Technical Note: A novel leaf sequencing optimization algorithm which considers previous underdose and overdose events for MLC tracking radiotherapy




Multileaf collimator (MLC) tracking radiotherapy is complex as the beam pattern needs to be modified due to the planned intensity modulation as well as the real-time target motion. The target motion cannot be planned; therefore, the modified beam pattern differs from the original plan and the MLC sequence needs to be recomputed online. Current MLC tracking algorithms use a greedy heuristic in that they optimize for a given time, but ignore past errors. To overcome this problem, the authors have developed and improved an algorithm that minimizes large underdose and overdose regions. Additionally, previous underdose and overdose events are taken into account to avoid regions with high quantity of dose events.


The authors improved the existing MLC motion control algorithm by introducing a cumulative underdose/overdose map. This map represents the actual projection of the planned tumor shape and logs occurring dose events at each specific regions. These events have an impact on the dose cost calculation and reduce recurrence of dose events at each region. The authors studied the improvement of the new temporal optimization algorithm in terms of the L1-norm minimization of the sum of overdose and underdose compared to not accounting for previous dose events. For evaluation, the authors simulated the delivery of 5 conformal and 14 intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT)-plans with 7 3D patient measured tumor motion traces.


Simulations with conformal shapes showed an improvement of L1-norm up to 8.5% after 100 MLC modification steps. Experiments showed comparable improvements with the same type of treatment plans.


A novel leaf sequencing optimization algorithm which considers previous dose events for MLC tracking radiotherapy has been developed and investigated. Reductions in underdose/overdose are observed for conformal and IMRT delivery.