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 IJMPCERO  Vol.7 No.3 , August 2018
Robustness Evaluation of a Novel Proton Beam Geometry for Head and Neck Patients Treated with Pencil Beam Scanning Therapy
Abstract: Background: To evaluate the robustness of head and neck treatment using proton pencil beam scanning (PBS) technique with respect to range uncertainty (RU) and setup errors (SE), and to establish a robust PBS planning strategy for future treatment. Methods and Materials: Ten consecutive patients were planned with a novel proton field geometry (combination of two posterior oblique fields and one anterior field with gradient dose match) using single-field uniform dose (SFUD) planning technique and the proton plans were dosimetrically compared to two coplanar arc VMAT plans. Robustness of the plans, with respect to range uncertainties (RU = ± 3% for proton) and setup errors (SE = 2.25 mm for proton and VMAT), in terms of deviations to target coverage (CTV D98%) and OAR doses (max/mean), were evaluated and compared for each patient under worst case scenarios. Results: Dosimetrically, PBS plans provided better sparing to larynx (p = 0.005), oral cavity (p < 0.001) and contralateral parotid (p = 0.004) when compared to VMAT. CTV D98% variations were higher from SE than from RU for proton plans (-1.1% ± 1.3 % vs -0.4% ± 0.7% for nodal CTV and -1.4% ± 1.2 vs -0.4% ± 0.5% % for boost CTV). Overall, the magnitudes of variation of CTV D98% to combined SE and RU were found to be similar to the impact of the SE on the VMAT plans (-1.6% ± 1.9% vs -1.7% ± 1.4% for nodal CTV and -1.9% ± 1.6% vs -1.3% ± 1.5% for boost CTV). Compared to VMAT, a larger range of relative dose deviations were found for OARs in proton plans, but safe doses were maintained for cord (41.8 ± 3.6 Gy for PBS and 41.7 ± 3.9 Gy for VMAT) and brainstem (35.2 ± 8.4 Gy for PBS and 36.2 ± 5.1 Gy for VMAT) in worst case scenarios. Conclusions: Compared to VMAT, proton plans containing three SFUD fields with superior-inferior gradient dose matching had improved sparing to larynx, contralateral parotid and oral cavity, while providing similar robustness of target coverage. Evaluation of OAR dose robustness showed higher sensitivities to uncertainties for proton plans, but safe dose levels were maintained for cord and brainstem.
Cite this paper: Huang, S. , Liu, H. , Shen, J. , Zhai, H. , Kirk, M. , Hartl, B. , Lin, A. , McDonough, J. , Both, S. and Lin, H. (2018) Robustness Evaluation of a Novel Proton Beam Geometry for Head and Neck Patients Treated with Pencil Beam Scanning Therapy. International Journal of Medical Physics, Clinical Engineering and Radiation Oncology, 7, 308-322. doi: 10.4236/ijmpcero.2018.73025.
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