Planning, delivery, and quality assurance of intensity-modulated radiotherapy using dynamic multileaf collimator: a strategy for large-scale implementation for the treatment of carcinoma of the prostate.
PURPOSE: To improve the local control of patients with adenocarcinoma of the prostate we have implemented intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to deliver a prescribed dose of 81 Gy. This method is based on inverse planning and the use of dynamic multileaf collimators (DMLC). Because IMRT is a new modality, a major emphasis was on the quality assurance of each component of the process and on patient safety. In this article we describe in detail our procedures and quality assurance program. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Using an inverse algorithm, we have developed a treatment plan consisting five intensity-modulated (IM) photon fields that are delivered with DMLC. In the planning stage, the planner specifies the number of beams and their directions, and the desired doses for the target, the normal organs and the "overlap" regions. Then, the inverse algorithm designs intensity profiles that best meet the specified criteria. A second algorithm determines the leaf motion that would produce the designed intensity pattern and produces a DMLC file as input to the MLC control computer. Our quality assurance program for the planning and treatment delivery process includes the following components: 1) verification of the DMLC field boundary on localization port film, 2) verification that the leaf motion of the DMLC file produces the planned dose distribution (with an independent calculation), 3) comparison of dose distribution produced by DMLC in a flat phantom with that calculated by the treatment planning computer for the same experimental condition, 4) comparison of the planned leaf motions with that implemented for the treatment (as recorded on the MLC log files), 5) confirmation of the initial and final positions of the MLC for each field by a record-and-verify system, and 6) in vivo dose measurements. RESULTS: Using a five-field IMRT plan we have customized dose distribution to conform to and deliver 81 Gy to the PTV. In addition, in the overlap regions between the PTV and the rectum, and between the PTV and the bladder, the dose is kept within the tolerance of the respective organs. Our QA checks show acceptable agreement between the planned and the implemented leaf motions. Correspondingly, film and TLD dosimetry indicates that doses delivered agrees with the planned dose to within 2%. As of September 15, 1996, we have treated eight patients to 81 Gy with IMRT. CONCLUSION: For complex planning problems where the surrounding normal tissues place severe constraints on the prescription dose, IMRT provides a powerful and efficient solution. Given a comprehensive and rigorous quality-assurance program, the intensity-modulated fields can be efficaciously and accurately delivered using DMLC. IMRT treatment is now ready for routine implementation on a large scale in our clinic.
Burman, C; Chui, CS; Kutcher, G; Leibel, S; Zelefsky, M; LoSasso, T; Spirou, S; Wu, Q; Yang, J; Stein, J; Mohan, R; Fuks, Z; Ling, CC
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