On the quantification of the dosimetric accuracy of collapsed cone convolution superposition (CCCS) algorithm for small lung volumes using IMRT

Oscar I. Calvo, Alonso N. Gutiérrez, Sotirios Stathakis, Carlos Esquivel, Nikos Papanikolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Specialized techniques that make use of small field dosimetry are common practice in today's clinics. These new techniques represent a big challenge to the treatment planning systems due to the lack of lateral electronic equilibrium. Because of this, the necessity of planning systems to overcome such difficulties and provide an accurate representation of the true value is of significant importance. Pinnacle3 is one such planning system. During the IMRT optimization process, Pinnacle3 treatment planning system allows the user to specify a minimum segment size which results in multiple beams composed of several subsets of different widths. In this study, the accuracy of the engine dose calculation, collapsed cone convolution superposition algorithm (CCCS) used by Pinnacle3, was quantified by Monte Carlo simulations, ionization chamber, and Kodak extended dose range film (EDR2) measurements for 11 SBRT lung patients. Lesions were < 3.0 cm in maximal diameter and <27.0cm3 in volume. The Monte Carlo EGSnrc\BEAMnrc and EGS4\MCSIM were used in the comparison. The minimum segment size allowable during optimization had a direct impact on the number of monitor units calculated for each beam. Plans with the smallest minimum segment size (0.1 cm2 to 2.0 cm2) had the largest number of MUs. Although PTV coverage remained unaffected, the segment size did have an effect on the dose to the organs at risk. Pinnacle3-calculated PTV mean doses were in agreement with Monte Carlo-calculated mean doses to within 5.6% for all plans. On average, the mean dose difference between Monte Carlo and Pinnacle3 for all 88 plans was 1.38%. The largest discrepancy in maximum dose was 5.8%, and was noted for one of the plans using a minimum segment size of 1.0 cm2. For minimum dose to the PTV, a maximum discrepancy between Monte Carlo and Pinnacle3 was noted of 12.5% for a plan using a 6.0 cm2 minimum segment size. Agreement between point dose measurements and Pinnacle3-calculated doses were on average within 0.7% in both phantoms. The profiles show a good agreement between Pinnacle3, Monte Carlo, and EDR2 film. The gamma index and the isodose lines support the result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-59
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2012


  • CCCS
  • Monte Carlo
  • SBRT
  • Small fields

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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