Article Abstract

Agreement between gamma passing rates using computed tomography in radiotherapy and secondary cancer risk prediction from more advanced dose calculated models

Authors: Abdulhamid Chaikh, Jacques Balosso


Background: During the past decades, in radiotherapy, the dose distributions were calculated using density correction methods with pencil beam as type ‘a’ algorithm. The objectives of this study are to assess and evaluate the impact of dose distribution shift on the predicted secondary cancer risk (SCR), using modern advanced dose calculation algorithms, point kernel, as type ‘b’, which consider change in lateral electrons transport.
Methods: Clinical examples of pediatric cranio-spinal irradiation patients were evaluated. For each case, two radiotherapy treatment plans with were generated using the same prescribed dose to the target resulting in different number of monitor units (MUs) per field. The dose distributions were calculated, respectively, using both algorithms types. A gamma index (γ) analysis was used to compare dose distribution in the lung. The organ equivalent dose (OED) has been calculated with three different models, the linear, the linear-exponential and the plateau dose response curves. The excess absolute risk ratio (EAR) was also evaluated as (EAR = OED type ‘b’ / OED type ‘a’).
Results: The γ analysis results indicated an acceptable dose distribution agreement of 95% with 3%/3 mm. Although, the γ-maps displayed dose displacement >1 mm around the healthy lungs. Compared to type ‘a’, the OED values from type ‘b’ dose distributions’ were about 8% to 16% higher, leading to an EAR ratio >1, ranged from 1.08 to 1.13 depending on SCR models.
Conclusions: The shift of dose calculation in radiotherapy, according to the algorithm, can significantly influence the SCR prediction and the plan optimization, since OEDs are calculated from DVH for a specific treatment. The agreement between dose distribution and SCR prediction depends on dose response models and epidemiological data. In addition, the γ passing rates of 3%/3 mm does not translate the difference, up to 15%, in the predictions of SCR resulting from alternative algorithms. Considering that modern algorithms are more accurate, showing more precisely the dose distributions, but that the prediction of absolute SCR is still very imprecise, only the EAR ratio could be used to rank radiotherapy plans.