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Treatment planning optimisation in proton therapy

McGowan, SE; Burnet, NG; Lomax, AJ; (2013) Treatment planning optimisation in proton therapy. The British Journal of Radiology , 86 (1021) , Article 20120288. 10.1259/bjr.20120288. Green open access

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Abstract

The goal of radiotherapy is to achieve uniform target coverage while sparing normal tissue. In proton therapy, the same sources of geometric uncertainty are present as in conventional radiotherapy. However, an important and fundamental difference in proton therapy is that protons have a finite range, highly dependent on the electron density of the material they are traversing, resulting in a steep dose gradient at the distal edge of the Bragg peak. Therefore, an accurate knowledge of the sources and magnitudes of the uncertainties affecting the proton range is essential for producing plans which are robust to these uncertainties. This review describes the current knowledge of the geometric uncertainties and discusses their impact on proton dose plans. The need for patient-specific validation is essential and in cases of complex intensity-modulated proton therapy plans the use of a planning target volume (PTV) may fail to ensure coverage of the target. In cases where a PTV cannot be used, other methods of quantifying plan quality have been investigated. A promising option is to incorporate uncertainties directly into the optimisation algorithm. A further development is the inclusion of robustness into a multicriteria optimisation framework, allowing a multi-objective Pareto optimisation function to balance robustness and conformity. The question remains as to whether adaptive therapy can become an integral part of a proton therapy, to allow re-optimisation during the course of a patient's treatment. The challenge of ensuring that plans are robust to range uncertainties in proton therapy remains, although these methods can provide practical solutions.

Type: Article
Title: Treatment planning optimisation in proton therapy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1259/bjr.20120288
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1259/bjr.20120288
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1547718
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