Research Article| Volume 48, ISSUE 1, P25-30, March 2023

A measurement validation of improved plan deliverability with monitor unit objective tool for spine stereotactic ablative radiotherapy

Published:October 21, 2022DOI:


      Spine stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) uses high dose per fraction for palliative pain control. The treatment plans are often heavily modulated due to close proximity to spinal cord and this can lead to poor plan quality which are susceptible to dose delivery discrepancy. Therefore, we aim to assess the effectiveness of the monitor unit (MU) objective tool in Eclipse treatment planning systems in modulating the plan complexity to improve the plan quality in spine SBRT.
      Seven retrospective spine SBRT plans are re-optimized using the MU objective tool in Eclipse TPS v13.6 and were compared with the original plans. The dose metrics of the tumor PTV were compared using D1cc. D99%, D95%, D0.03cc, D0.1cc, D0.35cc and D1cc, and that of cord PRV were compared using D0.03cc, D0.1cc, D0.35cc. Four different plan complexities were also calculated for the original and re-optimized plans to quantify the impact of the tool on the modulation. Patient specific quality assurance measurements were performed with Stereophan and SRS MapCheck, and analyzed using the 1%/1-mm and 2%/2-mm criteria with gamma analysis.
      The dose metrics of the PTV and cord PRV of the re-optimized and original plans are similar and still meet the planning dose constraints. In particular, the PTV dose coverage has a small percentage difference of (0.15 ± 1.33)% and (0.01 ± 1.04)% for D99% and D95%, respectively. The 4 calculated plan complexity metrics consistently show that the re-optimized plans are quantitatively less complex than the original plan. The gamma passing rate of the re-optimized plans improved from (92.2 ± 2.0)% to (94.2 ± 1.6)% with the 1%/1-mm criterion, and (98.7 ± 1.0)% to (99.5 ± 0.3)% with the 2%/2-mm criterion. Overall, the re-optimized plans achieve at least a 10% MU reduction (11.7% to 24.6%).
      Our study shows that optimization with the MU objective tool can reduce plan complexity and improves dose delivery accuracy, while not compromising the dose distribution.
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