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A Global Level Set Based Formulation for Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy

D Nguyen

D Nguyen*, Q Lyu , D Ruan , D O'Connor , D Low , K Sheng , Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA


MO-AB-BRA-1 (Monday, August 1, 2016) 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM Room: Ballroom A

The current clinical Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) optimization is formulated as a non-convex problem and various greedy heuristics have been employed for an empirical solution, jeopardizing plan consistency and quality. We introduce a novel global direct aperture optimization method for VMAT to overcome these limitations.

The global VMAT (gVMAT) planning was formulated as an optimization problem with an L2-norm fidelity term and an anisotropic total variation term. A level set function was used to describe the aperture shapes and adjacent aperture shapes were penalized to control MLC motion range. An alternating optimization strategy was implemented to solve the fluence intensity and aperture shapes simultaneously. Single arc gVMAT plans, utilizing 180 beams with 2° angular resolution, were generated for a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), lung (LNG), and 2 head and neck cases—one with 3 PTVs (H&N3PTV) and one with 4 PTVs (H&N4PTV). The plans were compared against the clinical VMAT (cVMAT) plans utilizing two overlapping coplanar arcs.

The optimization of the gVMAT plans had converged within 600 iterations. gVMAT reduced the average max and mean OAR dose by 6.59% and 7.45% of the prescription dose. Reductions in max dose and mean dose were as high as 14.5 Gy in the LNG case and 15.3 Gy in the H&N3PTV case. PTV coverages (D95, D98, D99) were within 0.25% of the prescription dose. By globally considering all beams, the gVMAT optimizer allowed some beams to deliver higher intensities, yielding a dose distribution that resembles a static beam IMRT plan with beam orientation optimization.

The novel VMAT approach allows for the search of an optimal plan in the global solution space and generates deliverable apertures directly. The single arc VMAT approach fully utilizes the digital linacs’ capability in dose rate and gantry rotation speed modulation.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: Varian Medical Systems, NIH grant R01CA188300, NIH grant R43CA183390.

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