With the recent availability of 4D-CT, the accuracy of information on internal organ motion during respiration has improved significantly. We investigate the utility of organ motion information in IMRT treatment planning, using an in-house prototype optimization system. Four approaches are compared: (1) planning with optimized margins, based on motion information; (2) the 'motion kernel' approach, in which a more accurate description of the dose deposit from a pencil beam to a moving target is achieved either through time-weighted averaging of influence matrices, calculated for different instances of anatomy (subsets of 4D-CT data, corresponding to various phases of motion) or through convolution of the pencil beam kernel with the probability density function describing the target motion; (3) optimal gating, or tracking with beam intensity maps optimized independently for each instance of anatomy; and (4) optimal tracking with beam intensity maps optimized simultaneously for all instances of anatomy. The optimization is based on a gradient technique and can handle both physical (dose-volume) and equivalent uniform dose constraints. Optimization requires voxel mapping from phase to phase in order to score the dose in individual voxels as they move. The results show that, compared to the other approaches, margin expansion has a significant disadvantage by substantially increasing the integral dose to patient. While gating or tracking result in the best dose conformation to the target, the former elongates treatment time, and the latter significantly complicates the delivery procedure. The 'motion kernel' approach does not provide a dosimetric advantage, compared to optimal tracking or gating, but might lead to more efficient delivery. A combination of gating with the 'motion kernel' or margin expansion approach will increase the duty cycle and may provide one with the most efficient solution, in terms of complexity of the delivery procedure and dose conformality to the target.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging