Measurement-based Monte Carlo simulation of high definition dose evaluation for nasopharyngeal cancer patients treated by using intensity modulated radiation therapy

C. Y. Yeh, C. J. Tung, C. C. Lee, M. H. Lin, T. C. Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Measurement-based Monte Carlo (MBMC) simulation using a high definition (HD) phantom was used to evaluate the dose distribution in nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) patients treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Around nasopharyngeal cavity, there exists many small volume organs-at-risk (OARs) such as the optic nerves, auditory nerves, cochlea, and semicircular canal which necessitate the use of a high definition phantom for accurate and correct dose evaluation. The aim of this research was to study the advantages of using an HD phantom for MBMC simulation in NPC patients treated with IMRT. The MBMC simulation in this study was based on the IMRT treatment plan of three NPC patients generated by the anisotropic analytical algorithm (AAA) of the Eclipse treatment planning system (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA, USA) using a calculation grid of 2 mm2. The NPC tumor was treated to a cumulative dose of 7000 cGy in 35 fractions using the shrinking-field sequential IMRT (SIMRT) method. The BEAMnrc MC Code was used to simulate a Varian EX21 linear accelerator treatment head. The HD phantom contained 0.5 x 0.5 x 1 mm3 voxels for the nasopharyngeal area and 0.5 x 0.5 x 3 mm3 for the rest of the head area. An efficiency map was obtained for the amorphous silicon aS1000 electronic portal imaging device (EPID) to adjust the weighting of each particle in the phase-space file for each IMRT beam. Our analysis revealed that small volume organs such as the eighth cranial nerve, semicircular canal, cochlea and external auditory canal showed an absolute dose difference of ≥200 cGy, while the dose difference for larger organs such as the parotid glands and tumor was negligible for the MBMC simulation using the HD phantom. The HD phantom was found to be suitable for Monte Carlo dose volume analysis of small volume organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-337
Number of pages5
JournalRadiation Measurements
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Intensity modulated radiation therapy
  • Monte Carlo
  • Nasopharyngeal cancer
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation

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