SU-E-T-573: The Robustness of a Combined Margin Recipe for Uncertainties During Radiotherapy




To investigate the variability of a safety margin recipe that combines CTV and PTV margins quadratically, with several tumor, treatment, and user related factors.


Margin recipes were calculated by monte-carlo simulations in 5 steps. 1. A spherical tumor with or without isotropic microscopic was irradiated with a 5 field dose plan2. PTV: Geometric uncertainties were introduced using systematic (Sgeo) and random (sgeo) standard deviations. CTV: Microscopic disease distribution was modelled by semi-gaussian (Smicro) with varying number of islets (Ni)3. For a specific uncertainty set (Sgeo, sgeo, Smicro(Ni)), margins were varied until pre-defined decrease in TCP or dose coverage was fulfilled. 4. First, margin recipes were calculated for each of the three uncertainties separately. CTV and PTV recipes were then combined quadratically to yield a final recipe M(Sgeo, sgeo, Smicro(Ni)).5. The final M was verified by simultaneous simulations of the uncertainties.Now, M has been calculated for various changing parameters like margin criteria, penumbra steepness, islet radio-sensitivity, dose conformity, and number of fractions. We subsequently investigated A: whether the combined recipe still holds in all these situations, and B: what the margin variation was in all these cases.


We found that the accuracy of the combined margin recipes remains on average within 1mm for all situations, confirming the correctness of the quadratic addition. Depending on the specific parameter, margin factors could change such that margins change over 50%. Especially margin recipes based on TCP-criteria are more sensitive to more parameters than those based on purely geometric Dmin-criteria. Interestingly, measures taken to minimize treatment field sizes (by e.g. optimizing dose conformity) are counteracted by the requirement of larger margins to get the same tumor coverage.


Margin recipes combining geometric and microscopic uncertainties quadratically are accurate under varying circumstances. However margins can change up to 50% for different situations.