Design and Testing of a Simulation Framework for Dosimetric Motion Studies Integrating an Anthropomorphic Computational Phantom into Four-dimensional Monte Carlo

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Abstract

We have designed a simulation framework for motion studies in radiation therapy by integrating the anthropomorphic NCAT phantom into a 4D Monte Carlo dose calculation engine based on DPM. Representing an artifact-free environment, the system can be used to identify class solutions as a function of geometric and dosimetric parameters. A pilot dynamic conformal study for three lesions (~ 2.0 cm) in the right lung was performed (70 Gy prescription dose). Tumor motion changed as a function of tumor location, according to the anthropomorphic deformable motion model. Conformal plans were simulated with 0 to 2 cm margin for the aperture, with additional 0.5 cm for beam penumbra. The dosimetric effects of intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) vs. conformal treatments were compared in a static case. Results show that the Monte Carlo simulation framework can model tumor tracking in deformable anatomy with high accuracy, providing absolute doses for IMRT and conformal radiation therapy. A target underdosage of up to 3.67 Gy (lower lung) was highlighted in the composite dose distribution mapped at exhale. Such effects depend on tumor location and treatment margin and are affected by lung deformation and ribcage motion. In summary, the complexity in the irradiation of moving targets has been reduced to a controlled simulation environment, where several treatment options can be accurately modeled and quantified The implemented tools will be utilized for extensive motion study in lung/liver irradiation.

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