added 2 research items
To investigate the applicability of feasibility-seeking cyclic orthogonal projections to the field of intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT) inverse planning. Feasibility of constraints only, as opposed to optimization of a merit function, is less demanding algorithmically and holds a promise of parallel computations capability with non-cyclic orthogonal projections algorithms such as string-averaging or block-iterative strategies. A virtual 2D geometry was designed containing a C-shaped planning target volume (PTV) surrounding an organ at risk (OAR). The geometry was pixelized into 1 mm pixels. Four beams containing a subset of proton pencil beams were simulated in Geant4 to provide the system matrix A whose elements a_ij correspond to the dose delivered to pixel i by a unit intensity pencil beam j. A cyclic orthogonal projections algorithm was applied with the goal of finding a pencil beam intensity distribution that would meet the following dose requirements: D_OAR < 54 Gy and 57 Gy < D_PTV < 64.2 Gy. The cyclic algorithm was based on the concept of orthogonal projections onto half-spaces according to the Agmon-Motzkin-Schoenberg algorithm, also known as 'ART for inequalities'. The cyclic orthogonal projections algorithm resulted in less than 5% of the PTV pixels and less than 1% of OAR pixels violating their dose constraints, respectively. Because of the abutting OAR-PTV geometry and the realistic modelling of the pencil beam penumbra, complete satisfaction of the dose objectives was not achieved, although this would be a clinically acceptable plan for a meningioma abutting the brainstem, for example. The cyclic orthogonal projections algorithm was demonstrated to be an effective tool for inverse IMPT planning in the 2D test geometry described. We plan to further develop this linear algorithm to be capable of incorporating dose-volume constraints into the feasibility-seeking algorithm.
A split feasibility formulation for the inverse problem of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment planning with dose-volume constraints (DVCs) included in the planning algorithm is presented. It involves a new type of sparsity constraint that enables the inclusion of a percentage-violation constraint in the model problem and its handling by continuous (as opposed to integer) methods. We propose an iterative algorithmic framework for solving such a problem by applying the feasibility-seeking CQ-algorithm of Byrne combined with the automatic relaxation method (ARM) that uses cyclic projections. Detailed implementation instructions are furnished. Functionality of the algorithm was demonstrated through the creation of an intensity-modulated proton therapy plan for a simple 2D C-shaped geometry and also for a realistic base-of-skull chordoma treatment site. Monte Carlo simulations of proton pencil beams of varying energy were conducted to obtain dose distributions for the 2D test case. A research release of the Pinnacle3 proton treatment planning system was used to extract pencil beam doses for a clinical base-of-skull chordoma case. In both cases the beamlet doses were calculated to satisfy dose-volume constraints according to our new algorithm. Examination of the dose-volume histograms following inverse planning with our algorithm demonstrated that it performed as intended. The application of our proposed algorithm to dose-volume constraint inverse planning was successfully demonstrated. Comparison with optimized dose distributions from the research release of the Pinnacle3 treatment planning system showed the algorithm could achieve equivalent or superior results.