Introduction. In SRT/SRS, dedicated treatment planning systems are used for the calculation of the dose distribution. The majority of these systems utilize the standard TMR/OAR formalism for dose calculation as well as they usually neglect any perturbation due to head heterogeneities. The aim of this study is to examine the errors due to head heterogeneities for both absolute and relative dose distributions in stereotactic radiotherapy. Materials and methods. Dosimetric measurements in phantoms have been made for linac stereotactic irradiation. CT-based phantoms have been used for Monte Carlo simulations for both linac-based stereotactic system and Gamma Knife unit. Absolute and relative dose distributions have been compared between homogeneous and heterogeneous media. DVH and TCP results are presented for all cases. Results. The maximum absolute dose difference at the isocenter was 2.2% and 6.9% for the linac and Gamma Knife respectively. The impact of heterogeneity in the target DVH was minor for the linac technique whereas considerable difference was observed for the Gamma Knife treatment. This was reflected also to the radiobiological evaluation, where the maximum TCP difference for the linac system was 2.7% and for the Gamma Knife was 4%. Discussion and conclusions. The errors rising from the existence of head heterogeneities are not negligible especially for the Gamma Knife which uses lower energy beams. The errors of the absolute dose calculation could be easily eliminated by implementing a simple heterogeneity correction algorithm at the TPS. Nevertheless, the errors for not taking into account the lateral electron transport would require a more sophisticated approach and even direct Monte Carlo calculation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging