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The critical spot eraser-a method to interactively control the correction of local hot and cold spots in IMRT planning

: Süss, P.; Bortz, M.; Küfer, K.H.; Thieke, C.


Physics in medicine and biology 58 (2013), No.6, pp.1855-1867
ISSN: 0031-9155
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ITWM ()

Common problems in inverse radiotherapy planning are localized dose insufficiencies like hot spots in organs at risk or cold spots inside targets. These are hard to correct since the optimization is based on global evaluations like maximum/minimum doses, equivalent uniform doses or dose-volume constraints for whole structures. In this work, we present a new approach to locally correct the dose of any given treatment plan. Once a treatment plan has been found that is acceptable in general but requires local corrections, these areas are marked by the planner. Then the system generates new plans that fulfil the local dose goals. Consequently, it is possible to interactively explore all plans between the locally corrected plans and the original treatment plan, allowing one to exactly adjust the degree of local correction and how the plan changes overall. Both the amount (in Gy) and the size of the local dose change can be navigated. The method is introduced formally as a new mathematical optimization setting, and is evaluated using a clinical example of a meningioma at the base of the skull. It was possible to eliminate a hot spot outside the target volume while controlling the dose changes to all other parts of the treatment plan. The proposed method has the potential to become the final standard step of inverse treatment planning.