4D Monte Carlo dose calculations for pre-treatment quality assurance of VMAT SBRT: a phantom-based feasibility study
Volumetric arc therapy (VMAT) for lung stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is challenging due to both breathing-induced motion and the dynamic components of the linear accelerator. In this study, a 4D Monte Carlo (4DMC) dose calculation method for VMAT SBRT is proposed and the feasibility of the method is evaluated. A rigidly-moving lung phantom was imaged using four dimensional computed tomography (4DCT). VMAT SBRT plans were generated on the average intensity projection dataset using the internal target volume (ITV) strategy (ITV-plan) and a single phase to simulate a dynamic treatment-couch tracking technique (TRACKING-plan). 4DMC simulations were performed and compared to 3D Monte Carlo (3DMC) and 3D- and 4D- calculations in the treatment planning system using the adaptive convolution (AC) algorithm. Dose metrics calculated for the ITV-plan showed an overestimation with 3D adaptive convolution (3DAC) for D[Formula: see text] (GTV) by 3.5% and by 2.0% for 3DMC, both compared to 4DMC. The TRACKING-plan D[Formula: see text] (GTV) calculated with the 3DAC method overestimated by 2.0% compared with 4DMC. Deviations between the calculation methods for D mean (Lung) and D[Formula: see text] (PTV) were minimal. For both plans, measurements were taken with EBT3 film inside the phantom tumour. EBT3 film profiles showed good agreement with 4DMC for the TRACKING-plan giving a gamma pass rate of 97.2% for 3%/3 mm global and for 3DAC compared with measured, 95.8%. Whereas for the ITV-plan, the 3D profiles varied from film in the ITV periphery region with a pass rates of 50% and 48.6% for 3DAC and 3DMC, respectively. 4DMC agreed more closely to measurements for this plan with a pass rate of 95.8%. We have proposed an accurate method to perform 4D dose calculations for pre-treatment quality assurance of VMAT SBRT. The method was compared to experimental measurements and for both plans, 4DMC dose agreed with measurements more closely than other evaluated dose calculation methods. This study has demonstrated the feasibility of this 4DMC method.