Patrick Hill, PhD

Patrick Hill, PhD

Associate Professor (CHS)

Department of Human Oncology

I am an associate professor in the Department of Human Oncology. My primary role is to provide clinical medical physics services in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UW Health University Hospital. In the clinic, I perform tasks to ensure that patients are being treated safely and accurately on each day of their treatment. This includes making sure radiation-producing machines are operating correctly and that the quality of a patient’s treatment is maintained from the day they first arrive in our department to the day of their last treatment. I am the lead physicist for the TomoTherapy service and among the primary physics contacts for our radiosurgery program, treatment planning systems, and image processing software.

The radiotherapy process requires a diverse team of physicians, physicists, dosimetrists, therapists, nurses and others. Much of my efforts are focused on improving the ways in which this team can come together and care for patients. I have detailed knowledge of clinical operations along with the hardware and software tools we use on a daily basis. I do things like develop processes to better achieve treatment goals, learn and implement new technology, and design and execute quality assurance tests that ensure our equipment is functioning properly.

Outside the clinic, I am a rotation mentor for our Radiation Oncology Physics Residency program and occasionally teach various physics courses to residents, graduate students, and trainees. I am involved in several research projects in adaptive therapy, particle therapy, and image guidance. These projects span departments within our university as well as at other institutions. I am fortunate to serve in a position where I can combine my love for solving engineering problems with my knowledge and research in radiation physics to ensure patient safety and continually advance patient care.


Resident, University of Iowa, Radiation Oncology (2014)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Washington University in St. Louis, Radiation Oncology (2012)

PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Medical Physics (2011)

MS, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics (2009)

MS, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Medical Physics (2007)

BS, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Nuclear Engineering (2005)

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor (CHS), Human Oncology (2022)

Assistant Professor (CHS), Human Oncology (2014)

Selected Honors and Awards

Executive Education Grant, University of Wisconsin Department of Engineering Professional Development (2016)

Physicist Training Scholarship, American Brachytherapy Society (2013)

NIH Training Fellowship (2009–2011)

Vilas Travel Grant (2009, 2010)

Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society (2005)

Boards, Advisory Committees and Professional Organizations

University of Wisconsin TomoTherapy Service Improvement Committee (2017–pres.)

University of Wisconsin Medical Physics Residency Program Oversight Committee (2016–pres.)

American Association of Physicists in Medicine North Central Chapter Executive Committee (2016–pres.)

American Society for Radiation Oncology (2012–pres.)

American Association of Physicists in Medicine (2005–pres.)

Research Focus

Adaptive Radiotherapy, Image Registration, Informatics and Information Systems, Radiosurgery, Treatment Planning Systems, Workflow Automation

Dr. Patrick Hill provides clinical medical physics services in the Department of Radiation Oncology at University Hospital to ensure that patients are being treated safely and accurately. He also teaches physics courses and conducts research on adaptive therapy, particle therapy and image guidance.

  • Patient-specific quality assurance of dynamically-collimated proton therapy treatment plans Medical physics
    Bennett LC, Hyer DE, Vu J, Patwardhan K, Erhart K, Gutierrez AN, Pons E, Jensen E, Ubau M, Zapata J, Wroe A, Wake K, Nelson NP, Culberson WS, Smith BR, Hill PM, Flynn RT
    2024 Jul 8. doi: 10.1002/mp.17295. Online ahead of print.
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      BACKGROUND: The dynamic collimation system (DCS) provides energy layer-specific collimation for pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy using two pairs of orthogonal nickel trimmer blades. While excellent measurement-to-calculation agreement has been demonstrated for simple cube-shaped DCS-trimmed dose distributions, no comparison of measurement and dose calculation has been made for patient-specific treatment plans.

      PURPOSE: To validate a patient-specific quality assurance (PSQA) process for DCS-trimmed PBS treatment plans and evaluate the agreement between measured and calculated dose distributions.

      METHODS: Three intracranial patient cases were considered. Standard uncollimated PBS and DCS-collimated treatment plans were generated for each patient using the Astroid treatment planning system (TPS). Plans were recalculated in a water phantom and delivered at the Miami Cancer Institute (MCI) using an Ion Beam Applications (IBA) dedicated nozzle system and prototype DCS. Planar dose measurements were acquired at two depths within low-gradient regions of the target volume using an IBA MatriXX ion chamber array.

      RESULTS: Measured and calculated dose distributions were compared using 2D gamma analysis with 3%/3 mm criteria and low dose threshold of 10% of the maximum dose. Median gamma pass rates across all plans and measurement depths were 99.0% (PBS) and 98.3% (DCS), with a minimum gamma pass rate of 88.5% (PBS) and 91.2% (DCS).

      CONCLUSIONS: The PSQA process has been validated and experimentally verified for DCS-collimated PBS. Dosimetric agreement between the measured and calculated doses was demonstrated to be similar for DCS-collimated PBS to that achievable with noncollimated PBS.

      PMID:38977285 | DOI:10.1002/mp.17295

      View details for PubMedID 38977285
  • Voxel-Level Dosimetry for Combined Iodine 131 Radiopharmaceutical Therapy and External Beam Radiation Therapy Treatment Paradigms for Head and Neck Cancer International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
    Adam DP, Grudzinski JJ, Marsh IR, Hill PM, Cho SY, Bradshaw TJ, Longcor J, Burr A, Bruce JY, Harari PM, Bednarz BP
    2024 Jul 15;119(4):1275-1284. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2024.02.005. Epub 2024 Feb 16.
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      PURPOSE: Targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy (RPT) in combination with external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) shows promise as a method to increase tumor control and mitigate potential high-grade toxicities associated with re-treatment for patients with recurrent head and neck cancer. This work establishes a patient-specific dosimetry framework that combines Monte Carlo-based dosimetry from the 2 radiation modalities at the voxel level using deformable image registration (DIR) and radiobiological constructs for patients enrolled in a phase 1 clinical trial combining EBRT and RPT.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: Serial single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) patient scans were performed at approximately 24, 48, 72, and 168 hours postinjection of 577.2 MBq/m2 (15.6 mCi/m2) CLR 131, an iodine 131-containing RPT agent. Using RayStation, clinical EBRT treatment plans were created with a treatment planning CT (TPCT). SPECT/CT images were deformably registered to the TPCT using the Elastix DIR module in 3D Slicer software and assessed by measuring mean activity concentrations and absorbed doses. Monte Carlo EBRT dosimetry was computed using EGSnrc. RPT dosimetry was conducted using RAPID, a GEANT4-based RPT dosimetry platform. Radiobiological metrics (biologically effective dose and equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions) were used to combine the 2 radiation modalities.

      RESULTS: The DIR method provided good agreement for the activity concentrations and calculated absorbed dose in the tumor volumes for the SPECT/CT and TPCT images, with a maximum mean absorbed dose difference of -11.2%. Based on the RPT absorbed dose calculations, 2 to 4 EBRT fractions were removed from patient EBRT treatments. For the combined treatment, the absorbed dose to target volumes ranged from 57.14 to 75.02 Gy. When partial volume corrections were included, the mean equivalent dose in 2-Gy fractions to the planning target volume from EBRT + RPT differed -3.11% to 1.40% compared with EBRT alone.

      CONCLUSIONS: This work demonstrates the clinical feasibility of performing combined EBRT + RPT dosimetry on TPCT scans. Dosimetry guides treatment decisions for EBRT, and this work provides a bridge for the same paradigm to be implemented within the rapidly emerging clinical RPT space.

      PMID:38367914 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2024.02.005

      View details for PubMedID 38367914
  • Integration and dosimetric validation of a dynamic collimation system for pencil beam scanning proton therapy Biomedical physics & engineering express
    Nelson NP, Culberson WS, Hyer DE, Geoghegan TJ, Patwardhan KA, Smith BR, Flynn RT, Gutiérrez AN, Boland T, Hill PM
    2023 Oct 25;9(6):10.1088/2057-1976/ad02ff. doi: 10.1088/2057-1976/ad02ff.
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      Objective.To integrate a Dynamic Collimation System (DCS) into a pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy system and validate its dosimetric impact.Approach.Uncollimated and collimated treatment fields were developed for clinically relevant targets using an in-house treatment plan optimizer and an experimentally validated Monte Carlo model of the DCS and IBA dedicated nozzle (DN) system. The dose reduction induced by the DCS was quantified by calculating the mean dose in 10- and 30-mm two-dimensional rinds surrounding the target. A select number of plans were then used to experimentally validate the mechanical integration of the DCS and beam scanning controller system through measurements with the MatriXX-PT ionization chamber array and EBT3 film. Absolute doses were verified at the central axis at various depths using the IBA MatriXX-PT and PPC05 ionization chamber.Main results.Simulations demonstrated a maximum mean dose reduction of 12% for the 10 mm rind region and 45% for the 30 mm rind region when utilizing the DCS. Excellent agreement was observed between Monte Carlo simulations, EBT3 film, and MatriXX-PT measurements, with gamma pass rates exceeding 94.9% for all tested plans at the 3%/2 mm criterion. Absolute central axis doses showed an average verification difference of 1.4% between Monte Carlo and MatriXX-PT/PPC05 measurements.Significance.We have successfully dosimetrically validated the delivery of dynamically collimated proton therapy for clinically relevant delivery patterns and dose distributions with the DCS. Monte Carlo simulations were employed to assess dose reductions and treatment planning considerations associated with the DCS.

      PMID:37832529 | PMC:PMC11128250 | DOI:10.1088/2057-1976/ad02ff

      View details for PubMedID 37832529
  • PETRA: A pencil beam trimming algorithm for analytical proton therapy dose calculations with the dynamic collimation system Medical physics
    Bennett LC, Hyer DE, Erhart K, Nelson NP, Culberson WS, Smith BR, Hill PM, Flynn RT
    2023 Nov;50(11):7263-7280. doi: 10.1002/mp.16559. Epub 2023 Jun 27.
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      BACKGROUND: The Dynamic Collimation System (DCS) has been shown to produce superior treatment plans to uncollimated pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy using an in-house treatment planning system (TPS) designed for research. Clinical implementation of the DCS requires the development and benchmarking of a rigorous dose calculation algorithm that accounts for pencil beam trimming, performs monitor unit calculations to produce deliverable plans at all beam energies, and is ideally implemented with a commercially available TPS.

      PURPOSE: To present an analytical Pencil bEam TRimming Algorithm (PETRA) for the DCS, with and without its range shifter, implemented in the Astroid TPS (.decimal, Sanford, Florida, USA).

      MATERIALS: PETRA was derived by generalizing an existing pencil beam dose calculation model to account for the DCS-specific effects of lateral penumbra blurring due to the nickel trimmers in two different planes, integral depth dose variation due to the trimming process, and the presence and absence of the range shifter. Tuning parameters were introduced to enable agreement between PETRA and a measurement-validated Dynamic Collimation Monte Carlo (DCMC) model of the Miami Cancer Institute's IBA Proteus Plus system equipped with the DCS. Trimmer position, spot position, beam energy, and the presence or absence of a range shifter were all used as variables for the characterization of the model. The model was calibrated for pencil beam monitor unit calculations using procedures specified by International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Report Series 398 (IAEA TRS-398).

      RESULTS: The integral depth dose curves (IDDs) for energies between 70 MeV and 160 MeV among all simulated trimmer combinations, with and without the ranger shifter, agreed between PETRA and DCMC at the 1%/1 mm 1-D gamma criteria for 99.99% of points. For lateral dose profiles, the median 2-D gamma pass rate for all profiles at 1.5%/1.5 mm was 99.99% at the water phantom surface, plateau, and Bragg peak depths without the range shifter and at the surface and Bragg peak depths with the range shifter. The minimum 1.5%/1.5 mm gamma pass rates for the 2-D profiles at the water phantom surface without and with the range shifter were 98.02% and 97.91%, respectively, and, at the Bragg peak, the minimum pass rates were 97.80% and 97.5%, respectively.

      CONCLUSION: The PETRA model for DCS dose calculations was successfully defined and benchmarked for use in a commercially available TPS.

      PMID:37370239 | PMC:PMC10751389 | DOI:10.1002/mp.16559

      View details for PubMedID 37370239
  • Design, testing and characterization of a proton central axis alignment device for the dynamic collimation system Biomedical physics & engineering express
    Geoghegan T, Patwardhan K, Ying Q, Nelson N, Yu J, Gutierrez A, Hill P, Flynn R, Hyer D
    2023 Jun 13;9(4):10.1088/2057-1976/acdad5. doi: 10.1088/2057-1976/acdad5.
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      Objective. Proton therapy conformity has improved over the years by evolving from passive scattering to spot scanning delivery technologies with smaller proton beam spot sizes. Ancillary collimation devices, such the Dynamic Collimation System (DCS), further improves high dose conformity by sharpening the lateral penumbra. However, as spot sizes are reduced, collimator positional errors play a significant impact on the dose distributions and hence accurate collimator to radiation field alignment is critical.Approach. The purpose of this work was to develop a system to align and verify coincidence between the center of the DCS and the proton beam central axis. The Central Axis Alignment Device (CAAD) is composed of a camera and scintillating screen-based beam characterization system. Within a light-tight box, a 12.3-megapixel camera monitors a P43/Gadox scintillating screen via a 45° first-surface mirror. When a collimator trimmer of the DCS is placed in the uncalibrated center of the field, the proton radiation beam continuously scans a 7×7 cm2square field across the scintillator and collimator trimmer while a 7 s exposure is acquired. From the relative positioning of the trimmer to the radiation field, the true center of the radiation field can be calculated.Main results.The CAAD can calculate the offset between the proton beam radiation central axis and the DCS central axis within 0.054 mm accuracy and 0.075 mm reproducibility.Significance.Using the CAAD, the DCS is now able to be aligned accurately to the proton radiation beam central axis and no longer relies on an x-ray source in the gantry head which is only validated to within 1.0 mm of the proton beam.

      PMID:37267924 | PMC:PMC10330655 | DOI:10.1088/2057-1976/acdad5

      View details for PubMedID 37267924
  • Using <sup>18</sup>F-DCFPyL Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen-Directed Positron Emission Tomography/Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Define Intraprostatic Boosts for Prostate Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Advances in radiation oncology
    Floberg JM, Wells SA, Ojala D, Bayliss RA, Hill PM, Morris BA, Morris ZS, Ritter M, Cho SY
    2023 Apr 9;8(5):101241. doi: 10.1016/j.adro.2023.101241. eCollection 2023 Sep-Oct.
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      PURPOSE: The recently reported FLAME trial demonstrated a biochemical disease-free survival benefit to using a focal intraprostatic boost to multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mpMRI)-identified lesions in men with localized prostate cancer treated with definitive radiation therapy. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)-directed positron emission tomography (PET) may identify additional areas of disease. In this work, we investigated using both PSMA PET and mpMRI in planning focal intraprostatic boosts using stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT).

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: We evaluated a cohort of patients (n = 13) with localized prostate cancer who were imaged with 2-(3-(1-carboxy-5-[(6-[18F]fluoro-pyridine-2-carbonyl)-amino]-pentyl)-ureido)-pentanedioic acid (18F-DCFPyL) PET/MRI on a prospective imaging trial before undergoing definitive therapy. The number of lesions concordant (overlapping) and discordant (no overlap) on PET and MRI was assessed. Overlap between concordant lesions was evaluated using the Dice and Jaccard similarity coefficients. Prostate SBRT plans were created fusing the PET/MRI imaging to computed tomography scans acquired the same day. Plans were created using only MRI-identified lesions, only PET-identified lesions, and the combined PET/MRI lesions. Coverage of the intraprostatic lesions and doses to the rectum and urethra were assessed for each of these plans.

      RESULTS: The majority of lesions (21/39, 53.8%) were discordant between MRI and PET, with more lesions seen by PET alone (12) than MRI alone (9). Of lesions that were concordant between PET and MRI, there were still areas that did not overlap between scans (average Dice coefficient, 0.34). Prostate SBRT planning using all lesions to define a focal intraprostatic boost provided the best coverage of all lesions without compromising constraints on the rectum and urethra.

      CONCLUSIONS: Using both mpMRI and PSMA-directed PET may better identify all areas of gross disease within the prostate. Using both imaging modalities could improve the planning of focal intraprostatic boosts.

      PMID:37250282 | PMC:PMC10209128 | DOI:10.1016/j.adro.2023.101241

      View details for PubMedID 37250282
  • Dosimetric delivery validation of dynamically collimated pencil beam scanning proton therapy Physics in medicine and biology
    Nelson NP, Culberson WS, Hyer DE, Geoghegan TJ, Patwardhan KA, Smith BR, Flynn RT, Yu J, Gutiérrez AN, Hill PM
    2023 Feb 20;68(5):055003. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/acb6cd.
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      Objective. Pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy target dose conformity can be improved with energy layer-specific collimation. One such collimator is the dynamic collimation system (DCS), which consists of four nickel trimmer blades that intercept the scanning beam as it approaches the lateral extent of the target. While the dosimetric benefits of the DCS have been demonstrated through computational treatment planning studies, there has yet to be experimental verification of these benefits for composite multi-energy layer fields. The objective of this work is to dosimetrically characterize and experimentally validate the delivery of dynamically collimated proton therapy with the DCS equipped to a clinical PBS system.Approach. Optimized single field, uniform dose treatment plans for 3 × 3 × 3 cm3target volumes were generated using Monte Carlo dose calculations with depths ranging from 5 to 15 cm, trimmer-to-surface distances ranging from 5 to 18.15 cm, with and without a 4 cm thick polyethylene range shifter. Treatment plans were then delivered to a water phantom using a prototype DCS and an IBA dedicated nozzle system and measured with a Zebra multilayer ionization chamber, a MatriXX PT ionization chamber array, and Gafchromic™ EBT3 film.Main results. For measurements made within the SOBPs, average 2D gamma pass rates exceeded 98.5% for the MatriXX PT and 96.5% for film at the 2%/2 mm criterion across all measured uncollimated and collimated plans, respectively. For verification of the penumbra width reduction with collimation, film agreed with Monte Carlo with differences within 0.3 mm on average compared to 0.9 mm for the MatriXX PT.Significance. We have experimentally verified the delivery of DCS-collimated fields using a clinical PBS system and commonly available dosimeters and have also identified potential weaknesses for dosimeters subject to steep dose gradients.

      PMID:36706460 | PMC:PMC9940016 | DOI:10.1088/1361-6560/acb6cd

      View details for PubMedID 36706460
  • Considering Lumpectomy Cavity PTV Expansions: Characterization of Intrafraction Lumpectomy Cavity Motion Practical radiation oncology
    Merfeld EC, Blitzer GC, Kuczmarska-Haas A, Witt JS, Wojcieszynski AP, Mittauer KM, Hill PM, Bayouth JE, Yadav P, Anderson BM
    2023 Jan-Feb;13(1):e14-e19. doi: 10.1016/j.prro.2022.08.011. Epub 2022 Sep 9.
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      PURPOSE: Accelerated partial breast irradiation and lumpectomy cavity boost radiation therapy plans generally use volumetric expansions from the lumpectomy cavity clinical target volume to the planning target volume (PTV) of 1 to 1.5 cm, substantially increasing the volume of irradiated breast tissue. The purpose of this study was to quantify intrafraction lumpectomy cavity motion during external beam radiation therapy to inform the indicated clinical target volume to PTV expansion.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: Forty-four patients were treated with a whole breast irradiation using traditional linear accelerator-based radiation therapy followed by lumpectomy cavity boost using magnetic resonance (MR)-guided radiation therapy on a prospective registry study. Two-dimensional cine-MR images through the center of the surgical cavity were acquired during each boost treatment to define the treatment position of the lumpectomy cavity. This was compared with the reference position to quantify intrafraction cavity motion. Free-breathing technique was used during treatment. Clinical outcomes including toxicity, cosmesis, and rates of local control were additionally analyzed.

      RESULTS: The mean maximum displacement per fraction in the anterior-posterior (AP) direction was 1.4 mm. Per frame, AP motion was <5 mm in 92% of frames. The mean maximum displacement per fraction in the superior-inferior (SI) direction was 1.2 mm. Per frame, SI motion was <5 mm in 94% of frames. Composite motion was <5 mm in 89% of frames. Three-year local control was 97%. Eight women (18%) developed acute G2 radiation dermatitis. With a median follow-up of 32.4 months, cosmetic outcomes were excellent (22/44, 50%), good (19/44, 43%), and fair (2/44, 5%).

      CONCLUSIONS: In approximately 90% of analyzed frames, intrafraction displacement of the lumpectomy cavity was <5 mm, with even less motion expected with deep inspiratory breath hold. Our results suggest reduced PTV expansions of 5 mm would be sufficient to account for lumpectomy cavity position, which may accordingly reduce late toxicity and improve cosmetic outcomes.

      PMID:36089252 | DOI:10.1016/j.prro.2022.08.011

      View details for PubMedID 36089252
  • Mechanical Characterization and Validation of the Dynamic Collimation System Prototype for Proton Radiotherapy Journal of medical devices
    Geoghegan T, Patwardhan K, Nelson N, Hill P, Flynn R, Smith B, Hyer D
    2022 Jun 1;16(2):021013. doi: 10.1115/1.4053722. Epub 2022 Mar 2.
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      Radiation therapy is integral to cancer treatments for more than half of patients. Pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy is the latest radiation therapy technology that uses a beam of protons that are magnetically steered and delivered to the tumor. One of the limiting factors of PBS accuracy is the beam cross-sectional size, similar to how a painter is only as accurate as the size of their brush allows. To address this, collimators can be used to shape the beam along the tumor edge to minimize the dose spread outside of the tumor. Under development is a dynamic collimation system (DCS) that uses two pairs of nickel trimmers that collimate the beam at the tumor periphery, limiting dose from spilling into healthy tissue. Herein, we establish the dosimetric and mechanical acceptance criteria for the DCS based on a functioning prototype and Monte Carlo methods, characterize the mechanical accuracy of the prototype, and validate that the acceptance criteria are met. From Monte Carlo simulations, we found that the trimmers must be positioned within ±0.5 mm and ±1.0 deg for the dose distributions to pass our gamma analysis. We characterized the trimmer positioners at jerk values up to 400 m/s3 and validated their accuracy to 50 μm. We measured and validated the rotational trimmer accuracy to ±0.5 deg with a FARO® ScanArm. Lastly, we calculated time penalties associated with the DCS and found that the additional time required to treat one field using the DCS varied from 25-52 s.

      PMID:35284033 | PMC:PMC8905094 | DOI:10.1115/1.4053722

      View details for PubMedID 35284033
  • Investigating aperture-based approximations to model a focused dynamic collimation system for pencil beam scanning proton therapy Biomedical physics & engineering express
    Nelson NP, Culberson WS, Hyer DE, Smith BR, Flynn RT, Hill PM
    2022 Feb 18;8(2):10.1088/2057-1976/ac525f. doi: 10.1088/2057-1976/ac525f.
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      Purpose. The Dynamic Collimation System (DCS) is an energy layer-specific collimation device designed to reduce the lateral penumbra in pencil beam scanning proton therapy. The DCS consists of two pairs of nickel trimmers that rapidly and independently move and rotate to intercept the scanning proton beam and an integrated range shifter to treat targets less than 4 cm deep. This work examines the validity of a single aperture approximation to model the DCS, a commonly used approximation in commercial treatment planning systems, as well as higher-order aperture-based approximations for modeling DCS-collimated dose distributions.Methods. An experimentally validated TOPAS/Geant4-based Monte Carlo model of the DCS integrated with a beam model of the IBA pencil beam scanning dedicated nozzle was used to simulate DCS- and aperture-collimated 100 MeV beamlets and composite treatment plans. The DCS was represented by three different aperture approximations: a single aperture placed halfway between the upper and lower trimmer planes, two apertures located at the upper and lower trimmer planes, and four apertures, located at both the upstream and downstream faces of each pair of trimmers. Line profiles and three-dimensional regions of interest were used to evaluate the validity and limitations of the aperture approximations investigated.Results. For pencil beams without a range shifter, minimal differences were observed between the DCS and single aperture approximation. For range shifted beamlets, the single aperture approximation yielded wider penumbra widths (up to 18%) in the X-direction and sharper widths (up to 9.4%) in the Y-direction. For the example treatment plan, the root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) in an overall three-dimensional region of interest were 1.7%, 1.3%, and 1.7% for the single aperture, two aperture, and four aperture models, respectively. If the region of interest only encompasses the lateral edges outside of the target, the resulting RMSEs were 1.7%, 1.1%, and 0.5% single aperture, two aperture, and four aperture models, respectively.Conclusions. Monte Carlo simulations of the DCS demonstrated that a single aperture approximation is sufficient for modeling pristine fields at the Bragg depth while range shifted fields require a higher-order aperture approximation. For the treatment plan considered, the double aperture model performed the best overall, however, the four-aperture model most accurately modeled the lateral field edges at the expense of increased dose differences proximal to and within the target.

      PMID:35130520 | PMC:PMC8917788 | DOI:10.1088/2057-1976/ac525f

      View details for PubMedID 35130520
  • The dosimetric enhancement of GRID profiles using an external collimator in pencil beam scanning proton therapy Medical physics
    Smith BR, Nelson NP, Geoghegan TJ, Patwardhan KA, Hill PM, Yu J, Gutiérrez AN, Allen BG, Hyer DE
    2022 Apr;49(4):2684-2698. doi: 10.1002/mp.15523. Epub 2022 Feb 21.
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      PURPOSE: The radiobiological benefits afforded by spatially fractionated (GRID) radiation therapy pairs well with the dosimetric advantages of proton therapy. Inspired by the emergence of energy-layer specific collimators in pencil beam scanning (PBS), this work investigates how the spot spacing and collimation can be optimized to maximize the therapeutic gains of a GRID treatment while demonstrating the integration of a dynamic collimation system (DCS) within a commercial beamline to deliver GRID treatments and experimentally benchmark Monte Carlo calculation methods.

      METHODS: GRID profiles were experimentally benchmarked using a clinical DCS prototype that was mounted to the nozzle of the IBA-dedicated nozzle system. Integral depth dose (IDD) curves and lateral profiles were measured for uncollimated and GRID-collimated beamlets. A library of collimated GRID dose distributions were simulated by placing beamlets within a specified uniform grid and weighting the beamlets to achieve a volume-averaged tumor cell survival equivalent to an open field delivery. The healthy tissue sparing afforded by the GRID distribution was then estimated across a range of spot spacings and collimation widths, which were later optimized based on the radiosensitivity of the tumor cell line and the nominal spot size of the PBS system. This was accomplished by using validated models of the IBA universal and dedicated nozzles.

      RESULTS: Excellent agreement was observed between the measured and simulated profiles. The IDDs matched above 98.7% when analyzed using a 1%/1-mm gamma criterion with some minor deviation observed near the Bragg peak for higher beamlet energies. Lateral profile distributions predicted using Monte Carlo methods agreed well with the measured profiles; a gamma passing rate of 95% or higher was observed for all in-depth profiles examined using a 3%/2-mm criteria. Additional collimation was shown to improve PBS GRID treatments by sharpening the lateral penumbra of the beamlets but creates a trade-off between enhancing the valley-to-peak ratio of the GRID delivery and the dose-volume effect. The optimal collimation width and spot spacing changed as a function of the tumor cell radiosensitivity, dose, and spot size. In general, a spot spacing below 2.0 cm with a collimation less than 1.0 cm provided a superior dose distribution among the specific cases studied.

      CONCLUSIONS: The ability to customize a GRID dose distribution using different collimation sizes and spot spacings is a useful advantage, especially to maximize the overall therapeutic benefit. In this regard, the capabilities of the DCS, and perhaps alternative dynamic collimators, can be used to enhance GRID treatments. Physical dose models calculated using Monte Carlo methods were experimentally benchmarked in water and were found to accurately predict the respective dose distributions of uncollimated and DCS-collimated GRID profiles.

      PMID:35120278 | PMC:PMC9007854 | DOI:10.1002/mp.15523

      View details for PubMedID 35120278
  • Defining high-risk elective contralateral neck radiation volumes for oropharynx cancer Head & neck
    Witek ME, Woody NM, Musunuru HB, Hill PM, Yadav P, Burr AR, Ko HC, Ross RB, Kimple RJ, Harari PM
    2022 Feb;44(2):317-324. doi: 10.1002/hed.26924. Epub 2021 Nov 11.
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      BACKGROUND: To define the location of the initial contralateral lymph node (LN) metastasis in patients with oropharynx cancer.

      METHODS: The location of the LN centroids from patients with oropharynx cancer and a single radiographically positive contralateral LN was defined. A clinical target volume (CTV) inclusive of all LN centroids was created, and its impact on dose to organs at risk was assessed.

      RESULTS: We identified 55 patients of which 49/55 had a single contralateral LN in level IIA, 4/55 in level III, 1/55 in level IIB, and 1/55 in the retropharynx. Mean radiation dose to the contralateral parotid gland was 15.1 and 21.0 Gy, (p <0.001) using the modeled high-risk elective CTV and a consensus CTV, respectively.

      CONCLUSIONS: We present a systematic approach for identifying the contralateral nodal regions at highest risk of harboring subclinical disease in patients with oropharynx cancer that warrants prospective clinical study.

      PMID:34761832 | PMC:PMC9723806 | DOI:10.1002/hed.26924

      View details for PubMedID 34761832
  • First-in-human imaging using a MR-compatible e4D ultrasound probe for motion management of radiotherapy Physica medica : PM : an international journal devoted to the applications of physics to medicine and biology : official journal of the Italian Association of Biomedical Physics (AIFB)
    Bednarz BP, Jupitz S, Lee W, Mills D, Chan H, Fiorillo T, Sabitini J, Shoudy D, Patel A, Mitra J, Sarcar S, Wang B, Shepard A, Matrosic C, Holmes J, Culberson W, Bassetti M, Hill P, McMillan A, Zagzebski J, Smith LS, Foo TK
    2021 Aug;88:104-110. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2021.06.017. Epub 2021 Jul 1.
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      PURPOSE: Respiration-induced tumor or organ positional changes can impact the accuracy of external beam radiotherapy. Motion management strategies are used to account for these changes during treatment. The authors report on the development, testing, and first-in-human evaluation of an electronic 4D (e4D) MR-compatible ultrasound probe that was designed for hands-free operation in a MR and linear accelerator (LINAC) environment.

      METHODS: Ultrasound components were evaluated for MR compatibility. Electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding was used to enclose the entire probe and a factory-fabricated cable shielded with copper braids was integrated into the probe. A series of simultaneous ultrasound and MR scans were acquired and analyzed in five healthy volunteers.

      RESULTS: The ultrasound probe led to minor susceptibility artifacts in the MR images immediately proximal to the ultrasound probe at a depth of <10 mm. Ultrasound and MR-based motion traces that were derived by tracking the salient motion of endogenous target structures in the superior-inferior (SI) direction demonstrated good concordance (Pearson correlation coefficients of 0.95-0.98) between the ultrasound and MRI datasets.

      CONCLUSION: We have demonstrated that our hands-free, e4D probe can acquire ultrasound images during a MR acquisition at frame rates of approximately 4 frames per second (fps) without impacting either the MR or ultrasound image quality. This use of this technology for interventional procedures (e.g. biopsies and drug delivery) and motion compensation during imaging are also being explored.

      PMID:34218199 | PMC:PMC8403156 | DOI:10.1016/j.ejmp.2021.06.017

      View details for PubMedID 34218199
  • Development and validation of the Dynamic Collimation Monte Carlo simulation package for pencil beam scanning proton therapy Medical physics
    Nelson NP, Culberson WS, Hyer DE, Geoghegan TJ, Patwardhan KA, Smith BR, Flynn RT, Yu J, Rana S, Gutiérrez AN, Hill PM
    2021 Jun;48(6):3172-3185. doi: 10.1002/mp.14846. Epub 2021 Apr 9.
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      PURPOSE: The aim of this work was to develop and experimentally validate a Dynamic Collimation Monte Carlo (DCMC) simulation package specifically designed for the simulation of collimators in pencil beam scanning proton therapy (PBS-PT). The DCMC package was developed using the TOPAS Monte Carlo platform and consists of a generalized PBS source model and collimator component extensions.

      METHODS: A divergent point-source model of the IBA dedicated nozzle (DN) at the Miami Cancer Institute (MCI) was created and validated against on-axis commissioning measurements taken at MCI. The beamline optics were mathematically incorporated into the source to model beamlet deflections in the X and Y directions at the respective magnet planes. Off-axis measurements taken at multiple planes in air were used to validate both the off-axis spot size and divergence of the source model. The DCS trimmers were modeled and incorporated as TOPAS geometry extensions that linearly translate and rotate about the bending magnets. To validate the collimator model, a series of integral depth dose (IDD) and lateral profile measurements were acquired at MCI and used to benchmark the DCMC performance for modeling both pristine and range shifted beamlets. The water equivalent thickness (WET) of the range shifter was determined by quantifying the shift in the depth of the 80% dose point distal to the Bragg peak between the range shifted and pristine uncollimated beams.

      RESULTS: A source model of the IBA DN system was successfully commissioned against on- and off-axis IDD and lateral profile measurements performed at MCI. The divergence of the source model was matched through an optimization of the source-to-axis distance and comparison against in-air spot profiles. The DCS model was then benchmarked against collimated IDD and in-air and in-phantom lateral profile measurements. Gamma analysis was used to evaluate the agreement between measured and simulated lateral profiles and IDDs with 1%/1 mm criteria and a 1% dose threshold. For the pristine collimated beams, the average 1%/1 mm gamma pass rates across all collimator configurations investigated were 99.8% for IDDs and 97.6% and 95.2% for in-air and in-phantom lateral profiles. All range shifted collimated IDDs passed at 100% while in-air and in-phantom lateral profiles had average pass rates of 99.1% and 99.8%, respectively. The measured and simulated WET of the polyethylene range shifter was determined to be 40.9 and 41.0 mm, respectively.

      CONCLUSIONS: We have developed a TOPAS-based Monte Carlo package for modeling collimators in PBS-PT. This package was then commissioned to model the IBA DN system and DCS located at MCI using both uncollimated and collimated measurements. Validation results demonstrate that the DCMC package can be used to accurately model other aspects of a DCS implementation via simulation.

      PMID:33740253 | PMC:PMC8273151 | DOI:10.1002/mp.14846

      View details for PubMedID 33740253
  • Investigation of tumor and vessel motion correlation in the liver Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Jupitz SA, Shepard AJ, Hill PM, Bednarz BP
    2020 Aug;21(8):183-190. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12943. Epub 2020 Jun 13.
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      Intrafraction imaging-based motion management systems for external beam radiotherapy can rely on internal surrogate structures when the target is not easily visualized. This work evaluated the validity of using liver vessels as internal surrogates for the estimation of liver tumor motion. Vessel and tumor motion were assessed using ten two-dimensional sagittal MR cine datasets collected on the ViewRay MRIdian. For each case, a liver tumor and at least one vessel were tracked for 175 s. A tracking approach utilizing block matching and multiple simultaneous templates was applied. Accuracy of the tracked motion was calculated from the error between the tracked centroid position and manually defined ground truth annotations. The patient's abdomen surface and diaphragm were manually annotated in all frames. The Pearson correlation coefficient (CC) was used to compare the motion of the features and tumor in the anterior-posterior (AP) and superior-inferior (SI) directions. The distance between the centroids of the features and the tumors was calculated to assess if feature proximity affects relative correlation, and the tumor range of motion was determined. Intra- and interfraction motion amplitude variabilities were evaluated to further assess the relationship between tumor and feature motion. The mean CC between the motion of the vessel and the tumor were 0.85 ± 0.11 (AP) and 0.92 ± 0.04 (SI), 0.83 ± 0.11 (AP) and -0.89 ± 0.06 (SI) for the surface and tumor, and 0.80 ± 0.17 (AP) and 0.94 ± 0.03 (SI) for the diaphragm and tumor. For intrafraction analysis, the average amplitude variability was 2.47 ± 0.77 mm (AP) and 3.14 ± 1.49 mm (SI) for the vessels, 2.70 ± 1.08 mm (AP) and 3.43 ± 1.73 mm (SI) for the surface, and 2.76 ± 1.41 mm (AP) and 2.91 ± 1.38 mm (SI) for the diaphragm. No relationship between distance and motion correlation was observed. The motion of liver tumors and liver vessels was well correlated, making vessels a suitable surrogate for tumor motion in the liver.

      PMID:32533758 | PMC:PMC7484818 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12943

      View details for PubMedID 32533758
  • Design of a focused collimator for proton therapy spot scanning using Monte Carlo methods Medical physics
    Geoghegan TJ, Nelson NP, Flynn RT, Hill PM, Rana S, Hyer DE
    2020 Jul;47(7):2725-2734. doi: 10.1002/mp.14139. Epub 2020 Apr 6.
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      PURPOSE: When designing a collimation system for pencil beam spot scanning proton therapy, a decision must be made whether or not to rotate, or focus, the collimator to match beamlet deflection as a function of off-axis distance. If the collimator is not focused, the beamlet shape and fluence will vary as a function of off-axis distance due to partial transmission through the collimator. In this work, we quantify the magnitude of these effects and propose a focused dynamic collimation system (DCS) for use in proton therapy spot scanning.

      METHODS: This study was done in silico using a model of the Miami Cancer Institute's (MCI) IBA Proteus Plus system created in Geant4-based TOPAS. The DCS utilizes rectangular nickel trimmers mounted on rotating sliders that move in synchrony with the pencil beam to provide focused collimation at the edge of the target. Using a simplified setup of the DCS, simulations were performed at various off-axis locations corresponding to beam deflection angles ranging from 0° to 2.5°. At each off-axis location, focused (trimmer rotated) and unfocused (trimmer not rotated) simulations were performed. In all simulations, a 4 cm water equivalent thickness range shifter was placed upstream of the collimator, and a voxelized water phantom that scored dose was placed downstream, each with 4 cm airgaps.

      RESULTS: Increasing the beam deflection angle for an unfocused trimmer caused the collimated edge of the beamlet profile to shift 0.08-0.61 mm from the baseline 0° simulation. There was also an increase in low-dose regions on the collimated edge ranging from 14.6% to 192.4%. Lastly, the maximum dose, D max , was 0-5% higher for the unfocused simulations. With a focused trimmer design, the profile shift and dose increases were all eliminated.

      CONCLUSIONS: We have shown that focusing a collimator in spot scanning proton therapy reduces dose at the collimated edge compared to conventional, unfocused collimation devices and presented a simple, mechanical design for achieving focusing for a range of source-to-collimator distances.

      PMID:32170750 | PMC:PMC7375903 | DOI:10.1002/mp.14139

      View details for PubMedID 32170750
  • Validation of an MR-guided online adaptive radiotherapy (MRgoART) program: Deformation accuracy in a heterogeneous, deformable, anthropomorphic phantom Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
    Mittauer KE, Hill PM, Bassetti MF, Bayouth JE
    2020 May;146:97-109. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2020.02.012. Epub 2020 Mar 6.
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      BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: To investigate deformable image registration (DIR) and multi-fractional dose accumulation accuracy of a clinical MR-guided online adaptive radiotherapy (MRgoART) program, utilizing clinically-based magnitudes of abdominal deformation vector fields (DVFs).

      MATERIALS AND METHODS: A heterogeneous anthropomorphic multi-modality abdominal deformable phantom was comprised of MR and CT anatomically-relevant materials. Thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) were affixed within regions of interest (ROIs). CT and MR simulation scans were acquired. CT was deformed to MR for dose calculations. MRgoART was executed on a MR-linac (MRIdian) for 5 Gy/5 fractions. Before each fraction, a deformation was applied. Ground truth was known for ROI volume, TLD position, and TLD dose measured by an accredited dosimetry calibration laboratory. To validate the range of applied deformations, phantom DVFs were compared to DVFs of clinical abdominal MRgoART fractions. MR-MR deformation accuracy was quantified through dice similarity coefficient (DSC), Hausdorff distance (HD), mean distance-to-agreement (MDA), and as mean-absolute-error (MAE) for CT-MR-MR deformation. Arithmetic-summation of calculated dose at respective TLD positions and deform-accumulated dose (MIM) was compared to TLD measured dose, respectively. MR-MR deformation statistics were quantified for MRIdian and MIM.

      RESULTS: Mean phantom DVFs were 5.0 ± 2.9 mm compared to mean DVF of clinical abdominal patients at 5.2 ± 3.0 mm. Respective mean DSC, HD, MDA was 0.93 ± 0.03, 0.74 ± 0.80 cm, 0.08 ± 0.03 cm for MRIdian and 0.93 ± 0.03, 0.54 ± 0.27 cm, 0.08 ± 0.03 cm for MIM (N = 80 ROIs). Mean MAE was 20.5 HU. Respective mean and median dose differences were 0.3%, -0.3% for arithmetic-summation and 4.1%, 0.6% for deformed-accumulation. Maximum differences were 0.21 Gy (arithmetic-summation), 0.31 Gy (deformed-accumulation).

      CONCLUSIONS: MRgoART deformation and dosimetric accuracy has been benchmarked for mean fractional DVFs of 5 mm in a multiple-rigid-body deformable phantom. Deformation accuracy was within TG132 criteria and clinically acceptable end-to-end MRgoART dosimetric agreement was observed for this phantom. Further efforts are needed in validation of deform-accumulated dose.

      PMID:32146260 | DOI:10.1016/j.radonc.2020.02.012

      View details for PubMedID 32146260
  • STAT-ART: The Promise and Practice of a Rapid Palliative Single Session of MR-Guided Online Adaptive Radiotherapy (ART) Frontiers in oncology
    Mittauer KE, Hill PM, Geurts MW, Costa AD, Kimple RJ, Bassetti MF, Bayouth JE
    2019 Oct 22;9:1013. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2019.01013. eCollection 2019.
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      This work describes a novel application of MR-guided online adaptive radiotherapy (MRgoART) in the management of patients whom urgent palliative care is indicated using statum-adaptive radiotherapy (STAT-ART). The implementation of STAT-ART, as performed at our institution, is presented including a discussion of the advantages and limitations compared to the standard of care for palliative radiotherapy on conventional c-arm linacs. MR-based treatment planning techniques of STAT-ART for density overrides and deformable image registration (DIR) of diagnostic CT to the treatment MR are also addressed.

      PMID:31696053 | PMC:PMC6817496 | DOI:10.3389/fonc.2019.01013

      View details for PubMedID 31696053
  • Trimmer sequencing time minimization during dynamically collimated proton therapy using a colony of cooperating agents Physics in medicine and biology
    Smith BR, Hyer DE, Flynn RT, Hill PM, Culberson WS
    2019 Oct 21;64(20):205025. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab416d.
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      The dynamic collimation system (DCS) can be combined with pencil beam scanning proton therapy to deliver highly conformal treatment plans with unique collimation at each energy layer. This energy layer-specific collimation is accomplished through the synchronized motion of four trimmer blades that intercept the proton beam near the target boundary in the beam's eye view. However, the corresponding treatment deliveries come at the cost of additional treatment time since the translational speed of the trimmer is slower than the scanning speed of the proton pencil beam. In an attempt to minimize the additional trimmer sequencing time of each field while still maintaining a high degree of conformity, a novel process utilizing ant colony optimization (ACO) methods was created to determine the most efficient route of trimmer sequencing and beamlet scanning patterns for a collective set of collimated proton beamlets. The ACO process was integrated within an in-house treatment planning system optimizer to determine the beam scanning and DCS trimmer sequencing patterns and compared against an analytical approximation of the trimmer sequencing time should a contour-like scanning approach be assumed instead. Due to the stochastic nature of ACO, parameters where determined so that they could ensure good convergence and an efficient optimization of trimmer sequencing that was faster than an analytical contour-like trimmer sequencing. The optimization process was tested using a set of three intracranial treatment plans which were planned using a custom research treatment planning system and were successfully optimized to reduce the additional trimmer sequencing time to approximately 60 s per treatment field while maintaining a high degree of target conformity. Thus, the novel use of ACO techniques within a treatment planning algorithm has been demonstrated to effectively determine collimation sequencing patterns for a DCS in order to minimize the additional treatment time required for trimmer movement during treatment.

      PMID:31484170 | PMC:PMC6995666 | DOI:10.1088/1361-6560/ab416d

      View details for PubMedID 31484170
  • Secondary Neutron Dose From a Dynamic Collimation System During Intracranial Pencil Beam Scanning Proton Therapy: A Monte Carlo Investigation International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
    Smith BR, Hyer DE, Hill PM, Culberson WS
    2019 Jan 1;103(1):241-250. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.08.012. Epub 2018 Aug 14.
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      PURPOSE: Patients receiving pencil beam scanning (PBS) proton therapy with the addition of a dynamic collimation system (DCS) are potentially subject to an additional neutron dose from interactions between the incident proton beam and the trimmer blades. This study investigates the secondary neutron dose rates for both single-field uniform dose (SFUD) and intensity modulated proton therapy treatments.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: Secondary neutron dose distributions were calculated for both a dynamically collimated and an uncollimated, dual-field chordoma treatment plan and compared with previously published neutron dose rates from other contemporary scanning treatment modalities. Monte Carlo N-Particle transport code was used to track all primary and secondary particles generated from nuclear reactions within the DCS during treatment through a model of the patient geometry acquired from the computed tomography planning data set. Secondary neutron ambient dose equivalent distributions were calculated throughout the patient using a meshgrid with a tally resolution equivalent to that of the treatment planning computed tomography.

      RESULTS: The median healthy-brain neutron ambient dose equivalent for a dynamically collimated intracranial chordoma treatment plan using a DCS was found to be 0.97 mSv/Gy for the right lateral SFUD field, 1.37 mSv/Gy for the apex SFUD field, and 1.24 mSv/Gy for the composite intensity modulated proton therapy distribution from 2 fields.

      CONCLUSIONS: These results were at least 55% lower than what has been reported for uniform scanning modalities with brass apertures. However, they still reflect an increase in the excess relative risk of secondary cancer incidence compared with an uncollimated PBS treatment using only a graphite range shifter. Regardless, the secondary neutron dose expected from the DCS for these PBS proton therapy treatments appears to be on the order of, or below, what is expected for alternative collimated proton therapy techniques.

      PMID:30114462 | DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2018.08.012

      View details for PubMedID 30114462
  • A New Era of Image Guidance with Magnetic Resonance-guided Radiation Therapy for Abdominal and Thoracic Malignancies Cureus
    Mittauer K, Paliwal B, Hill P, Bayouth JE, Geurts MW, Baschnagel AM, Bradley KA, Harari PM, Rosenberg S, Brower JV, Wojcieszynski AP, Hullett C, Bayliss RA, Labby ZE, Bassetti MF
    2018 Apr 4;10(4):e2422. doi: 10.7759/cureus.2422.
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      Magnetic resonance-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT) offers advantages for image guidance for radiotherapy treatments as compared to conventional computed tomography (CT)-based modalities. The superior soft tissue contrast of magnetic resonance (MR) enables an improved visualization of the gross tumor and adjacent normal tissues in the treatment of abdominal and thoracic malignancies. Online adaptive capabilities, coupled with advanced motion management of real-time tracking of the tumor, directly allow for high-precision inter-/intrafraction localization. The primary aim of this case series is to describe MR-based interventions for localizing targets not well-visualized with conventional image-guided technologies. The abdominal and thoracic sites of the lung, kidney, liver, and gastric targets are described to illustrate the technological advancement of MR-guidance in radiotherapy.

      PMID:29872602 | PMC:PMC5985918 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.2422

      View details for PubMedID 29872602
  • Long-term dosimetric stability of multiple TomoTherapy delivery systems Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Smilowitz JB, Dunkerley D, Hill PM, Yadav P, Geurts MW
    2017 May;18(3):137-143. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12085. Epub 2017 May 2.
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      The dosimetric stability of six TomoTherapy units was analyzed to investigate changes in performance over time and with system upgrades. Energy and output were tracked using monitor chamber signal, onboard megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) detector profile, and external ion chamber measurements. The systems (and monitoring periods) include three Hi-Art (67, 61, and 65 mos.), two TomoHDA (31 and 26 mos.), and one Radixact unit (11 mos.), representing approximately 10 years of clinical use. The four newest systems use the Dose Control Stability (DCS) system and Fixed Target Linear Accelerator (linac) (FTL). The output stability is reported as deviation from reference monitor chamber signal for all systems and/or from an external chamber signal. The energy stability was monitored using relative (center versus off-axis) MVCT detector signal (beam profile) and/or the ratio of chamber measurements at 2 depths. The clinical TomoHDA data were used to benchmark the Radixact stability, which has the same FTL but runs at a higher dose rate. The output based on monitor chamber data of all systems is very stable. The standard deviation of daily output on the non-DCS systems was 0.94-1.52%. As expected, the DCS systems had improved standard deviation: 0.004-0.06%. The beam energy was also very stable for all units. The standard deviation in profile flatness was 0.23-0.62% for rotating target systems and 0.04-0.09% for FTL. Ion chamber output and PDD ratios supported these results. The output stability on the Radixact system during extended treatment delivery (20, 30, and 40 min) was comparable to a clinical TomoHDA system. For each system, results are consistent between different measurement tools and techniques, proving not only the dosimetric stability, but also these quality parameters can be confirmed with various metrics. The replacement history over extended time periods of the major dosimetric components of the different delivery systems (target, linac, and magnetron) is also reported.

      PMID:28464517 | PMC:PMC5689853 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12085

      View details for PubMedID 28464517
  • Dosimetric Comparison of Real-Time MRI-Guided Tri-Cobalt-60 Versus Linear Accelerator-Based Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Lung Cancer Plans Technology in cancer research & treatment
    Wojcieszynski AP, Hill PM, Rosenberg SA, Hullett CR, Labby ZE, Paliwal B, Geurts MW, Bayliss RA, Bayouth JE, Harari PM, Bassetti MF, Baschnagel AM
    2017 Jun;16(3):366-372. doi: 10.1177/1533034617691407. Epub 2017 Feb 7.
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      PURPOSE: Magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiation therapy has entered clinical practice at several major treatment centers. Treatment of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer with stereotactic body radiation therapy is one potential application of this modality, as some form of respiratory motion management is important to address. We hypothesize that magnetic resonance imaging-guided tri-cobalt-60 radiation therapy can be used to generate clinically acceptable stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment plans. Here, we report on a dosimetric comparison between magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiation therapy plans and internal target volume-based plans utilizing volumetric-modulated arc therapy.

      MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer who underwent radiation therapy planning and treatment were studied. Following 4-dimensional computed tomography, patient images were used to generate clinically deliverable plans. For volumetric-modulated arc therapy plans, the planning tumor volume was defined as an internal target volume + 0.5 cm. For magnetic resonance imaging-guided plans, a single mid-inspiratory cycle was used to define a gross tumor volume, then expanded 0.3 cm to the planning tumor volume. Treatment plan parameters were compared.

      RESULTS: Planning tumor volumes trended larger for volumetric-modulated arc therapy-based plans, with a mean planning tumor volume of 47.4 mL versus 24.8 mL for magnetic resonance imaging-guided plans ( P = .08). Clinically acceptable plans were achievable via both methods, with bilateral lung V20, 3.9% versus 4.8% ( P = .62). The volume of chest wall receiving greater than 30 Gy was also similar, 22.1 versus 19.8 mL ( P = .78), as were all other parameters commonly used for lung stereotactic body radiation therapy. The ratio of the 50% isodose volume to planning tumor volume was lower in volumetric-modulated arc therapy plans, 4.19 versus 10.0 ( P < .001). Heterogeneity index was comparable between plans, 1.25 versus 1.25 ( P = .98).

      CONCLUSION: Magnetic resonance imaging-guided tri-cobalt-60 radiation therapy is capable of delivering lung high-quality stereotactic body radiation therapy plans that are clinically acceptable as compared to volumetric-modulated arc therapy-based plans. Real-time magnetic resonance imaging provides the unique capacity to directly observe tumor motion during treatment for purposes of motion management.

      PMID:28168936 | PMC:PMC5616053 | DOI:10.1177/1533034617691407

      View details for PubMedID 28168936
  • Gadoxetate for direct tumor therapy and tracking with real-time MRI-guided stereotactic body radiation therapy of the liver Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
    Wojcieszynski AP, Rosenberg SA, Brower JV, Hullett CR, Geurts MW, Labby ZE, Hill PM, Bayliss RA, Paliwal B, Bayouth JE, Harari PM, Bassetti MF
    2016 Feb;118(2):416-8. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2015.10.024. Epub 2015 Nov 25.
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      SBRT is increasingly utilized in liver tumor treatment. MRI-guided RT allows for real-time MRI tracking during therapy. Liver tumors are often poorly visualized and most contrast agents are transient. Gadoxetate may allow for sustained tumor visualization. Here, we report on the first use of gadoxetate during real-time MRI-guided SBRT.

      PMID:26627702 | DOI:10.1016/j.radonc.2015.10.024

      View details for PubMedID 26627702
  • A method for modeling laterally asymmetric proton beamlets resulting from collimation Medical physics
    Gelover E, Wang D, Hill PM, Flynn RT, Gao M, Laub S, Pankuch M, Hyer DE
    2015 Mar;42(3):1321-34. doi: 10.1118/1.4907965.
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      PURPOSE: To introduce a method to model the 3D dose distribution of laterally asymmetric proton beamlets resulting from collimation. The model enables rapid beamlet calculation for spot scanning (SS) delivery using a novel penumbra-reducing dynamic collimation system (DCS) with two pairs of trimmers oriented perpendicular to each other.

      METHODS: Trimmed beamlet dose distributions in water were simulated with MCNPX and the collimating effects noted in the simulations were validated by experimental measurement. The simulated beamlets were modeled analytically using integral depth dose curves along with an asymmetric Gaussian function to represent fluence in the beam's eye view (BEV). The BEV parameters consisted of Gaussian standard deviations (sigmas) along each primary axis (σ(x1),σ(x2),σ(y1),σ(y2)) together with the spatial location of the maximum dose (μ(x),μ(y)). Percent depth dose variation with trimmer position was accounted for with a depth-dependent correction function. Beamlet growth with depth was accounted for by combining the in-air divergence with Hong's fit of the Highland approximation along each axis in the BEV.

      RESULTS: The beamlet model showed excellent agreement with the Monte Carlo simulation data used as a benchmark. The overall passing rate for a 3D gamma test with 3%/3 mm passing criteria was 96.1% between the analytical model and Monte Carlo data in an example treatment plan.

      CONCLUSIONS: The analytical model is capable of accurately representing individual asymmetric beamlets resulting from use of the DCS. This method enables integration of the DCS into a treatment planning system to perform dose computation in patient datasets. The method could be generalized for use with any SS collimation system in which blades, leaves, or trimmers are used to laterally sharpen beamlets.

      PMID:25735287 | PMC:PMC5360162 | DOI:10.1118/1.4907965

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Contact Information

Patrick Hill, PhD

600 Highland Avenue, K4/B82
Madison, WI 53792-0001