Image-based dynamic multileaf collimator tracking of moving targets during intensity-modulated arc therapy

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jun 1;83(2):e265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.12.053. Epub 2012 Mar 6.


Purpose: Intensity-modulated arc therapy (IMAT) enables efficient and highly conformal dose delivery. However, intrafraction motion may compromise the delivered target dose distribution. Dynamic multileaf collimator (DMLC) tracking can potentially mitigate the impact of target motion on the dose. The purpose of this study was to use a single kV imager for DMLC tracking during IMAT and to investigate the ability of this tracking to maintain the dose distribution.

Methods: A motion phantom carrying a two-dimensional (2D) ion chamber array and buildup material with an embedded gold marker reproduced eight representative tumor trajectories (four lung tumors, four prostate). For each trajectory, a low and high IMAT plan were delivered with and without DMLC tracking. The three-dimensional (3D) real-time target position signal for tracking was provided by fluoroscopic kV images acquired immediately before and during treatment. For each image, the 3D position of the embedded marker was estimated from the imaged 2D position by a probability-based method. The MLC leaves were continuously refitted to the estimated 3D position. For lung, prediction was used to compensate for the tracking latency. The delivered 2D dose distributions were measured with the ion chamber array and compared with a reference dose distribution delivered without target motion using a 3%/3 mm γ-test.

Results: For lung tumor motion, tracking reduced the mean γ-failure rate from 38% to 0.7% for low-modulation IMAT plans and from 44% to 2.8% for high-modulation plans. For prostate, the γ-failure rate reduction was from 19% to 0% (low modulation) and from 20% to 2.7% (high modulation). The dominant contributor to the residual γ-failures during tracking was target localization errors for most lung cases and leaf fitting errors for most prostate cases.

Conclusion: Image-based tracking for IMAT was demonstrated for the first time. The tracking greatly improved the dose distributions to moving targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Equipment Design
  • Fiducial Markers
  • Gold
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Movement*
  • Particle Accelerators / instrumentation*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy Setup Errors / prevention & control
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / instrumentation*
  • Radiotherapy, Image-Guided / methods
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / instrumentation
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods*


  • Gold