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Eldib A , Jin L , Li J , Ma CM
Feasibility of replacing patient specific cutouts with a computer-controlled electron multileaf collimator
Phys Med Biol. 2013 Jul 29;58(16) :5653-5672
PMID: 23892910   
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A motorized electron multileaf collimator (eMLC) was developed as an add-on device to the Varian linac for delivery of advanced electron beam therapy. It has previously been shown that electron beams collimated by an eMLC have very similar penumbra to those collimated by applicators and cutouts. Thus, manufacturing patient specific cutouts would no longer be necessary, resulting in the reduction of time taken in the cutout fabrication process. Moreover, cutout construction involves handling of toxic materials and exposure to toxic fumes that are usually generated during the process, while the eMLC will be a pollution-free device. However, undulation of the isodose lines is expected due to the finite size of the eMLC. Hence, the provided planned target volume (PTV) shape will not exactly follow the beam's-eye-view of the PTV, but instead will make a stepped approximation to the PTV shape. This may be a problem when the field edge is close to a critical structure. Therefore, in this study the capability of the eMLC to achieve the same clinical outcome as an applicator/cutout combination was investigated based on real patient computed tomographies (CTs). An in-house Monte Carlo based treatment planning system was used for dose calculation using ten patient CTs. For each patient, two plans were generated; one with electron beams collimated using the applicator/cutout combination; and the other plan with beams collimated by the eMLC. Treatment plan quality was compared for each patient based on dose distribution and dose-volume histogram. In order to determine the optimal position of the leaves, the impact of the different leaf positioning strategies was investigated. All plans with both eMLC and cutouts were generated such that 100% of the target volume receives at least 90% of the prescribed dose. Then the percentage difference in dose between both delivery techniques was calculated for all the cases. The difference in the dose received by 10% of the volume of the target was showing a mean percentage difference of 1.57%+/-1.65, while the difference in the dose received by 99% of the volume was showing a mean percentage difference of 1.08%+/-0.78. The mean percentage volume of Lung receiving a percentage dose equal to or greater than 20% of the prescribed dose was found to be 8.55%+/-7.3 and 8.67%+/-7 for the eMLC and applicator/cutout combination delivery methods respectively. Results have shown that target coverage and critical structure sparing can be effectively achieved by electron beams collimated with the eMLC. Positioning the eMLC leaves in such a way to avoids shielding any part of the projected treatment volume is most conservative and would be the recommended method to define the actual leaf position for the eMLC defined field. More optimal leaf positions can be achieved in shaping the same treatment field through the interplay of different leaf positioning strategies. We concluded that the eMLC represents an effective time saving and pollution-free device that can completely replace patient specific cutouts.
Eldib, Ahmed Jin, Lihui Li, Jinsheng Ma, C-M Charlie Physics in medicine and biology Phys Med Biol. 2013 Jul 29;58(16):5653-5672.