Monte Carlo simulations of dynamic radiotherapy treatments

Kakakhel, Muhammad Basim (2012) Monte Carlo simulations of dynamic radiotherapy treatments. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The effects of tumour motion during radiation therapy delivery have been widely investigated. Motion effects have become increasingly important with the introduction of dynamic radiotherapy delivery modalities such as enhanced dynamic wedges (EDWs) and intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) where a dynamically collimated radiation beam is delivered to the moving target, resulting in dose blurring and interplay effects which are a consequence of the combined tumor and beam motion. Prior to this work, reported studies on the EDW based interplay effects have been restricted to the use of experimental methods for assessing single-field non-fractionated treatments. In this work, the interplay effects have been investigated for EDW treatments. Single and multiple field treatments have been studied using experimental and Monte Carlo (MC) methods. Initially this work experimentally studies interplay effects for single-field non-fractionated EDW treatments, using radiation dosimetry systems placed on a sinusoidaly moving platform. A number of wedge angles (60º, 45º and 15º), field sizes (20 × 20, 10 × 10 and 5 × 5 cm2), amplitudes (10-40 mm in step of 10 mm) and periods (2 s, 3 s, 4.5 s and 6 s) of tumor motion are analysed (using gamma analysis) for parallel and perpendicular motions (where the tumor and jaw motions are either parallel or perpendicular to each other). For parallel motion it was found that both the amplitude and period of tumor motion affect the interplay, this becomes more prominent where the collimator tumor speeds become identical. For perpendicular motion the amplitude of tumor motion is the dominant factor where as varying the period of tumor motion has no observable effect on the dose distribution. The wedge angle results suggest that the use of a large wedge angle generates greater dose variation for both parallel and perpendicular motions. The use of small field size with a large tumor motion results in the loss of wedged dose distribution for both parallel and perpendicular motion. From these single field measurements a motion amplitude and period have been identified which show the poorest agreement between the target motion and dynamic delivery and these are used as the „worst case motion parameters.. The experimental work is then extended to multiple-field fractionated treatments. Here a number of pre-existing, multiple–field, wedged lung plans are delivered to the radiation dosimetry systems, employing the worst case motion parameters. Moreover a four field EDW lung plan (using a 4D CT data set) is delivered to the IMRT quality control phantom with dummy tumor insert over four fractions using the worst case parameters i.e. 40 mm amplitude and 6 s period values. The analysis of the film doses using gamma analysis at 3%-3mm indicate the non averaging of the interplay effects for this particular study with a gamma pass rate of 49%. To enable Monte Carlo modelling of the problem, the DYNJAWS component module (CM) of the BEAMnrc user code is validated and automated. DYNJAWS has been recently introduced to model the dynamic wedges. DYNJAWS is therefore commissioned for 6 MV and 10 MV photon energies. It is shown that this CM can accurately model the EDWs for a number of wedge angles and field sizes. The dynamic and step and shoot modes of the CM are compared for their accuracy in modelling the EDW. It is shown that dynamic mode is more accurate. An automation of the DYNJAWS specific input file has been carried out. This file specifies the probability of selection of a subfield and the respective jaw coordinates. This automation simplifies the generation of the BEAMnrc input files for DYNJAWS. The DYNJAWS commissioned model is then used to study multiple field EDW treatments using MC methods. The 4D CT data of an IMRT phantom with the dummy tumor is used to produce a set of Monte Carlo simulation phantoms, onto which the delivery of single field and multiple field EDW treatments is simulated. A number of static and motion multiple field EDW plans have been simulated. The comparison of dose volume histograms (DVHs) and gamma volume histograms (GVHs) for four field EDW treatments (where the collimator and patient motion is in the same direction) using small (15º) and large wedge angles (60º) indicates a greater mismatch between the static and motion cases for the large wedge angle. Finally, to use gel dosimetry as a validation tool, a new technique called the „zero-scan method. is developed for reading the gel dosimeters with x-ray computed tomography (CT). It has been shown that multiple scans of a gel dosimeter (in this case 360 scans) can be used to reconstruct a zero scan image. This zero scan image has a similar precision to an image obtained by averaging the CT images, without the additional dose delivered by the CT scans. In this investigation the interplay effects have been studied for single and multiple field fractionated EDW treatments using experimental and Monte Carlo methods. For using the Monte Carlo methods the DYNJAWS component module of the BEAMnrc code has been validated and automated and further used to study the interplay for multiple field EDW treatments. Zero-scan method, a new gel dosimetry readout technique has been developed for reading the gel images using x-ray CT without losing the precision and accuracy.

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ID Code: 50903
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Trapp, Jamie & Fielding, Andrew
Keywords: enhanced dynamic wedges, gel dosimetry, interplay effects, x-ray computed tomography, radiation therapy, Monte Carlo simulations, BEAMnrc, DOSXYZnrc
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 14 Jun 2012 07:21
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2015 02:21

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