Advances in 4D Treatment Planning for Scanned Particle Beam Therapy — Report of Dedicated Workshops
We report on recent progress in the field of mobile tumor treatment with scanned particle beams, as discussed in the latest editions of the 4D treatment planning workshop. The workshop series started in 2009, with about 20 people from 4 research institutes involved, all actively working on particle therapy delivery and development. The first workshop resulted in a summary of recommendations for the treatment of mobile targets, along with a list of requirements to apply these guidelines clinically. The increased interest in the treatment of mobile tumors led to a continuously growing number of attendees: the 2012 edition counted more than 60 participants from 20 institutions and commercial vendors. The focus of research discussions among workshop participants progressively moved from 4D treatment planning to complete 4D treatments, aiming at effective and safe treatment delivery. Current research perspectives on 4D treatments include all critical aspects of time resolved delivery, such as in-room imaging, motion detection, beam application, and quality assurance techniques. This was motivated by the start of first clinical treatments of hepato cellular tumors with a scanned particle beam, relying on gating or abdominal compression for motion mitigation. Up to date research activities emphasize significant efforts in investigating advanced motion mitigation techniques, with a specific interest in the development of dedicated tools for experimental validation. Potential improvements will be made possible in the near future through 4D optimized treatment plans that require upgrades of the currently established therapy control systems for time resolved delivery. But since also these novel optimization techniques rely on the validity of the 4DCT, research focusing on alternative 4D imaging technique, such as MRI based 4DCT generation will continue.