Management of the interplay effect when using dynamic MLC sequences to treat moving targets.

Medical Physics

PubMedID: 18561668

Court LE, Wagar M, Ionascu D, Berbeco R, Chin L. Management of the interplay effect when using dynamic MLC sequences to treat moving targets. Med Phys. 2008;35(5):1926-31.
Interplay between organ motion and leaf motion has been shown to generally have a small dosimetric impact for most clinical intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatments. However, it has also been shown that for some MLC sequences there can be large daily variations in the delivered dose, depending on details of patient motion or the number of fractions. This study investigates guidelines for dynamic MLC sequences that will keep daily dose variations due to the interplay between organ motion and leaf motion within 10%. Dose distributions for a range of MLC separations (0.2-5.0 cm) and displacements between adjacent MLCs (0-1.5 cm) were exported from ECLIPSE to purpose-written software, which simulated the dose distribution delivered to a moving target. Target motion parallel and perpendicular to the MLC motion was investigated for a range of amplitudes (0.5-4.0 cm), periods (1.5-10 s), and MLC speeds (0.1-3.0 cm/s) with target motions modeled as sin. Results were confirmed experimentally by measuring the dose delivered to an ion chamber array in a moving phantom for different MLC sequences. The simulation results were used to identify MLC sequences that kept dose variations within 10% compared to the dose delivered with no motion. The maximum allowable MLC speed, when target motion is parallel to the MLC motion, was found to be a simple function of target period and MLC separation. When the target motion is perpendicular to MLC motion, the maximum allowable MLC speed can be described as a function of MLC separation and the displacement of adjacent MLCs. These guidelines were successfully applied to two-dimensional motion, and a simple program was written to import MLC sequence files and evaluate whether the maximum daily dose discrepancy caused by the interplay effect will be larger than 10%. This software was experimentally evaluated, and found to conservatively predict whether a given MLC sequence could give large daily dose discrepancies.