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Phys Med Biol. 2005 Mar 7;50(5):869-78. Epub 2005 Feb 17.

Dosimetric verification of IMRT treatment planning using Monte Carlo simulations for prostate cancer.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.


The purpose of this work is to investigate the accuracy of dose calculation of a commercial treatment planning system (Corvus, Normos Corp., Sewickley, PA). In this study, 30 prostate intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) treatment plans from the commercial treatment planning system were recalculated using the Monte Carlo method. Dose-volume histograms and isodose distributions were compared. Other quantities such as minimum dose to the target (D(min)), the dose received by 98% of the target volume (D98), dose at the isocentre (D(iso)), mean target dose (D(mean)) and the maximum critical structure dose (D(max)) were also evaluated based on our clinical criteria. For coplanar plans, the dose differences between Monte Carlo and the commercial treatment planning system with and without heterogeneity correction were not significant. The differences in the isocentre dose between the commercial treatment planning system and Monte Carlo simulations were less than 3% for all coplanar cases. The differences on D98 were less than 2% on average. The differences in the mean dose to the target between the commercial system and Monte Carlo results were within 3%. The differences in the maximum bladder dose were within 3% for most cases. The maximum dose differences for the rectum were less than 4% for all the cases. For non-coplanar plans, the difference in the minimum target dose between the treatment planning system and Monte Carlo calculations was up to 9% if the heterogeneity correction was not applied in Corvus. This was caused by the excessive attenuation of the non-coplanar beams by the femurs. When the heterogeneity correction was applied in Corvus, the differences were reduced significantly. These results suggest that heterogeneity correction should be used in dose calculation for prostate cancer with non-coplanar beam arrangements.

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