Convolution/superposition (C/S) is regarded as the standard dose calculation method in most modern radiotherapy treatment planning systems. Different implementations of C/S could result in significantly different dose distributions. This paper addresses two major implementation issues associated with collapsed cone C/S: one is how to utilize the tabulated kernels instead of analytical parametrizations and the other is how to deal with voxel size effects. Three methods that utilize the tabulated kernels are presented in this paper. These methods differ in the effective kernels used: the differential kernel (DK), the cumulative kernel (CK) or the cumulative-cumulative kernel (CCK). They result in slightly different computation times but significantly different voxel size effects. Both simulated and real multi-resolution dose calculations are presented. For simulation tests, we use arbitrary kernels and various voxel sizes with a homogeneous phantom, and assume forward energy transportation only. Simulations with voxel size up to 1 cm show that the CCK algorithm has errors within 0.1% of the maximum gold standard dose. Real dose calculations use a heterogeneous slab phantom, both the 'broad' (5 × 5 cm2) and the 'narrow' (1.2 × 1.2 cm2) tomotherapy beams. Various voxel sizes (0.5 mm, 1 mm, 2 mm, 4 mm and 8 mm) are used for dose calculations. The results show that all three algorithms have negligible difference (0.1%) for the dose calculation in the fine resolution (0.5 mm voxels). But differences become significant when the voxel size increases. As for the DK or CK algorithm in the broad (narrow) beam dose calculation, the dose differences between the 0.5 mm voxels and the voxels up to 8 mm (4 mm) are around 10% (7%) of the maximum dose. As for the broad (narrow) beam dose calculation using the CCK algorithm, the dose differences between the 0.5 mm voxels and the voxels up to 8 mm (4 mm) are around 1% of the maximum dose. Among all three methods, the CCK algorithm is demontrated to be the most accurate one for multi-resolution dose calculations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging