The purpose of this study is to assess the real target dose coverage when radiation treatments were delivered to lung cancer patients based on treatment planning according to the RTOG-0236 Protocol. We compare calculated dosimetric results between the more accurate anisotropic analytical algorithm (AAA) and the pencil beam algorithm for stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment planning in lung cancer. Ten patients with non-small cell lung cancer were given 60 Gy in three fractions using 6 and 10 MV beams with 8-10 fields. The patients were chosen in accordance with the lung RTOG-0236 protocol. The dose calculations were performed using the pencil beam algorithm with no heterogeneity corrections (PB-NC) and then recalculated with the pencil beam with modified Batho heterogeneity corrections (PB-MB) and the AAA using an identical beam setup and monitor units. The differences in calculated dose to 95% or 99% of the PTV, between using the PB-NC and the AAA, were within 10% of prescribed dose (60 Gy). However, the minimum dose to 95% and 99% of PTV calculated using the PB-MB were consistently overestimated by up to 40% and 36% of the prescribed dose, respectively, compared to that calculated by the AAA. Using the AAA as reference, the calculated maximum doses were underestimated by up to 27% using the PB-NC and overestimated by 19% using the PB-MB. The calculations of dose to lung from PB-NC generally agree with that of AAA except in the small high-dose region where PB-NC underestimates. The calculated dose distributions near the interface using the AAA agree with those from Monte Carlo calculations as well as measured values. This study indicates that the real minimum PTV dose coverage cannot be guaranteed when the PB-NC is used to calculate the monitor unit settings in dose prescriptions.
- AAA dose calculation algorithm
- Inhomogeneity corrections
- Small lung tumors
- Stereotactic body radiation therapy
- Target dose coverage