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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008;71(1 Suppl):S103-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2007.07.2386.

Quality assurance challenges for motion-adaptive radiation therapy: gating, breath holding, and four-dimensional computed tomography.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Compared with conventional three-dimensional (3D) conformal radiation therapy and intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatments, quality assurance (QA) for motion-adaptive radiation therapy involves various challenges because of the added temporal dimension. Here we discuss those challenges for three specific techniques related to motion-adaptive therapy: namely respiratory gating, breath holding, and four-dimensional computed tomography. Similar to the introduction of any other new technologies in clinical practice, typical QA measures should be taken for these techniques also, including initial testing of equipment and clinical procedures, as well as frequent QA examinations during the early stage of implementation. Here, rather than covering every QA aspect in depth, we focus on some major QA challenges. The biggest QA challenge for gating and breath holding is how to ensure treatment accuracy when internal target position is predicted using external surrogates. Recommended QA measures for each component of treatment, including simulation, planning, patient positioning, and treatment delivery and verification, are discussed. For four-dimensional computed tomography, some major QA challenges have also been discussed.

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