Review Of Radiological Physics.54
Inter-observer variability in anatomical contouring is the biggest contributor to uncertainty in radiation treatment planning. Contouring studies are frequently performed to investigate the differences between multiple contours on common datasets. There is, however, no widely accepted method for contour comparisons. The purpose of this study is to review the literature on contouring studies in the context of radiation oncology, with particular consideration of the contouring comparison methods they employ. A literature search, not limited by date, was conducted using Medline and Google Scholar with key words: contour, variation, delineation, inter/intra observer, uncertainty and trial dummy-run. This review includes a description of the contouring processes and contour comparison metrics used. The use of different processes and metrics according to tumour site and other factors were also investigated with limitations described. A total of 69 relevant studies were identified. The most common tumour sites were prostate (26), lung (10), head and neck cancers (8) and breast (7).The most common metric of comparison was volume used 59 times, followed by dimension and shape used 36 times, and centre of volume used 19 times. Of all 69 publications, 67 used a combination of metrics and two used only one metric for comparison. No clear relationships between tumour site or any other factors that may influence the contouring process and the metrics used to compare contours were observed from the literature. Further studies are needed to assess the advantages and disadvantages of each metric in various situations.
Review of Radiological Physics.54
Dose calculation algorithms play an important role in radiation therapy and are even the basis for optimizing treatment plans, an important feature in the development of complex treatment technologies such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy. We reviewed the past and current status of dose calculation algorithms used in the treatment planning system for radiation therapy. The radiation-calculating dose calculation algorithm can be broadly classified into three main groups based on the mechanisms used: (1) factor-based, (2) model-based, and (3) principlebased. Factor-based algorithms are a type of empirical dose calculation that interpolates or extrapolates the dose in some basic measurements. Model-based algorithms, represented by the pencil beam convolution, analytical anisotropic, and collapse cone convolution algorithms, use a simplified physical process by using a convolution equation that convolutes the primary photon energy fluence with a kernel. Model-based algorithms allowing side scattering when beams are transmitted to the heterogeneous media provide more precise dose calculation results than correction-based algorithms. Principle-based algorithms, represented by Monte Carlo dose calculations, simulate all real physical processes involving beam particles during transportation; therefore, dose calculations are accurate but time consuming. For approximately 70 years, through the development of dose calculation algorithms and computing technology, the accuracy of dose calculation seems close to our clinical needs. Next-generation dose calculation algorithms are expected to include biologically equivalent doses or biologically effective doses, and doctors expect to be able to use them to improve the quality of treatment in the near future.
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