A. Krauss

Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

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Publications (13)38.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: One limitation of accurate dose delivery in radiotherapy is intrafractional movement of the tumor or the entire patient which may lead to an underdosage of the target tissue or an overdosage of adjacent organs at risk. In order to compensate for this movement, different techniques have been developed. In this study the tracking performances of a multileaf collimator (MLC) tracking system and a robotic treatment couch tracking system were compared under equal conditions. Methods: MLC tracking was performed using a tracking system based on the Siemens 160 MLC. A HexaPOD robotic treatment couch tracking system was also installed at the same linac. A programmable 4D motion stage was used to reproduce motion trajectories with different target phantoms. Motion localization of the target was provided by the 4D tracking system of Calypso Medical Inc. The gained positional data served as input signal for the control systems of the MLC and HexaPOD tracking systems attempting to compensate for the target motion. The geometric and dosimetric accuracy for the tracking of eight different respiratory motion trajectories was investigated for both systems. The dosimetric accuracy of both systems was also evaluated for the tracking of five prostate motion trajectories. Results: For the respiratory motion the average root mean square error of all trajectories in y direction was reduced from 4.1 to 2.0 mm for MLC tracking and to 2.2 mm for HexaPOD tracking. In x direction it was reduced from 1.9 to 0.9 mm (MLC) and to 1.0 mm (HexaPOD). The average 2%/2 mm gamma pass rate for the respiratory motion trajectories was increased from 76.4% for no tracking to 89.8% and 95.3% for the MLC and the HexaPOD tracking systems, respectively. For the prostate motion trajectories the average 2%/2 mm gamma pass rate was 60.1% when no tracking was applied and was improved to 85.0% for MLC tracking and 95.3% for the HexaPOD tracking system. Conclusions: Both systems clearly increased the geometric and dosimetric accuracy during tracking of respiratory motion trajectories. Thereby, the geometric accuracy was increased almost equally by both systems, whereas the dosimetric accuracy of the HexaPOD tracking system was slightly better for all considered respiratory motion trajectories. Substantial improvement of the dosimetric accuracy was also observed during tracking of prostate motion trajectories during an intensity-modulated radiotherapy plan. Thereby, the HexaPOD tracking system showed better results than the MLC tracking.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Medical Physics

  • No preview · Article · May 2012 · Radiotherapy and Oncology
  • Andreas Krauss · Martin F Fast · Simeon Nill · Uwe Oelfke
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously developed a tumour tracking system, which adapts the aperture of a Siemens 160 MLC to electromagnetically monitored target motion. In this study, we exploit the use of a novel linac-mounted kilovoltage x-ray imaging system for MLC tracking. The unique in-line geometry of the imaging system allows the detection of target motion perpendicular to the treatment beam (i.e. the directions usually featuring steep dose gradients). We utilized the imaging system either alone or in combination with an external surrogate monitoring system. We equipped a Siemens ARTISTE linac with two flat panel detectors, one directly underneath the linac head for motion monitoring and the other underneath the patient couch for geometric tracking accuracy assessments. A programmable phantom with an embedded metal marker reproduced three patient breathing traces. For MLC tracking based on x-ray imaging alone, marker position was detected at a frame rate of 7.1 Hz. For the combined external and internal motion monitoring system, a total of only 85 x-ray images were acquired prior to or in between the delivery of ten segments of an IMRT beam. External motion was monitored with a potentiometer. A correlation model between external and internal motion was established. The real-time component of the MLC tracking procedure then relied solely on the correlation model estimations of internal motion based on the external signal. Geometric tracking accuracies were 0.6 mm (1.1 mm) and 1.8 mm (1.6 mm) in directions perpendicular and parallel to the leaf travel direction for the x-ray-only (the combined external and internal) motion monitoring system in spite of a total system latency of ~0.62 s (~0.51 s). Dosimetric accuracy for a highly modulated IMRT beam--assessed through radiographic film dosimetry--improved substantially when tracking was applied, but depended strongly on the respective geometric tracking accuracy. In conclusion, we have for the first time integrated MLC tracking with x-ray imaging in the in-line geometry and demonstrated highly accurate respiratory motion tracking.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2012 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
  • Martin F Fast · Andreas Krauss · Uwe Oelfke · Simeon Nill
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    ABSTRACT: The authors have developed a system that monitors intrafractional target motion perpendicular to the treatment beam with the aid of radioopaque markers by means of separating kV image and megavoltage (MV) treatment field on a single flat-panel detector. They equipped a research Siemens Artiste linear accelerator (linac) with a 41 × 41 cm(2) a-Si flat-panel detector underneath the treatment head. The in-line geometry allows kV (imaging) and MV (treatment) beams to share closely aligned beam axes. The kV source, usually mounted directly across from the flat-panel imager, was retracted toward the gantry by 13 cm to intentionally misalign kV and MV beams, resulting in a geometric separation of MV treatment field and kV image on the detector. Two consecutive images acquired within 140 ms (the first with MV-only and the second with kV and MV signal) were subtracted to generate a kV-only image. The images were then analyzed "online" with an automated threshold-based marker detection algorithm. They employed a 3D and a 4D phantom equipped with either a single radioopaque marker or three Calypso beacons to mimic respiratory motion. Measured room positions were either cross-referenced with a phantom voltage signal (single marker) or the Calypso system. The accuracy of the back-projection (from detected marker positions into room coordinates) was verified by a simulation study. A phantom study has demonstrated that the imaging framework is capable of automatically detecting marker positions and sending this information to the tracking tool at an update rate of 7.14 Hz. The system latency is 86.9 ± 1.0 ms for single marker detection in the absence of MV radiation. In the presence of a circular MV field of 5 cm diameter, the latency is 87.1 ± 0.9 ms. The total RMS position detection accuracy is 0.20 mm (without MV radiation) and 0.23 mm (with MV). Based on the evaluated motion patterns and MV field size, the positional accuracy and system latency indicate that this system is suitable for real-time adaptive applications.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Medical Physics
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    A Krauss · S Nill · U Oelfke
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    ABSTRACT: Prediction of respiratory motion is essential for real-time tracking of lung or liver tumours in radiotherapy to compensate for system latencies. This study compares the performance of respiratory motion prediction based on linear regression (LR), neural networks (NN), kernel density estimation (KDE) and support vector regression (SVR) for various sampling rates and system latencies ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 s. Root-mean-squared prediction errors are evaluated on 12 3D lung tumour motion traces acquired at 30 Hz during radiotherapy treatments. The effect of stationary predictor training versus continuous predictor retraining as well as full 3D motion processing versus independent coordinate-wise motion processing is investigated. Model parameter optimization is performed through a grid search in the model parameter space for each predictor and all considered latencies, sampling rates, training schemes and 3D data-processing modes. Comparison of the predictors is performed in the clinically applicable setting of patient-independent model parameters. The considered predictors roughly halve the prediction errors compared to using no prediction. When averaging over all sampling rates and latencies, prediction errors normalized to errors of using no prediction of 0.44, 0.46, 0.49 and 0.55 for NN, SVR, LR and KDE are observed. The small differences between the predictors emphasize the relative importance of adequate model parameter optimization compared to the actual prediction model selection. Thorough model parameter tuning is therefore essential for fair predictor comparisons.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
  • A. Krauss · S. Nill · U. Oelfke

    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Radiotherapy and Oncology
  • A. Krauss · S. Nill · U. Oelfke

    No preview · Article · May 2011 · Radiotherapy and Oncology
  • Andreas Krauss · Simeon Nill · Martin Tacke · Uwe Oelfke
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    ABSTRACT: Dynamic multileaf collimator tracking represents a promising method for high-precision radiotherapy to moving tumors. In the present study, we report on the integration of electromagnetic real-time tumor position monitoring into a multileaf collimator-based tracking system. The integrated system was characterized in terms of its geometric and radiologic accuracy. The former was assessed from portal images acquired during radiation delivery to a phantom in tracking mode. The tracking errors were calculated from the positions of the tracking field and of the phantom as extracted from the portal images. Radiologic accuracy was evaluated from film dosimetry performed for conformal and intensity-modulated radiotherapy applied to different phantoms moving on sinusoidal trajectories. A static radiation delivery to the nonmoving target served as a reference for the delivery to the moving phantom with and without tracking applied. Submillimeter tracking accuracy was observed for two-dimensional target motion despite the relatively large system latency of 500 ms. Film dosimetry yielded almost complete recovery of a circular dose distribution with tracking in two dimensions applied: 2%/2 mm gamma-failure rates could be reduced from 59.7% to 3.3%. For single-beam intensity-modulated radiotherapy delivery, accuracy was limited by the finite leaf width. A 2%/2 mm gamma-failure rate of 15.6% remained with tracking applied. The integrated system we have presented marks a major step toward the clinical implementation of high-precision dynamic multileaf collimator tracking. However, several challenges such as irregular motion traces or a thorough quality assurance still need to be addressed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
  • A. Krauss · M. Fast · S. Nill · U. Oelfke

    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Medical Physics
  • K. Hofmann · A. Krauss · S. Nill · U. Oelfke

    No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Medical Physics
  • A. Krauss · S. Nill · U. Oelfke
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: In this work we demonstrate effective tracking of highly irregular breathing motion using a dynamic Siemens 160 MLC™ and a neural network predictor to compensate for the relatively large end‐to‐end system latency of 500 ms. Method and Materials: One‐dimensional breathing patterns were recorded from several radiotherapy patients using the ANZAI pressure belt system. The pressure belt signal was reproduced by a programmable phantom, which has embedded electromagnetic transponders for target localization and tracking (Calypso® Medical Technologies, Inc.). The aperture of a Siemens 160 MLC™ was adapted in real‐time to the target position provided by the Calypso system. Due to the highly irregular nature of breathing motion, advanced prediction methods are required to accurately compensate the system latency. We therefore implemented a feedforward neural network predictor. The network was trained on a 120 second sample of breathing data which preceded the data that was used for the subsequent tracking experiments. The geometric tracking accuracy was determined through an analysis of portalimages acquired during radiation delivery. A metal ball attached to the phantom allowed the reconstruction of the phantom trajectory from the portalimages. Tracking errors were quantified as the difference between the phantom trajectory and the geometric centroid of the radiation field on the portalimages.Results: In an offline cross‐validation study, we could identify a common set of model parameters of the neural network, which yielded good prediction performance for all the breathing patterns under consideration. The analysis of the images acquired during the tracking experiments yielded root mean squared tracking errors of 1.21 mm, 1.29 mm and 1.58 mm for the three investigated motion patterns. Conclusion: In spite of the relatively large system latency, we achieved highly accurate MLC tracking for irregular breathing patterns. Conflict of Interest: Supported by Siemens Healthcare OCS and Calypso Medical Technologies, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2010 · Medical Physics
  • Martin B Tacke · Simeon Nill · Andreas Krauss · Uwe Oelfke
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    ABSTRACT: Methods: The newly developed adaptive MLC control system contains specialized algorithms which are capable of continuous optimization and correction of the aperture of the MLC according to the motion of the target volume during the dose delivery. The algorithms calculate the new leaf positions based on target information provided online to the system. The algorithms were implemented in a dynamic target tracking control system designed for a Siemens 160 MLC (TM). To assess the quality of the new target tracking system in terms of dosimetric accuracy, experiments with various types of motion patterns using different phantom setups were performed. The phantoms were equipped with radiochromic films placed between solid water slabs. Dosimetric results of exemplary deliveries to moving targets with and without dynamic MLC tracking applied were compared in terms of the gamma criterion to the reference dose delivered to a static phantom. Results: Our measurements indicated that dose errors for clinically relevant two-dimensional target motion can be compensated by the new control system during the dose delivery of open fields. For a clinical IMRT dose distribution, the gamma success rate was increased from 19% to 77% using the new tracking system. Similar improvements were achieved for the delivery of a complete IMRT treatment fraction to a moving lung phantom. However, dosimetric accuracy was limited by the system's latency of 400 ms and the finite leaf width of 5 mm in the isocenter plane. Conclusions: Different experimental setups representing different target tracking scenarios proved that the tracking concept, the new algorithms and the dynamic control system make it possible to effectively compensate for dose errors due to target motion in real-time. These early results indicate that the method is suited to increasing the accuracy and the quality of the treatment delivery for the irradiation of moving tumors.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2010 · Medical Physics
  • A. Krauss · A. W. Rau · M. Tacke · S. Nill · U. Oelfke

    No preview · Article · Nov 2009 · Fuel and Energy Abstracts

Publication Stats

129 Citations
38.68 Total Impact Points


  • 2009-2012
    • Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum
      • Division of Medical Physics in Radiation Oncology
      Heidelberg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany