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J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2015 Sep 8;16(5):296–305. doi: 10.1120/jacmp.v16i5.5515.

Analysis of direct clinical consequences of MLC positional errors in volumetric-modulated arc therapy using 3D dosimetry system.

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St. John's Medical College and Hospital;Bharathiar University.


In advanced, intensity-modulated external radiotherapy facility, the multileaf collimator has a decisive role in the beam modulation by creating multiple segments or dynamically varying field shapes to deliver a uniform dose distribution to the target with maximum sparing of normal tissues. The position of each MLC leaf has become more critical for intensity-modulated delivery (step-and-shoot IMRT, dynamic IMRT, and VMAT) compared to 3D CRT, where it defines only field boundaries. We analyzed the impact of the MLC positional errors on the dose distribution for volumetric-modulated arc therapy, using a 3D dosimetry system. A total of 15 VMAT cases, five each for brain, head and neck, and prostate cases, were retrospectively selected for the study. All the plans were generated in Monaco 3.0.0v TPS (Elekta Corporation, Atlanta, GA) and delivered using Elekta Synergy linear accelerator. Systematic errors of +1, +0.5, +0.3, 0, -1, -0.5, -0.3 mm were introduced in the MLC bank of the linear accelerator and the impact on the dose distribution of VMAT delivery was measured using the COMPASS 3D dosim-etry system. All the plans were created using single modulated arcs and the dose calculation was performed using a Monte Carlo algorithm in a grid size of 3 mm. The clinical endpoints D95%, D50%, D2%, and Dmax,D20%, D50% were taken for the evaluation of the target and critical organs doses, respectively. A significant dosimetric effect was found for many cases even with 0.5 mm of MLC positional errors. The average change of dose D 95% to PTV for ± 1 mm, ± 0.5 mm, and ±0.3mm was 5.15%, 2.58%, and 0.96% for brain cases; 7.19%, 3.67%, and 1.56% for head and neck cases; and 8.39%, 4.5%, and 1.86% for prostate cases, respectively. The average deviation of dose Dmax was 5.4%, 2.8%, and 0.83% for brainstem in brain cases; 8.2%, 4.4%, and 1.9% for spinal cord in H&N; and 10.8%, 6.2%, and 2.1% for rectum in prostate cases, respectively. The average changes in dose followed a linear relationship with the amount of MLC positional error, as can be expected. MLC positional errors beyond ± 0.3 mm showed a significant influence on the intensity-modulated dose distributions. It is, therefore, recommended to have a cautious MLC calibration procedure to sufficiently meet the accuracy in dose delivery.

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