TH-CD-209-01: A Greedy Reassignment Algorithm for the PBS Minimum Monitor Unit Constraint




To investigate a Greedy Reassignment algorithm in order to mitigate the effects of low weight spots in proton pencil beam scanning (PBS) treatment plans.


To convert a plan from the treatment planning system's (TPS) to a deliverable plan, post processing methods can be used to adjust the spot maps to meets the minimum MU constraint. Existing methods include: deleting low weight spots (Cut method), or rounding spots with weight above/below half the limit up/down to the limit/zero (Round method). An alternative method called Greedy Reassignment was developed in this work in which the lowest weight spot in the field was removed and its weight reassigned equally among its nearest neighbors. The process was repeated with the next lowest weight spot until all spots in the field were above the MU constraint. The algorithm performance was evaluated using plans collected from 190 patients (496 fields) treated at our facility. The evaluation criteria were the γ-index pass rate comparing the pre-processed and post-processed dose distributions. A planning metric was further developed to predict the impact of post-processing on treatment plans for various treatment planning, machine, and dose tolerance parameters.


For fields with a gamma pass rate of 90±1%, the metric has a standard deviation equal to 18% of the centroid value. This showed that the metric and γ-index pass rate are correlated for the Greedy Reassignment algorithm. Using a 3rd order polynomial fit to the data, the Greedy Reassignment method had 1.8 times better metric at 90% pass rate compared to other post-processing methods.


We showed that the Greedy Reassignment method yields deliverable plans that are closest to the optimized-without-MU-constraint plan from the TPS. The metric developed in this work could help design the minimum MU threshold with the goal of keeping the γ-index pass rate above an acceptable value.