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Phys Med Biol. 2001 Sep;46(9):2457-65.

Optimization of the step-and-shoot leaf sequence for delivery of intensity modulated radiation therapy using a variable division scheme.

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  • 1Department of Medical Physics, Hull Hospital NHS Trust University of Hull, Kingston Upon Hull, UK.


To deliver an intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plan by multileaf collimator (MLC) it is necessary to convert beam profiles, generated from the inverse treatment planning algorithm, into a series of instructions that the MLC control system can execute. An idealized IMRT beam profile can be regarded as a continuously varying two-dimensional function and is usually represented by an intensity map, i.e., a discretized description in space and in intensity of the beam profile. It is common to assume that the intensity map be defined over a regular grid with N steps and equal increments of intensity levels. In reality, this may not be the optimal representation of the beam profile and may introduce unnecessary discrepancies between the intensity pattern delivered and that ideally required. We have implemented an algorithm capable of minimizing the difference between the two patterns on a beam specific basis. In other words, it can produce optimized intensity maps, individually produced to suit the (continuous function) intensity profile they are intended to approximate. This enhancement in conformation is achieved by allowing variable step size and unconstrained intensity levels in the final leaf sequence.

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