TU-EF-304-03: 4D Monte Carlo Robustness Test for Proton Therapy




Breathing motion and approximate dose calculation engines may increase proton range uncertainties. We address these two issues using a comprehensive 4D robustness evaluation tool based on an efficient Monte Carlo (MC) engine, which can simulate breathing with no significant increase in computation time.


To assess the robustness of the treatment plan, multiple scenarios of uncertainties are simulated, taking into account the systematic and random setup errors, range uncertainties, and organ motion. Our fast MC dose engine, called MCsquare, implements optimized models on a massively-parallel computation architecture and allows us to accurately simulate a scenario in less than one minute. The deviations of the uncertainty scenarios are then reported on a DVH-band and compared to the nominal plan.The robustness evaluation tool is illustrated in a lung case by comparing three 60Gy treatment plans. First, a plan is optimized on a PTV obtained by extending the CTV with an 8mm margin, in order to take into account systematic geometrical uncertainties, like in our current practice in radiotherapy. No specific strategy is employed to correct for tumor and organ motions. The second plan involves a PTV generated from the ITV, which encompasses the tumor volume in all breathing phases. The last plan results from robust optimization performed on the ITV, with robustness parameters of 3% for tissue density and 8 mm for positioning errors.


The robustness test revealed that the first two plans could not properly cover the target in the presence of uncertainties. CTV-coverage (D95) in the three plans ranged respectively between 39.4–55.5Gy, 50.2–57.5Gy, and 55.1–58.6Gy.


A realistic robustness verification tool based on a fast MC dose engine has been developed. This test is essential to assess the quality of proton therapy plan and very useful to study various planning strategies for mobile tumors.

This work is partly funded by IBA (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)