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Influence of different dose calculation algorithms on the estimate of NTCP for lung complications.

Journal article
Authors Emma Hedin
Anna Bäck
Published in Journal of applied clinical medical physics / American College of Medical Physics
Volume 14
Issue 5
Pages 127-39
ISSN 1526-9914
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Pages 127-39
Language en
Subject categories Radiological physics


Due to limitations and uncertainties in dose calculation algorithms, different algorithms can predict different dose distributions and dose-volume histograms for the same treatment. This can be a problem when estimating the normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for patient-specific dose distributions. Published NTCP model parameters are often derived for a different dose calculation algorithm than the one used to calculate the actual dose distribution. The use of algorithm-specific NTCP model parameters can prevent errors caused by differences in dose calculation algorithms. The objective of this work was to determine how to change the NTCP model parameters for lung complications derived for a simple correction-based pencil beam dose calculation algorithm, in order to make them valid for three other common dose calculation algorithms. NTCP was calculated with the relative seriality (RS) and Lyman-Kutcher-Burman (LKB) models. The four dose calculation algorithms used were the pencil beam (PB) and collapsed cone (CC) algorithms employed by Oncentra, and the pencil beam convolution (PBC) and anisotropic analytical algorithm (AAA) employed by Eclipse. Original model parameters for lung complications were taken from four published studies on different grades of pneumonitis, and new algorithm-specific NTCP model parameters were determined. The difference between original and new model parameters was presented in relation to the reported model parameter uncertainties. Three different types of treatments were considered in the study: tangential and locoregional breast cancer treatment and lung cancer treatment. Changing the algorithm without the derivation of new model parameters caused changes in the NTCP value of up to 10 percentage points for the cases studied. Furthermore, the error introduced could be of the same magnitude as the confidence intervals of the calculated NTCP values. The new NTCP model parameters were tabulated as the algorithm was varied from PB to PBC, AAA, or CC. Moving from the PB to the PBC algorithm did not require new model parameters; however, moving from PB to AAA or CC did require a change in the NTCP model parameters, with CC requiring the largest change. It was shown that the new model parameters for a given algorithm are different for the different treatment types.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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