Dose sculpting with generalized equivalent uniform dose.
With intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), a variety of user-defined dose distribution can be produced using inverse planning. The generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD) has been used in IMRT optimization as an alternative objective function to the conventional dose-volume-based criteria. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of gEUD optimization to fine tune the dose distributions of IMRT plans. We analyzed the effect of gEUD-based optimization parameters on plan quality. The objective was to determine whether dose distribution to selected structures could be improved using gEUD optimization without adversely altering the doses delivered to other structures, as in sculpting. We hypothesized that by carefully defining gEUD parameters (EUD0 and n) based on the current dose distributions, the optimization system could be instructed to search for alternative solutions in the neighborhood, and we could maintain the dose distributions for structures already satisfactory and improve dose for structures that need enhancement. We started with an already acceptable IMRT plan optimized with any objective function. The dose distribution was analyzed first. For structures that dose should not be changed, a higher value of n was used and EUD0 was set slightly higher/lower than the EUD value at the current dose distribution for critical structures/targets. For structures that needed improvement in dose, a higher to medium value of n was used, and EUD0 was set to the EUD value or slightly lower/higher for the critical structure/target at the current dose distribution. We evaluated this method in one clinical case each of head and neck, lung and prostate cancer. Dose volume histograms, isodose distributions, and relevant tolerance doses for critical structures were used for the assessment. We found that by adjusting gEUD optimization parameters, the dose distribution could be improved with only a few iterations. A larger value of n could lead to faster convergence and a medium value of n could result in a search in a broader area. Such improvement could also be achieved by optimization based on other criteria, but the gEUD-based method has the advantage of efficiency and flexibility. Therefore, gEUD-based optimization can be used as a tool to improve IMRT plans by adjusting the planning parameters, thereby making dose sculpting feasible.
Wu, Q; Djajaputra, D; Liu, HH; Dong, L; Mohan, R; Wu, Y
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