Treatment planning in proton therapy
Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia, Via Perini 181, 38122, Trento, Italy
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Accepted: 1 July 2011
Published online: 26 July 2011
Radiotherapy treatment planning is a procedure that, using radiation beam and patient’s anatomy models as input data, produces as output the machine instructions to deliver the treatment and the expected dose distribution in the patient. Now that most proton therapy centers are moving from double scattered proton beams to active delivery systems such as pencil beam scanning (PBS), there is a need for treatment planning tools that could generate safe and effective dose distribution by taking full benefit of the potential of PBS degrees of freedom, and by avoiding the risks associated to this modality. The paper provides an overview of the current status of proton treatment planning techniques, from the creation of a patient model via imaging, to dose calculation, to the optimization of plans using intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT). The issue of plan sensitivity to input data (“plan robustness”) is emphasized and current approaches to robust optimization are presented. Finally, current developments in “adaptive planning” and in the plan design for moving organs are shortly discussed.
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer, 2011