A geometrically based method of step and shoot stereotactic radiosurgery with a miniature multileaf collimator

Phys Med Biol. 2005 Jul 21;50(14):3263-76. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/50/14/005. Epub 2005 Jun 28.


Conventional methods of inverse planning for intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and intensity-modulated radiosurgery (IMRS) are generally based upon optimizing a set of beam fluence profiles according to a set of dose-volume constraints specified by a human planner. This optimization is generally carried out through an iterative approach that relies upon the optimization of a score, driving the plan's ability to satisfy the user-provided constraints. Following optimization of the fluence distribution, the non-trivial problem of converting the fluence distribution into a set of deliverable, intensity-modulated beams must be solved. A novel approach to solving this IMRS total inverse problem is presented in this paper. The proposed method uses a class solution that provides an optimized dose gradient and a method of designing a conformal plan based on an existing geometrically based optimization algorithm. After developing an optimal fluence distribution, the process then arranges the fluence into a set of simple and efficient MLC beam delivery sequences. The algorithm presented here offers several potential advantages for the application of intensity modulation to radiosurgery treatment planning. The geometrically based optimization process' simplicity requires far less human user input and decision making in the specification of dose and dose-volume constraints than do conventional inverse planning algorithms. This simplicity allows the optimization process to be completed much faster than conventional inverse-planning algorithms, literally seconds compared with at least several minutes. Likewise, the fluence conversion step is a simplified process (compared to conventional IMRT planning), which takes advantage of some simplifications uniquely appropriate to the problem at hand (IMRS). The converted, deliverable IMRS beams allow superior conformity and dose gradient relative to conventional IMRS planning or 3DCRT radiosurgery planning. Another benefit is that the number of beam intensity levels is greatly reduced, from hundreds to as few as a half-dozen intensity levels. Finally, since the treatment plan optimization process is based upon proven principles applicable to optimizing radiosurgery (rather than the general problem of optimizing fractionated radiotherapy plans), the plans generated and deliverable with this method of IMRS are potentially superior to those produced by conventional inverse-planning methods of IMRT/IMRS.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiosurgery* / instrumentation
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted