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Validation and application of a fast Monte Carlo algorithm for assessing the clinical impact of approximations in analytical dose calculations for …

A new interesting article has been published in Med Phys. 2018 Oct 8. doi: 10.1002/mp.13231. and titled:

Validation and application of a fast Monte Carlo algorithm for assessing the clinical impact of approximations in analytical dose calculations for …

Authors of this article are:
Huang S1,2, Souris K3,4, Li S1, Kang M1, Barragan Montero AM3,4, Janssens G5, Lin A1, Garver E1, Ainsley C1, Taylor P6, Xiao Y1, Lin L1,7.

A summary of the article is shown below:
PURPOSE: Monte Carlo (MC) dose calculation is generally superior to analytical dose calculation (ADC) used in commercial TPS to model the dose distribution especially for heterogeneous sites, such as lung and head/neck patients. The purpose of this study is to provide a validated, fast and open-source MC code, MCsquare, to assess the impact of approximations in ADC on clinical pencil beam scanning (PBS) plans covering various sites.METHODS: First, MCsquare was validated using tissue-mimicking IROC lung phantom measurements as well as benchmarked with the general-purpose Monte Carlo TOPAS for patient dose calculation. Then a comparative analysis between MCsquare and ADC were performed for a total of 50 patients with 10 patients per site (including liver, pelvis, brain, head-and-neck and lung). Differences among TOPAS, MCsquare and ADC were evaluated using four dosimetric indices based on the dose-volume histogram (target Dmean, D95, homogeneity index, V95), a 3D gamma-index analysis (using 3%/3 mm criteria), and estimations of tumor control probability (TCP).RESULTS: Comparison between MCsquare and TOPAS showed less than 1.8% difference for all of the dosimetric indices/TCP values and resulted in a 3D gamma index passing rate for voxels within the target in excess of 99%. When comparing ADC and MCsquare, the variances of all the indices were found to increase as the degree of tissue heterogeneity increased. In the case of lung, the D95s for ADC were found to differ by as much as 6.5% from the corresponding MCsquare statistic. The median gamma index passing rate for voxels within the target volume decreased from 99.3% for liver to 75.8% for lung. Resulting TCP differences can be large for lung (≤ 10.5%) and head-and-neck (≤ 6.2%), while smaller for brain, pelvis and liver (≤ 1.5%).CONCLUSIONS: Given the differences found in the analysis, accurate dose calculation algorithms such as Monte Carlo simulations are needed for proton therapy, especially for disease sites with high heterogeneity, such as head-and-neck and lung. The establishment of MCsquare can facilitate patient plan reviews at any institution and can potentially provide unbiased comparison in clinical trials given its accuracy, speed and open source availability. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as: Monte Carlo;fast Monte Carlo;pencil beam scanning;proton therapy.

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