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Engelsman M.,Technical University of Delft | Schwarz M.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Dong L.,Proton Therapy
Seminars in Radiation Oncology | Year: 2013

The physical characteristics of proton beams are appealing for cancer therapy. The rapid increase in operational and planned proton therapy facilities may suggest that this technology is a "plug-and-play" valuable addition to the arsenal of the radiation oncologist and medical physicist. In reality, the technology is still evolving, so planning and delivery of proton therapy in patients face many practical challenges. This review article discusses the current status of proton therapy treatment planning and delivery techniques, indicates current limitations in dealing with range uncertainties, and proposes possible developments for proton therapy and supplementary technology to try to realize the actual potential of proton therapy. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Amelio D.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Amichetti M.A.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia
Cancers | Year: 2012

Despite the therapeutic advances in neuro-oncology, most patients with glioblastoma ultimately experience local progression/relapse. Re-irradiation has been poorly viewed in the past, mainly due to the overestimated risk of side effects using conventional radiotherapy. To date, thanks to the improvement of several delivery techniques, together with improved imaging capabilities, re-irradiation is a viable salvage treatment option to manage such clinical scenario. A literature overview on the feasibility and efficacy of the different irradiation modalities for recurrent glioblastoma along with considerations on areas of improvement are provided. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Widesott L.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Pierelli A.,St Raffaele Scientific Institute | Fiorino C.,St Raffaele Scientific Institute | Lomax A.J.,Paul Scherrer Institute | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics | Year: 2011

Purpose: To compare intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) and helical tomotherapy (HT) treatment plans for high-risk prostate cancer (HRPCa) patients. Methods and Materials: The plans of 8 patients with HRPCa treated with HT were compared with IMPT plans with two quasilateral fields set up (-100°; 100°) and optimized with the Hyperion treatment planning system. Both techniques were optimized to simultaneously deliver 74.2 Gy/Gy relative biologic effectiveness (RBE) in 28 fractions on planning target volumes (PTVs)3-4 (P + proximal seminal vesicles), 65.5 Gy/Gy(RBE) on PTV2 (distal seminal vesicles and rectum/prostate overlapping), and 51.8 Gy/Gy(RBE) to PTV1 (pelvic lymph nodes). Normal tissue calculation probability (NTCP) calculations were performed for the rectum, and generalized equivalent uniform dose (gEUD) was estimated for the bowel cavity, penile bulb and bladder. Results: A slightly better PTV coverage and homogeneity of target dose distribution with IMPT was found: the percentage of PTV volume receiving ≥95% of the prescribed dose (V 95%) was on average >97% in HT and >99% in IMPT. The conformity indexes were significantly lower for protons than for photons, and there was a statistically significant reduction of the IMPT dosimetric parameters, up to 50 Gy/Gy(RBE) for the rectum and bowel and 60 Gy/Gy(RBE) for the bladder. The NTCP values for the rectum were higher in HT for all the sets of parameters, but the gain was small and in only a few cases statistically significant. Conclusions: Comparable PTV coverage was observed. Based on NTCP calculation, IMPT is expected to allow a small reduction in rectal toxicity, and a significant dosimetric gain with IMPT, both in medium-dose and in low-dose range in all OARs, was observed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Lorentini S.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Lorentini S.,University of Padua | Amichetti M.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Spiazzi L.,Brescia Hospital | And 4 more authors.
Strahlentherapie und Onkologie | Year: 2012

Purpose. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is the state-of-the-art treatment for patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The goal of this work was to assess whether intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT) could further improve the dosimetric results allowed by IMRT. Patients and methods. We re-planned 7 MPM cases using both photons and protons, by carrying out IMRT and IMPT plans. For both techniques, conventional dose comparisons and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) analysis were performed. In 3 cases, additional IMPT plans were generated with different beam dimensions. Results. IMPT allowed a slight improvement in target coverage and clear advantages in dose conformity (p < 0.001) and dose homogeneity (p = 0.01). Better organ at risk (OAR) sparing was obtained with IMPT, in particular for the liver (Dmean reduction of 9.5 Gy, p = 0.001) and ipsilateral kidney (V20 reduction of 58%, p = 0.001), together with a very large reduction of mean dose for the contralateral lung (0.2 Gy vs 6.1 Gy, p = 0.0001). NTCP values for the liver showed a systematic superiority of IMPT with respect to IMRT for both the esophagus (average NTCP 14% vs. 30.5%) and the ipsilateral kidney (p = 0.001). Concerning plans obtained with different spot dimensions, a slight loss of target coverage was observed along with sigma increase, while maintaining OAR irradiation always under planning constraints. Conclusion. Results suggest that IMPT allows better OAR sparing with respect to IMRT, mainly for the liver, ipsilateral kidney, and contralateral lung. The use of a spot dimension larger than 3 x 3 mm (up to 9 x 9 mm) does not compromise dosimetric results and allows a shorter delivery time. © Springer-Verlag 2012.

Fava G.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Widesott L.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Fellin F.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | Amichetti M.,ATreP Agenzia Provinciale per la Protonterapia | And 8 more authors.
Radiotherapy and Oncology | Year: 2012

Purpose: We estimated the potential advantage of remote positioning (RP) vs. in-room positioning (IP) for a proton therapy facility in terms of patient throughput. Materials and methods: Monte Carlo simulations of facilities with one, two or three gantries were performed. A sensitivity analysis was applied by varying the imaging and setup correction system (ICS), the speed of transporters (for RP) and beam switching time. Possible advantages of using three couches (for RP) or of switching the beam between fields was also investigated. Results: For a single gantry facility, an average of 20% more patients could be treated using RP: ranging from +45%, if a fast transporter and slow ICS were simulated, to -14% if a slow transporter and fast ICS was simulated. For two gantries, about 10% more patients could be treated with RP, ranging from +32% (fast transporter, slow ICS) to -12% (slow transporter, fast ICS). The ability to switch beam between fields did not substantially influence the throughput. In addition, the use of three transporters showed increased delays and therefore a slight reduction of the fractions executables. For three gantries, RP and IP showed similar results. Conclusions: The advantage of RP vs. IP strongly depends on ICS and the speed of the transporters. For RP to be advantageous, reduced transport times are required. The advantage of RP decreases with increasing number of gantries. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

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