Patient-Specific Monte Carlo-Based Dose-Kernel Approach for Inverse Planning in Afterloading Brachytherapy
Brachytherapy planning software relies on the Task Group report 43 dosimetry formalism. This formalism, based on a water approximation, neglects various heterogeneous materials present during treatment. Various studies have suggested that these heterogeneities should be taken into account to improve the treatment quality. The present study sought to demonstrate the feasibility of incorporating Monte Carlo (MC) dosimetry within an inverse planning algorithm to improve the dose conformity and increase the treatment quality.
The method was based on precalculated dose kernels in full patient geometries, representing the dose distribution of a brachytherapy source at a single dwell position using MC simulations and the Geant4 toolkit. These dose kernels are used by the inverse planning by simulated annealing tool to produce a fast MC-based plan. A test was performed for an interstitial brachytherapy breast treatment using two different high-dose-rate brachytherapy sources: the microSelectron iridium-192 source and the electronic brachytherapy source Axxent operating at 50 kVp.
A research version of the inverse planning by simulated annealing algorithm was combined with MC to provide a method to fully account for the heterogeneities in dose optimization, using the MC method. The effect of the water approximation was found to depend on photon energy, with greater dose attenuation for the lower energies of the Axxent source compared with iridium-192. For the latter, an underdosage of 5.1% for the dose received by 90% of the clinical target volume was found.
A new method to optimize afterloading brachytherapy plans that uses MC dosimetric information was developed. Including computed tomography-based information in MC dosimetry in the inverse planning process was shown to take into account the full range of scatter and heterogeneity conditions. This led to significant dose differences compared with the Task Group report 43 approach for the Axxent source.
Available from: Frank Verhaegen
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ABSTRACT: To assess the dosimetric effects of the presence of the applicator, air pockets in clinical target volume (CTV) and OARs along with tissue heterogeneities using the Monte Carlo (MC) method in high dose rate (HDR) gynecologic interstitial brachytherapy with a Syed-Neblett template.
The CT based dosimetry has been achieved with the Geant4 MC toolkit version 9.2. DICOM-RT files of 38 patients were imported into our own platform for MC simulations. The dose distributions were then compared to those obtained with a conventional TG-43 calculation.
Taking account of heterogeneities has effects of the order of 1% on the HDR gynecological dose distributions. However, the exclusion of air pockets and applicator from the DVH calculation can lower the CTV D90 and V100 by as much as 8.7% and 5.0% in comparison with TG-43. Rectum dosimetric indices can also be lowered by approximately 3% compared with TG-43 for most cases. Differences for urethra and bladder are for most cases below 1%.
Exclusion of non-biological material such as air pockets and applicator volume from the CTV is important for both TG-43 and MC calculations. It could be easily implemented and automated in treatment planning systems without affecting computation times.
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ABSTRACT: Breast tissue is heterogeneous and is mainly composed of glandular (G) and adipose (A) tissues. The proportion of G versus A varies considerably among the population. The absorbed dose distributions in accelerated partial breast irradiation therapy with low energy photon brachytherapy sources are very sensitive to tissue heterogeneities. Current clinical algorithms use the recommendations of the AAPM TG43 report which approximates the human tissues by unit density water. The aim of this study is to investigate various breast tissue modeling schemes for low energy brachytherapy. A special case of breast permanent seed implant is considered here. Six modeling schemes are considered. Uniform and non-uniform water breast (UWB and NUWB) consider the density but neglect the effect of the composition of tissues. The uniform and the non-uniform G/A breast (UGAB and NUGAB) as well the age-dependent breast (ADB) models consider the effect of the composition. The segmented breast tissue (SBT) method uses a density threshold to distinguish between G and A tissues. The PTV D90 metric is used for the analysis and is based on the dose to water (D90(w,m)). D90(m,m) is also reported for comparison to D90(w,m). The two-month post-implant D90(w,m) averaged over 38 patients is smaller in NUWB than in UWB by about 4.6% on average (ranging from 5% to 13%). Large average differences of G/A breast models with TG43 (17% and 26% in UGAB and NUGAB, respectively) show that the effect of the chemical composition dominates the effect of the density on dose distributions. D90(w,m) is 12% larger in SBT than in TG43 when averaged. These differences can be as low as 4% or as high as 20% when the individual patients are considered. The high sensitivity of dosimetry on the modeling scheme argues in favor of an agreement on a standard tissue modeling approach to be used in low energy breast brachytherapy. SBT appears to generate the most geometrically reliable breast tissue models in this report.
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ABSTRACT: To establish the accuracy and speed of bGPUMCD, a GPU-oriented Monte Carlo code used for high dose rate brachytherapy dose calculations. The first objective is to evaluate the time required for dose calculation when full Monte Carlo generated dose distribution kernels are used for plan optimization. The second objective is to assess the accuracy and speed when recalculating pre-optimized plans, consisting of many dwell positions.
bGPUMCD is tested with three clinical treatment plans : one prostate case, one breast case, and one rectum case with a shielded applicator. Reference distributions, generated with GEANT4, are used as a basis of comparison. Calculations of full dose distributions of pre-optimized treatment plans as well as single dwell dosimetry are performed. Single source dosimetry, based on TG-43 parameters reproduction, is also presented for the microSelectron V2 (Nucletron, Veenendaal, The Netherlands).
In timing experiments, the computation of single dwell position dose kernels takes between 0.25 and 0.5 s. bGPUMCD can compute full dose distributions of previously optimized plans in ∼2 s. bGPUMCD is capable of computing pre-optimized brachytherapy plans within 1% for the prostate case and 2% for the breast and shielded applicator cases, when comparing the dosimetric parameters D90 and V100 of the reference (GEANT4) and bGPUMCD distributions. For all voxels within the target, an absolute average difference of approximately 1% is found for the prostate case, less than 2% for the breast case and less than 2% for the rectum case with shielded applicator. Larger point differences (>5%) are found within bony regions in the prostate case, where bGPUMCD underdoses compared to GEANT4. Single source dosimetry results are mostly within 2% for the radial function and within 1%-4% for the anisotropic function.
bGPUMCD has the potential to allow for fast MC dose calculation in a clinical setting for all phases of HDR treatment planning, from dose kernel calculations for plan optimization to plan recalculation.
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