Dose painting radiotherapy is considered a promising radiotherapy technology that enables more targeted dose delivery to tumor rich regions while saving critical normal tissues. Obviously, dose painting planning would be more complicated and hard to be evaluated with current plan quality index systems that were developed under the paradigm of uniform dose prescription. In this study, we introduce a new plan quality index, named “index of achievement (IOA)” that assesses how close the planned dose distribution is to the prescribed one in a dose painting radiotherapy plan. By using voxel-based comparison between planned and prescribed dose distributions in its formulation, the index allows for a single-value evaluation regardless of the number of prescribed dose levels, which cannot be achieved with the conventional indices such as conventional homogeneity index. Benchmark calculations using patient data demonstrated feasibility of the index not only for contour-based dose painting plans, but also for dose painting by numbers plans. Also, it was shown that there is strong correlation between the new index and conventional indices, which indicates a potential of the new index as an alternative to conventional ones in general radiotherapy plan evaluation.
PACS number: 87.55.D-