SU-E-T-296: Single Field Per Day Vs. Multiple Fields Per Day and the Impact On BED in Proton Therapy Treatment




A common practice, in proton therapy, is to deliver a rotating subset of fields from the treatment plan for the daily fractions. This study compares the impact this practice has on the biological effective dose (BED) versus delivering all planned fields daily.


For two scenarios (a phantom with a geometry approximating the anatomy of a prostate treatment with opposing lateral beams, and a clinical 3-field brain treatment), treatment plans were produced in Eclipse (Varian) to simulate delivery of one, two, and three fields per fraction. The RT-Dose file, structure set, and α/β ratios were processed using in-house MATLAB code to return a new RT-Dose file containing the BED (including a proton RBE of 1.1) which was imported back into Eclipse for analysis.


For targets and regions of field overlap in the treatment plan, BED is not affected by delivery regimen. In the phantom, BED in the femoral heads showed increased by 20% when a single field was used rather than two fields. In the brain treatment, the minimum BED to the left optic nerve and the pituitary gland increased by 13% and 10% respectively, for a one-field regime compared to three-fields per fraction. Comparing the two-field and threefield regimes, the optic nerve BED was not significantly affected and the minimum pituitary BED was 4% higher for two fields per day.


Hypo-fractionation effects, in regions of non-overlap of fields, significantly increase the BED to the involved tissues by as much as 20%. Care should be taken to avoid inadvertently sacrificing plan effectiveness in the interest of reduced treatment time.