobend grid collimator on accommodating targets and sparing normal structures. Overall, 6 different plans showed 6 different dosimetric parameters. However, an optimal grid therapy plan selection from among these 6 types requires more information from clinical trials and radiobiological studies.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Variations in rectal and bladder filling can create a tilt of the prostate bed, which generates the potential for a geographic miss during postprostatectomy radiotherapy. The aim of this study is to assess the effect that bladder and rectum filling has on planning target volume angle, to determine a method to assess prostate bed tilt leading to potential geographic miss, and to discuss possible implementation issues. The cone-beam computed tomography images (n = 377) of 40 patients who received postprostatectomy radiotherapy with intensity-modulated radiotherapy were reviewed. The amount of tilt in the prostate bed was defined as the angle change between 2 surgical clips, one in the upper prostate bed and another in the lower. A potential geographic miss was defined as movement of any clip of more than 1cm in any direction or 0.5cm posteriorly when aligned to bone anatomy. Variations in bladder and rectum size were correlated with the degree of prostate bed tilt, and the rate of potential geographic miss was determined. A possible clinical use of prostate bed tilt was then assessed for different imaging techniques. A tilt of more than 10° was seen in 20.2% of images, which resulted in a 57.9% geographic miss rate of the superior clip. When tilt remained within 10°, there was only a 9% rate of geographic miss. Potential geographic miss of the inferior surgical clip was rare, occurring in only 1.9% of all images reviewed. The most common occurrence when the prostate bed tilt increased by more than 10° was a smaller bladder and larger rectum (6.4% of all images). The most common occurrence when the prostate bed tilt decreased by more than 10° was a larger bladder and smaller rectum (1.3% of all images). Significant prostate bed tilt (>± 10°) occurred in more than 20% of images, creating a 58% rate of geographic miss. Greatest prostate bed tilt occurred when the bladder size increased or reduced by more than 2cm or the superior rectum size increased by more than 1.5cm or reduced by more than 1cm from the planned size. Using prostate bed tilt could be an effective measurement for assessing potential geographic miss on orthogonal images if volumetric imaging is unavailable.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The limited soft tissue visualization provided by computed tomography, the standard imaging modality for radiotherapy treatment planning and daily localization, has motivated studies on the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for better characterization of treatment sites, such as the prostate and head and neck. However, no studies have been conducted on MRI-based segmentation for the abdomen, a site that could greatly benefit from enhanced soft tissue targeting. We investigated the interobserver and intraobserver precision in segmentation of abdominal organs on MR images for treatment planning and localization. Manual segmentation of 8 abdominal organs was performed by 3 independent observers on MR images acquired from 14 healthy subjects. Observers repeated segmentation 4 separate times for each image set. Interobserver and intraobserver contouring precision was assessed by computing 3-dimensional overlap (Dice coefficient [DC]) and distance to agreement (Hausdorff distance [HD]) of segmented organs. The mean and standard deviation of intraobserver and interobserver DC and HD values were DCintraobserver = 0.89 ± 0.12, HDintraobserver = 3.6mm ± 1.5, DCinterobserver = 0.89 ± 0.15, and HDinterobserver = 3.2mm ± 1.4. Overall, metrics indicated good interobserver/intraobserver precision (mean DC > 0.7, mean HD < 4mm). Results suggest that MRI offers good segmentation precision for abdominal sites. These findings support the utility of MRI for abdominal planning and localization, as emerging MRI technologies, techniques, and onboard imaging devices are beginning to enable MRI-based radiotherapy.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the effect of gross tumor volume of the primary (GTV-P) and nodal (GTV-N) disease on planned radiation dose to the brachial plexus (BP) in head and neck intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Overall, 75 patients underwent definitive IMRT to a median total dose of 69.96Gy in 33 fractions. The right BP and left BP were prospectively contoured as separate organs at risk. The GTV was related to BP dose using the unpaired t-test. Receiver operating characteristics curves were constructed to determine optimized volumetric thresholds of GTV-P and GTV-N corresponding to a maximum BP dose cutoff of > 66Gy. Multivariate analyses were performed to account for factors associated with a higher maximal BP dose. A higher maximum BP dose (> 66 vs ≤ 66Gy) correlated with a greater mean GTV-P (79.5 vs 30.8cc; p = 0.001) and ipsilateral GTV-N (60.6 vs 19.8cc; p = 0.014). When dichotomized by the optimized nodal volume, patients with an ipsilateral GTV-N ≥ 4.9 vs < 4.9cc had a significant difference in maximum BP dose (64.2 vs 59.4Gy; p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis confirmed that an ipsilateral GTV-N ≥ 4.9cc was an independent predictor for the BP to receive a maximal dose of > 66Gy when adjusted individually for BP volume, GTV-P, the use of a low anterior neck field technique, total planned radiation dose, and tumor category. Although both the primary and the nodal tumor volumes affected the BP maximal dose, the ipsilateral nodal tumor volume (GTV-N ≥ 4.9cc) was an independent predictor for high maximal BP dose constraints in head and neck IMRT.
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the use of "Control Point Analysis" (Sun Nuclear Corporation, Melbourne, FL) to analyze and compare delivered volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans for 3 different treatment planning complexity levels. A total of 30 patients were chosen and fully anonymized for the purpose of this study. Overall, 10 lung stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), 10 head-and-neck (H&N), and 10 prostate VMAT plans were generated on Pinnacle(3) and delivered on a Varian linear accelerator (LINAC). The delivered dose was measured using ArcCHECK (Sun Nuclear Corporation, Melbourne, FL). Each plan was analyzed using "Sun Nuclear Corporation (SNC) Patient 6" and "Control Point Analysis." Gamma passing percentage was used to assess the differences between the measured and planned dose distributions and to assess the role of various control point binning combinations. Of the different sites considered, the prostate cases reported the highest gamma passing percentages calculated with "SNC Patient 6" (97.5% to 99.2% for the 3%, 3mm) and "Control Point Analysis" (95.4% to 98.3% for the 3%, 3mm). The mean percentage of passing control point sectors for the prostate cases increased from 51.8 ± 7.8% for individual control points to 70.6 ± 10.5% for 5 control points binned together to 87.8 ± 11.0% for 10 control points binned together (2%, 2-mm passing criteria). Overall, there was an increasing trend in the percentage of sectors passing gamma analysis with an increase in the number of control points binned together in a sector for both the gamma passing criteria (2%, 2mm and 3%, 3mm). Although many plans passed the clinical quality assurance criteria, plans involving the delivery of high Monitor Unit (MU)/control point (SBRT) and plans involving high degree of modulation (H&N) showed less delivery accuracy per control point compared with plans with low MU/control point and low degree of modulation (prostate).
    Medical dosimetry: official journal of the American Association of Medical Dosimetrists 01/2014;

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