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Med Phys. 2004 Oct;31(10):2839-44.

Inverse treatment planning with adaptively evolving voxel-dependent penalty scheme.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5847, USA.


In current inverse planning algorithms it is common to treat all voxels within a target or sensitive structure equally and use structure specific prescriptions and weighting factors as system parameters. In reality, the voxels within a structure are not identical in complying with their dosimetric goals and there exists strong intrastructural competition. Inverse planning objective function should not only balance the competing objectives of different structures but also that of the individual voxels in various structures. In this work we propose to model the intrastructural tradeoff through the modulation of voxel-dependent importance factors and deal with the challenging problem of how to obtain a sensible set of importance factors with a manageable amount of computing. Instead of letting the values of voxel-dependent importance to vary freely during the search process, an adaptive algorithm, in which the importance factors were tied to the local radiation doses through a heuristically constructed relation, was developed. It is shown that the approach is quite general and the EUD-based optimization is a special case of the proposed framework. The new planning tool was applied to study a hypothetical phantom case and a prostate case. Comparison of the results with that obtained using conventional inverse planning technique with structure specific importance factors indicated that the dose distributions from the conventional inverse planning are at best suboptimal and can be significantly improved with the help of the proposed nonuniform penalty scheme.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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