TH-AB-202-04: Auto-Adaptive Margin Generation for MLC-Tracked Radiotherapy




To develop an auto-adaptive margin generator for MLC tracking. The generator is able to estimate errors arising in image guided radiotherapy, particularly on an MR-Linac, which depend on the latencies of machine and image processing, as well as on patient motion characteristics. From the estimated error distribution, a segment margin is generated, able to compensate errors up to a user-defined confidence.


In every tracking control cycle (TCC, 40ms), the desired aperture D(t) is compared to the actual aperture A(t), a delayed and imperfect representation of D(t). Thus an error e(t)=A(T)-D(T) is measured every TCC. Applying kernel-density-estimation (KDE), the cumulative distribution (CDF) of e(t) is estimated. With CDF-confidence limits, upper and lower error limits are extracted for motion axes along and perpendicular leaf-travel direction and applied as margins. To test the dosimetric impact, two representative motion traces were extracted from fast liver-MRI (10Hz). The traces were applied onto a 4D-motion platform and continuously tracked by an Elekta Agility 160 MLC using an artificially imposed tracking delay. Gafchromic film was used to detect dose exposition for static, tracked, and error-compensated tracking cases. The margin generator was parameterized to cover 90% of all tracking errors. Dosimetric impact was rated by calculating the ratio between underexposed points (>5% underdosage) to the total number of points inside FWHM of static exposure.


Without imposing adaptive margins, tracking experiments showed a ratio of underexposed points of 17.5% and 14.3% for two motion cases with imaging delays of 200ms and 300ms, respectively. Activating the margin generated yielded total suppression (<1%) of underdosed points.


We showed that auto-adaptive error compensation using machine error statistics is possible for MLC tracking. The error compensation margins are calculated on-line, without the need of assuming motion or machine models. Further strategies to reduce consequential overdosages are currently under investigation.

This work was funded by the SoRTS consortium, which includes the industry partners Elekta, Philips and Technolution