SU-D-BRC-05: Effects of Motion and Variable RBE in a Lung Patient Treated with Passively Scattered Protons




To evaluate effects of motion and variable relative biological effectiveness (RBE) in a lung cancer patient treated with passively scattered proton therapy using dose volume histograms associated with patient dose computed using three different methods.


A proton treatment plan of a lung cancer patient optimized using clinical treatment planning system (TPS) was used to construct a detailed Monte Carlo (MC) model of the beam delivery system and the patient specific aperture and compensator. A phase space file containing all particles transported through the beam line was collected at the distal surface of the range compensator and subsequently transported through two different patient models. The first model was based on the average CT used by the TPS and the second model included all 10 phases of the corresponding 4DCT. The physical dose and proton linear energy transfer (LET) were computed in each voxel of two models and used to compute constant and variable RBE MC dose on average CT and 4D CT. The MC computed doses were compared to the TPS dose using dose volume histograms for relevant structures.


The results show significant differences in doses to the target and critical structures suggesting the need for more accurate proton dose computation methods. In particular, the 4D dose shows reduced coverage of the target and higher dose to the spinal cord, while variable RBE dose shows higher lung dose.


The methodology developed in this pilot study is currently used for the analysis of a cohort of ∼90 lung patients from a clinical trial comparing proton and photon therapy for lung cancer. The results from this study will help us in determining the clinical significance of more accurate dose computation models in proton therapy.