Script-based implementation of automatic grid placement for lattice stereotactic body radiation therapy

Wesley W. Tucker, Thomas R. Mazur, Matthew Schmidt, Jessica Hilliard, Shahed Badiyan, Matt Spraker, James Kavanaugh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Spatially fractionated radiation therapy (SFRT) has demonstrated promising clinical response in treating large tumors with heterogeneous dose distributions. Lattice stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) is an SFRT technique that leverages inverse optimization to precisely localize regions of high and lose dose within disease. The aim of this study was to evaluate an automated heuristic approach to sphere placement in lattice SBRT treatment planning. Materials and methods: A script-based algorithm for sphere placement in lattice SBRT based on rules described by protocol was implemented within a treatment planning system. The script was applied to 22 treated cases and sphere distributions were compared with manually placed spheres in terms of number of spheres, number of protocol violations, and time required to place spheres. All cases were re-planned using script-generated spheres and plan quality was compared with clinical plans. Results: The mean number of spheres placed excluding those that violate rules was greater using the script (13.8) than that obtained by either dosimetrist (10.8 and 12.0, p < 0.001 and p = 0.003) or physicist (12.7, p = 0.061). The mean time required to generate spheres was significantly less using the script (2.5 min) compared to manual placement by dosimetrists (25.0 and 29.9 min) and physicist (19.3 min). Plan quality indices were similar in all cases with no significant differences, and OAR constraints remained met on all plans except two. Conclusion: A script placed spheres for lattice SBRT according to institutional protocol rules. The script-produced placement was superior to that of manually-specified spheres, as characterized by sphere number and rule violations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100549
JournalPhysics and Imaging in Radiation Oncology
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Lattice SBRT
  • Plan automation
  • Spatial fractionation


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