Improvements in prostate radiotherapy from the customization of beam directions.
A methodology for optimizing the beam directions in radiotherapy treatment planning has been developed and tested on a cohort of twelve prostate patients. An optimization algorithm employing a an objective cost function was used, based on beam's-eye-view volumetrics but also employing a simple dose model and biological considerations for organs-at-risk (OARs). The cost function embodies information about the volume of OARs in a single field and their position relative to the planning target volume (PTV). The proximity of the PTV to the surface of the patient is also included. Within the algorithm "importance factor" were used to model the clinical importance of different organs-at-risk so that all organs-at-risk were included in a single objective score. "Gantry-angle-windows" were introduced to restrict the available beam directions. The methodology was applied to twelve prostate patients to determine the optimum beam directions for three-field direction plans. Orientation-optimized and standard treatment plans were compared via measures of tumor control probability (TCP) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP). Standard plans had fixed beam directions whereas orientation-optimized plans contained beam directions chosen by the algorithm. The beam-weights of both the orientation-optimized and standard plans were optimized using a dose-based simulated annealing algorithm to allow the improvements by optimizing the beam directions to be studied in isolation. The results of the comparison show that optimization of the beam directions yielded better plans, in terms of TCP and NTCP, than the standard plans. When the dose to the isocenter was scaled to produce a rectal NTCP of 1%, the average TCP of the orientation-optimized plans was (5.7 +/- 1.4)% greater than that for the standard plans. In conclusion, the customization of beam directions in the treatment planning of prostate patients using and objective cost function and allowed gantry-angle-windows produces superior three-field direction plans compared to standard treatment plans.
Rowbottom, CG; Webb, S; Oldham, M
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