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Dosimetric Effects of Tissue Heterogeneity in Proton Therapy: Monte Carlo Simulation and Experimental Study Using Animal Tissue Phantoms

Y Liu

Y Liu1*, Y Zheng2, (1) INTEGRIS Cancer Institute of Oklahoma, Protom Campus, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, (2) ProCure Treatment Centers, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

SU-E-T-481 Sunday 3:00:00 PM - 6:00:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose: Accurate determination of proton dosimetric effect for tissue heterogeneity is critical in proton therapy. Proton beams have finite range and consequently tissue heterogeneity plays a more critical role in proton therapy. The purpose of this study is to investigate the tissue heterogeneity effect in proton dosimetry based on anatomical-based Monte Carlo simulation using animal tissues.

Methods: Animal tissues including a pig head and beef bulk were used in this study. Both pig head and beef were scanned using a GE CT scanner with 1.25 mm slice thickness. A treatment plan was created, using the CMS XiO treatment planning system (TPS) with a single proton spread-out-Bragg-peak beam (SOBP). Radiochromic films were placed at the distal falloff region. Image guidance was used to align the phantom before proton beams were delivered according to the treatment plan. The same two CT sets were converted to Monte Carlo simulation model. The Monte Carlo simulated dose calculations with/without tissue composition were compared to TPS calculations and measurements.

Results: Based on the preliminary comparison, at the center of SOBP plane, the Monte Carlo simulation dose without tissue composition agreed generally well with TPS calculation. In the distal falloff region, the dose difference was large, and about 2 mm isodose line shift was observed with the consideration of tissue composition. The detailed comparison of dose distributions between Monte Carlo simulation, TPS calculations and measurements is underway.

Conclusions: Accurate proton dose calculations are challenging in proton treatment planning for heterogeneous tissues. Tissue heterogeneity and tissue composition may lead to isodose line shifts up to a few millimeters in the distal falloff region. By simulating detailed particle transport and energy deposition, Monte Carlo simulations provide a verification method in proton dose calculation where inhomogeneous tissues are present.

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