Commissioning and verification of the collapsed cone convolution superposition algorithm for SBRT delivery using flattening filter-free beams.
ABSTRACT: Linacs equipped with flattening filter-free (FFF) megavoltage photon beams are now commercially available. However, the commissioning of FFF beams poses challenges that are not shared with traditional flattened megavoltage X-ray beams. The planning system must model a beam that is peaked in the center and has an energy spectrum that is softer than the flattened beam. Removing the flattening filter also increases the maximum possible dose rates from 600 MU/min up to 2400 MU/min in some cases; this increase in dose rate affects the recombination correction factor, P(ion), used during absolute dose calibration with ionization chambers. We present the first reported experience of commissioning, verification, and clinical use of the collapsed cone convolution superposition (CCCS) dose calculation algorithm for commercially available flattening filter-free beams. Our commissioning data are compared to previously reported measurements and Monte Carlo studies of FFF beams. Commissioning was verified by making point-dose measurement of test plans, irradiating the RPC lung phantom, and performing patient-specific QA. The average point-dose difference between calculations and measurements of all test plans and all patient specific QA measurements is 0.80%, and the RPC phantom absolute dose differences for the two thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) in the phantom planning target volume (PTV) were 1% and 2%, respectively. One hundred percent (100%) of points in the RPC phantom films passed the RPC gamma criteria of 5% and 5 mm. Our results show that the CCCS algorithm can accurately model FFF beams and calculate SBRT dose distributions using those beams.
Project description:To understand the current state of flattening filter-free (FFF) beam implementation in C-arm linear accelerators (LINAC) in Japan, the quality assurance (QA)/quality control (QC) 2018-2019 Committee of the Japan Society of Medical Physics (JSMP) conducted a 37-question survey, designed to investigate facility information and specifications regarding FFF beam adoption and usage. The survey comprised six sections: facility information, devices, clinical usage, standard calibration protocols, modeling for treatment planning (TPS) systems and commissioning and QA/QC. A web-based questionnaire was developed. Responses were collected between 18 June and 18 September 2019. Of the 846 institutions implementing external radiotherapy, 323 replied. Of these institutions, 92 had adopted FFF beams and 66 had treated patients using them. FFF beams were used in stereotactic radiation therapy (SRT) for almost all disease sites, especially for the lungs using 6 MV and liver using 10 MV in 51 and 32 institutions, respectively. The number of institutions using FFF beams for treatment increased yearly, from eight before 2015 to 60 in 2018. Farmer-type ionization chambers were used as the standard calibration protocol in 66 (72%) institutions. In 73 (80%) institutions, the beam-quality conversion factor for FFF beams was calculated from TPR20,10, via the same protocol used for beams with flattening filter (WFF). Commissioning, periodic QA and patient-specific QA for FFF beams also followed the procedures used for WFF beams. FFF beams were primarily used in high-volume centers for SRT. In most institutions, measurement and QA was conducted via the procedures used for WFF beams.
Project description:The feasibility of using portal dosimetry (PD) to verify 6 MV flattening filter-free (FFF) IMRT treatments was investigated. An Elekta Synergy linear accelerator with an Agility collimator capable of delivering FFF beams and a standard iViewGT amorphous silicon (aSi) EPID panel (RID 1640 AL5P) at a fixed SSD of 160 cm were used. Dose rates for FFF beams are up to four times higher than for conventional flattened beams, meaning images taken at maximum FFF dose rate can saturate the EPID. A dose rate of 800 MU/min was found not to saturate the EPID for open fields. This dose rate was subsequently used to characterize the EPID for FFF portal dosimetry. A range of open and phantom fields were measured with both an ion chamber and the EPID, to allow comparison between the two. The measured data were then used to create a model within The Nederlands Kanker Instituut's (NKI's) portal dosimetry software. The model was verified using simple square fields with a range of field sizes and phantom thicknesses. These were compared to calculations performed with the Monaco treatment planning system (TPS) and isocentric ion chamber measurements. It was found that the results for the FFF verification were similar to those for flattened beams with testing on square fields, indicating a difference in dose between the TPS and portal dosimetry of approximately 1%. Two FFF IMRT plans (prostate and lung SABR) were delivered to a homogeneous phantom and showed an overall dose difference at isocenter of ~0.5% and good agreement between the TPS and PD dose distributions. The feasibility of using the NKI software without any modifications for high-dose-rate FFF beams and using a standard EPID detector has been investigated and some initial limitations highlighted.
Project description:We proposed to perform a basic dosimetry commissioning on a new imager sys-tem, the Varian aS1200 electronic portal imaging device (EPID) and TrueBeam 2.0 linear accelerator for flattened (FF) and flattening filter-free (FFF) beams, then to develop an image-based quality assurance (QA) model for verification of the system delivery accuracy for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treat-ments. For dosimetry testing, linearity of dose response with MU, imager lag, and effectiveness of backscatter shielding were investigated. Then, an image-based model was developed to convert images to planar dose onto a virtual water phantom. The model parameters were identified using energy fluence of the Acuros treatment planning system (TPS) and, reference dose profiles and output factors measured at depths of 5, 10, 15, and 20 cm in water phantom for square fields. To validate the model, its calculated dose was compared to measured dose from MapCHECK 2 diode arrays for 36 IMRT fields at 10 cm depth delivered with 6X, 6XFFF, 10X, and 10XFFF energies. An in-house gamma function was used to compare planar doses pixel-by-pixel. Finally, the method was applied to the same IMRT fields to verify their pretreatment delivery dose compared with Eclipse TPS dose. For the EPID commissioning, dose linearity was within 0.4% above 5 MU and ~ 1% above 2 MU, measured lag was smaller than the previous EPIDs, and profile symmetry was improved. The model was validated with mean gamma pass rates (standard deviation) of 99.0% (0.4%), 99.5% (0.6%), 99.3% (0.4%), and 98.0% (0.8%) at 3%/3 mm for respectively 6X, 6XFFF, 10X, and 10XFFF beams. Using the same comparison criteria, the beam deliveries were verified with mean pass rates of 100% (0.0%), 99.6% (0.3%), 99.9% (0.1%), and 98.7% (1.4%). Improvements were observed in dosimetric response of the aS1200 imager compared to previous EPID models, and the model was successfully developed for the new system and delivery energies of 6 and 10 MV, FF, and FFF modes.
Project description:This study presents the basic dosimetric properties of photon beams of a Versa HD linear accelerator (linac), which is capable of delivering flattening filter-free (FFF) beams with a beam quality equivalent to the corresponding flattened beams based on comprehensive beam data measurement. The analyzed data included the PDDs, profiles, penumbra, out-of-field doses, surface doses, output factors, head and phantom scatter factors, and MLC transmissions for both FFF and flattened beams of 6 MV and 10 MV energy from an Elekta Versa HD linac. The 6MVFFF and 10MVFFF beams had an equivalent mean energy to the flattened beams and showed less PDD variations with the field sizes. Compared with their corresponding flattened beams, Dmax was deeper for FFF beams for all field sizes; the ionization ratio variations with the field size were lower for FFF beams; the out-of-field doses were lower and the penumbras were sharper for the FFF beams; the off-axis profile variations with the depths were lesser for the FFF beams. Further, the 6MVFFF and 10MVFFF beams had 35.7% and 40.9% less variations in output factor with the field size, respectively. The collimator exchange effect was reduced in the FFF mode. The head scatter factor showed 59.1% and 73.6% less variations, on average, for the 6MVFFF and 10MVFFF beams, respectively; the variations in the phantom scatter factor were also smaller. The surface doses for all beams increased linearly with the field size. The 6MVFFF and 10MVFFF beams had higher surface doses than the corresponding flattened beams for field sizes of up to 10 ×10cm2 but had lower surface doses for larger fields. Both FFF beams had lower average MLC transmissions than the flattened beams. The finding that the FFF beams were of equivalent quality to the corresponding flattened beams indicates a significant dif-ference from the data on unmatched FFF beams.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Restricted studies comparing different dose rate parameters are available while ITV-based VMAT lung SBRT planning leads to perform the analysis of the most suitable parameters of the external beams used. The special emphasis was placed on the impact of dose rate on dose distribution variations in target volumes due to interplay effects.<h4>Methods</h4>Four VMAT plans were calculated for 15 lung tumours using 6 MV photon beam quality (flattening filter FF vs. flattening filter free FFF beams) and maximum dose rate of 600 MU/min, 1000 MU/min and 1400 MU/min. Three kinds of motion simulations were performed finally giving 180 plans with perturbed dose distributions.<h4>Results</h4>6FFF-1400 MUs/min plans were characterized by the shortest beam on time (1.8 ± 0.2 min). Analysing the performed motion simulation results, the mean dose (Dmean) is not a sensitive parameter to related interplay effects. Looking for local maximum and local minimum doses, some discrepancies were found, but their significance was presented for individual patients, not for the whole cohort. The same was observed for other verified dose metrics.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Generally, the evaluation of VMAT robustness between FF and FFF concepts against interplay effect showed a negligible effect of simulated motion influence on tumour coverage among different photon beam quality parameters. Due to the lack of FFF beams, smaller radiotherapy centres are able to perform ITV-based VMAT lung SBRT treatment in a safe way. Radiotherapy department having FFF beams could perform safe, fast and efficient ITV-based VMAT lung SBRT without a concern about significance of interplay effects.
Project description:As flattening filter-free (FFF) photon beams become readily available for treat-ment delivery in techniques such as SBRT, thorough investigation of skin dose from FFF photon beams is necessary under clinically relevant conditions. Using a parallel-plate PTW Markus chamber placed in a custom water-equivalent phantom, surface-dose measurements were taken at 2 × 2, 3 × 3, 4 × 4, 6 × 6, 8 × 8, 10 × 10, 20 × 20, and 30 × 30 cm2 field sizes, at 80, 90, and 100 cm source-to-surface distances (SSDs), and with fields defined by jaws and multileaf collimator (MLC) using multiple beam energies (6X, 6XFFF, 10X, and 10XFFF). The same set of measurements was repeated with the chamber at a reference depth of 10cm. Each surface measurement was normalized by its corresponding reference depth measurement for analysis. The FFF surface doses at 100 cm SSD were higher than flattened surface doses by 45% at 2 × 2 cm2 to 13% at 20 × 20 cm2 for 6MV energy. These surface dose differences varied to a greater degree as energy increased, ranging from +63% at 2 × 2 cm2 to -2% at 20 × 20 cm2 for 10 MV. At small field sizes, higher energy increased FFF surface dose relative to flattened surface dose; while at larger field sizes, relative FFF surface dose was higher for lower energies. At both energies investigated, decreasing SSD caused a decrease in the ratios of FFF-to-flattened surface dose. Variability with SSD of FFF-to-flattened surface dose differences increased with field size and ranged from 0% to 6%. The field size at which FFF and flattened beams gave the same skin dose increased with decreasing beam energy. Surface dose was higher with MLC fields compared to jaw fields under most conditions, with the difference reaching its maximum at a field size between 4 × 4 cm2 and 6 × 6 cm2 for a given energy and SSD. This study conveyed the magnitude of surface dose in a clinically meaning-ful manner by reporting results normalized to 10 cm depth dose instead of depth of dose maximum.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>Flattening filter free (FFF) beams show the potential for a higher dose rate and lower peripheral dose. We investigated the planning study of FFF beams with their role for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) in squamous cell carcinoma of the scalp.<h4>Methods and materials</h4>One patient with squamous cell carcinoma which had involvement of entire scalp was subjected to VMAT using TrueBeam linear accelerator. As it was a rare skin malignancy, CT data of 7 patients with brain tumors were also included in this study, and their entire scalps were outlined as target volumes. Three VMAT plans were employed with RapidArc form: two half-field full-arcs VMAT using 6 MV standard beams (HFF-VMAT-FF), eight half-field quarter-arcs VMAT using 6 MV standard beams (HFQ-VMAT-FF), and HFQ-VMAT using FFF beams (HFQ-VMAT-FFF). Prescribed dose was 25 × 2 Gy (50 Gy). Plan quality and efficiency were assessed for all plans.<h4>Results</h4>There were no statistically significant differences among the three VMAT plans in target volume coverage, conformity, and homogeneity. For HFQ-VMAT-FF plans, there was a significant decrease by 12.6% in the mean dose to the brain compared with HFF-VMAT-FF. By the use of FFF beams, the mean dose to brain in HFQ-VMAT-FFF plans was further decreased by 7.4% compared with HFQ-VMAT-FF. Beam delivery times were similar for each technique.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The HFQ-VMAT-FF plans showed the superiority in dose distributions compared with HFF-VMAT-FF. HFQ-VMAT-FFF plans might provide further normal tissue sparing, particularly in the brain, showing their potential for radiation therapy in squamous cell carcinoma of the scalp.
Project description:The purpose of this study is to characterize the dosimetric properties and accuracy of a novel treatment platform (Edge radiosurgery system) for localizing and treating patients with frameless, image-guided stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) and stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT). Initial measurements of various components of the system, such as a comprehensive assessment of the dosimetric properties of the flattening filter-free (FFF) beams for both high definition (HD120) MLC and conical cone-based treatment, positioning accuracy and beam attenuation of a six degree of freedom (6DoF) couch, treatment head leakage test, and integrated end-to-end accuracy tests, have been performed. The end-to-end test of the system was performed by CT imaging a phantom and registering hidden targets on the treatment couch to determine the localization accuracy of the optical surface monitoring system (OSMS), cone-beam CT (CBCT), and MV imaging systems, as well as the radiation isocenter targeting accuracy. The deviations between the percent depth-dose curves acquired on the new linac-based system (Edge), and the previously published machine with FFF beams (TrueBeam) beyond D(max) were within 1.0% for both energies. The maximum deviation of output factors between the Edge and TrueBeam was 1.6%. The optimized dosimetric leaf gap values, which were fitted using Eclipse dose calculations and measurements based on representative spine radiosurgery plans, were 0.700 mm and 1.000 mm, respectively. For the conical cones, 6X FFF has sharper penumbra ranging from 1.2-1.8 mm (80%-20%) and 1.9-3.8 mm (90%-10%) relative to 10X FFF, which has 1.2-2.2mm and 2.3-5.1mm, respectively. The relative attenuation measurements of the couch for PA, PA (rails-in), oblique, oblique (rails-out), oblique (rails-in) were: -2.0%, -2.5%, -15.6%, -2.5%, -5.0% for 6X FFF and -1.4%, -1.5%, -12.2%, -2.5%, -5.0% for 10X FFF, respectively, with a slight decrease in attenuation versus field size. The systematic deviation between the OSMS and CBCT was -0.4 ± 0.2 mm, 0.1± 0.3mm, and 0.0 ± 0.1 mm in the vertical, longitudinal, and lateral directions. The mean values and standard deviations of the average deviation and maximum deviation of the daily Winston-Lutz tests over three months are 0.20 ± 0.03 mm and 0.66 ± 0.18 mm, respectively. Initial testing of this novel system demonstrates the technology to be highly accurate and suitable for frameless, linac-based SRS and SBRT treatment.
Project description:Radiation therapy with high dose rate and flattening filter-free (FFF) beams has the potential advantage of greatly reduced treatment time and out-of-field dose. Current inverse planning algorithms are, however, not customized for beams with nonuniform incident profiles and the resultant IMRT plans are often inefficient in delivery. The authors propose a total-variation regularization (TVR)-based formalism by taking the inherent shapes of incident beam profiles into account.A novel TVR-based inverse planning formalism is established for IMRT with nonuniform beam profiles. The authors introduce a TVR term into the objective function, which encourages piecewise constant fluence in the nonuniform FFF fluence domain. The proposed algorithm is applied to lung and prostate and head and neck cases and its performance is evaluated by comparing the resulting plans to those obtained using a conventional beamlet-based optimization (BBO).For the prostate case, the authors' algorithm produces acceptable dose distributions with only 21 segments, while the conventional BBO requires 114 segments. For the lung case and the head and neck case, the proposed method generates similar coverage of target volume and sparing of the organs-at-risk as compared to BBO, but with a markedly reduced segment number.TVR-based optimization in nonflat beam domain provides an effective way to maximally leverage the technical capacity of radiation therapy with FFF fields. The technique can generate effective IMRT plans with improved dose delivery efficiency without significant deterioration of the dose distribution.
Project description:<h4>Background and purpose</h4>Hypofractionated radiotherapy of prostate cancer reduces the overall treatment time but increases the per-fraction beam-on time due to the higher fraction doses. This increased fraction treatment time results in a larger uncertainty of the prostate position. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of prostate motion during flattening filter free (FFF) Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) in ultrahypofractionation of prostate cancer radiotherapy with preserved plan quality compared to conventional flattened beams.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Nine prostate patients from the Scandinavian HYPO-RT-PC trial were re-planned using VMAT technique with both conventional and flattening filter free beams. Two fractionation schedules were used, one hypofractionated (42.7?Gy in 7 fractions), and one conventional (78.0?Gy in 39 fractions). Pre-treatment verification measurements were performed on all plans and the treatment time was recorded. Measurements with simulated prostate motion were performed for the plans with the longest treatment times.<h4>Results</h4>All the 10FFF plans fulfilled the clinical gamma pass rate, 90% (3%, 2?mm), during all simulated prostate motion trajectories. The 10MV plans only fulfilled the clinical pass rate for three of the trajectories. The mean beam-on-time for the hypofractionated plans were reduced from 2.3?min to 1.0?min when using 10FFF compared to 10MV. No clinically relevant differences in dose distribution were identified when comparing the plans with different beam qualities.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Flattening-filter free VMAT reduces treatment times, limiting the dosimetric effect of organ motion for ultrahypofractionated prostate cancer with preserved plan quality.