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Med Dosim. 2001 Summer;26(2):157-68.

Monte Carlo simulation for MLC-based intensity-modulated radiotherapy.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305-5304, USA.


This article describes photon beam Monte Carlo simulation for multi leaf collimator (MLC)-based intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). We present the general aspects of the Monte Carlo method for the non-Monte Carloist with an emphasis given to patient-specific radiotherapy application. Patient-specific application of the Monte Carlo method can be used for IMRT dose verification, inverse planning, and forward planning in conventional conformal radiotherapy. Because it is difficult to measure IMRT dose distributions in heterogeneous phantoms that approximate a patient, Monte Carlo methods can be used to verify IMRT dose distributions that are calculated using conventional methods. Furthermore, using Monte Carlo as the dose calculation method for inverse planning results in better-optimized treatment plans. We describe both aspects and present our recent results to illustrate the discussion. Finally, we present current issues related to clinical implementation of Monte Carlo dose calculation. Monte Carlo is the most recent, and most accurate, method of radiotherapy dose calculation. It is currently in the process of being implemented by various treatment planning vendors and will be available for clinical use in the immediate future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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