First online real-time evaluation of motion-induced 4D dose errors during radiotherapy delivery.
In radiotherapy, dose deficits caused by tumor motion often far outweigh the discrepancies typically allowed in plan-specific quality assurance (QA). Yet, tumor motion is not usually included in present QA. We here present a novel method for online treatment verification by real-time motion-including four-dimensional (4D) dose reconstruction and dose evaluation and demonstrate its use during stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) delivery with and without MLC tracking.
Five volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans were delivered with and without MLC tracking to a motion stage carrying a Delta4 dosimeter. The VMAT plans have previously been used for (nontracking) liver SBRT with intratreatment tumor motion recorded by kilovoltage intrafraction monitoring (KIM). The motion stage reproduced the KIM-measured tumor motions in three dimensions (3D) while optical monitoring guided the MLC tracking. Linac parameters and the target position were streamed to an in-house developed software program (DoseTracker) that performed real-time 4D dose reconstructions and 3%/3 mm γ-evaluations of the reconstructed cumulative dose using a concurrently reconstructed planned dose without target motion as reference. Offline, the real-time reconstructed doses and γ-evaluations were validated against 4D dosimeter measurements performed during the experiments.
In total, 181,120 dose reconstructions and 5,237 γ-evaluations were performed online and in real time with median computation times of 30 ms and 1.2 s, respectively. The mean (standard deviation) difference between reconstructed and measured doses was -1.2% (4.9%) for transient doses and -1.5% (3.9%) for cumulative doses. The root-mean-square deviation between reconstructed and measured motion-induced γ-fail rates was 2.0%-point. The mean (standard deviation) sensitivity and specificity of DoseTracker to predict γ-fail rates above a given threshold was 96.8% (3.5%) and 99.2% (0.4%), respectively, for clinically relevant thresholds between 1% and 30% γ-fail rate.
Real-time delivery-specific QA during radiotherapy of moving targets was demonstrated for the first time. It allows supervision of treatment accuracy and action on treatment discrepancy within 2 s with high sensitivity and specificity.