Beam Angle Optimization for Automated Coplanar IMRT Lung Plans

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Purpose: To investigate the effect of incorporating a beam spreading parameter in a beam angle optimization algorithm and to evaluate its efficacy for creating coplanar IMRT lung plans in conjunction with machine learning generated dose objectives.

Methods: Fifteen anonymized patient cases were each re-planned with ten values over the range of the beam spreading parameter, k, and analyzed with a Wilcoxon signed-rank test to determine whether any particular value resulted in significant improvement over the initially treated plan created by a trained dosimetrist. Dose constraints were generated by a machine learning algorithm and kept constant for each case across all k values. Parameters investigated for potential improvement included mean lung dose, V20 lung, V40 heart, 80% conformity index, and 90% conformity index.

Results: With a confidence level of 5%, treatment plans created with this method resulted in significantly better conformity indices. Dose coverage to the PTV was improved by an average of 12% over the initial plans. At the same time, these treatment plans showed no significant difference in mean lung dose, V20 lung, or V40 heart when compared to the initial plans; however, it should be noted that these results could be influenced by the small sample size of patient cases.

Conclusions: The beam angle optimization algorithm, with the inclusion of the beam spreading parameter k, increases the dose conformity of the automatically generated treatment plans over that of the initial plans without adversely affecting the dose to organs at risk. This parameter can be varied according to physician preference in order to control the tradeoff between dose conformity and OAR sparing without compromising the integrity of the plan.





Hedrick, Kathryn Marie (2016). Beam Angle Optimization for Automated Coplanar IMRT Lung Plans. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from


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