Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

Baton Rouge, LA, United States

Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center

Baton Rouge, LA, United States
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Carver R.L.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Journal of applied clinical medical physics | Year: 2016

 The purpose of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and calculation speed of electron dose distributions calculated by the Eclipse electron Monte Carlo (eMC) algorithm for use with bolus electron conformal therapy (ECT). The recent com-mercial availability of bolus ECT technology requires further validation of the eMC dose calculation algorithm. eMC-calculated electron dose distributions for bolus ECT have been compared to previously measured TLD-dose points throughout patient-based cylindrical phantoms (retromolar trigone and nose), whose axial cross sections were based on the mid-PTV (planning treatment volume) CT anatomy. The phantoms consisted of SR4 muscle substitute, SR4 bone substitute, and air. The treatment plans were imported into the Eclipse treatment planning system, and electron dose distributions calculated using 1% and < 0.2% statistical uncertainties. The accuracy of the dose calculations using moderate smoothing and no smooth-ing were evaluated. Dose differences (eMC-calculated less measured dose) were evaluated in terms of absolute dose difference, where 100% equals the given dose, as well as distance to agreement (DTA). Dose calculations were also evaluated for calculation speed. Results from the eMC for the retromolar trigone phantom using 1% statistical uncertainty without smoothing showed calculated dose at 89% (41/46) of the measured TLD-dose points was within 3% dose difference or 3 mm DTA of the measured value. The average dose difference was -0.21%, and the net standard deviation was 2.32%. Differences as large as 3.7% occurred immediately distal to the mandible bone. Results for the nose phantom, using 1% statistical uncertainty without smoothing, showed calculated dose at 93% (53/57) of the measured TLD-dose points within 3% dose difference or 3 mm DTA. The average dose difference was 1.08%, and the net standard deviation was 3.17%. Differences as large as 10% occurred lateral to the nasal air cavities. Including smoothing had insignificant effects on the accuracy of the retromolar trigone phantom calculations, but reduced the accuracy of the nose phantom calculations in the high-gradient dose areas. Dose calculation times with 1% statistical uncertainty for the retromolar trigone and nose treatment plans were 30 s and 24 s, respectively, using 16 processors (Intel Xeon E5-2690, 2.9 GHz) on a framework agent server (FAS). In comparison, the eMC was significantly more accurate than the pencil beam algorithm (PBA). The eMC has comparable accuracy to the pencil beam redefinition algorithm (PBRA) used for bolus ECT planning and has acceptably low dose calculation times. The eMC accuracy decreased when smoothing was used in high-gradient dose regions. The eMC accuracy was consistent with that previously reported for accuracy of the eMC electron dose algorithm and shows that the algorithm is suitable for clinical implementation of bolus ECT.


Duffin R.A.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center | Feltner F.,University of Kentucky | Funderburk W.,Providence Hospital | Freeman H.P.,Harold P Freeman Patient Navigation Institute
Cancer | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: The Ralph Lauren Cancer Center implemented patient navigation programs in sites across the United States building on the model pioneered by Harold P. Freeman, MD. Patient navigation targets medically underserved with the objective of reducing the time interval between an abnormal cancer finding, diagnostic resolution, and treatment initiation. In this study, the authors assessed the incremental cost effectiveness of adding patient navigation to standard cancer care in 3 community hospitals in the United States. METHODS: A decision-analytic model was used to assess the cost effectiveness of a colorectal and breast cancer patient navigation program over the period of 1 year compared with standard care. Data sources included published estimates in the literature and primary costs, aggregate patient demographics, and outcome data from 3 patient navigation programs. RESULTS: After 1 year, compared with standard care alone, it was estimated that offering patient navigation with standard care would allow an additional 78 of 959 individuals with an abnormal breast cancer screening and an additional 21 of 411 individuals with abnormal colonoscopies to reach timely diagnostic resolution. Without including medical treatment costs saved, the cost-effectiveness ratio ranged from $511 to $2080 per breast cancer diagnostic resolution achieved and from $1192 to $9708 per colorectal cancer diagnostic resolution achieved. CONCLUSIONS: The current results indicated that implementing breast or colorectal cancer patient navigation in community hospital settings in which low-income populations are served may be a cost-effective addition to standard cancer care in the United States. © 2012 American Cancer Society.


Fontenot J.D.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center | Bloch C.,Washington University | Followill D.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Titt U.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | Newhauser W.D.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Physics in Medicine and Biology | Year: 2010

Theoretical calculations have shown that proton therapy can reduce the incidence of radiation-induced secondary malignant neoplasms (SMN) compared with photon therapy for patients with prostate cancer. However, the uncertainties associated with calculations of SMN risk had not been assessed. The objective of this study was to quantify the uncertainties in projected risks of secondary cancer following contemporary proton and photon radiotherapies for prostate cancer. We performed a rigorous propagation of errors and several sensitivity tests to estimate the uncertainty in the ratio of relative risk (RRR) due to the largest contributors to the uncertainty: the radiation weighting factor for neutrons, the dose-response model for radiation carcinogenesis and interpatient variations in absorbed dose. The interval of values for the radiation weighting factor for neutrons and the dose-response model were derived from the literature, while interpatient variations in absorbed dose were taken from actual patient data. The influence of each parameter on a baseline RRR value was quantified. Our analysis revealed that the calculated RRR was insensitive to the largest contributors to the uncertainty. Uncertainties in the radiation weighting factor for neutrons, the shape of the dose-risk model and interpatient variations in therapeutic and stray doses introduced a total uncertainty of 33% to the baseline RRR calculation. © 2010 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


Mancuso G.M.,Louisiana State University | Fontenot J.D.,Louisiana State University | Fontenot J.D.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center | Gibbons J.P.,Louisiana State University | And 2 more authors.
Medical Physics | Year: 2012

Purpose: To perform a comprehensive and systematic comparison of fixed-beam IMRT and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) patient-specific QA measurements for a common set of geometries using typical measurement methods. Methods: Fixed-beam IMRT and VMAT plans were constructed for structure set geometries provided by AAPM Task Group 119. The plans were repeatedly delivered across multiple measurement sessions, and the resulting dose distributions were measured with (1) radiochromic film and ionization chamber and (2) a commercial two-dimensional diode array. The resulting QA measurements from each delivery technique were then analyzed, compared, and tested for statistically significant differences. Results: Although differences were noted between QA results for some plans, neither modality showed consistently better agreement of measured and planned doses: of the 22 comparisons, IMRT showed better QA results in 11 cases, and VMAT showed better QA results in 11 cases. No statistically significant differences (p 0.05) between IMRT and VMAT QA results were found for point doses measured with an ionization chamber, planar doses measured with radiochromic film, or planar doses measured with a two-dimensional diode array. Conclusions: These results suggest that it is appropriate to apply patient-specific QA action levels derived from fixed-beam IMRT to VMAT. © 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


Newhauser W.D.,Louisiana State University | Newhauser W.D.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center | Zhang R.,Louisiana State University | Zhang R.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Physics in Medicine and Biology | Year: 2015

The physics of proton therapy has advanced considerably since it was proposed in 1946. Today analytical equations and numerical simulation methods are available to predict and characterize many aspects of proton therapy. This article reviews the basic aspects of the physics of proton therapy, including proton interaction mechanisms, proton transport calculations, the determination of dose from therapeutic and stray radiations, and shielding design. The article discusses underlying processes as well as selected practical experimental and theoretical methods. We conclude by briefly speculating on possible future areas of research of relevance to the physics of proton therapy. © 2015 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


Jagetic L.J.,Louisiana State University | Newhauser W.D.,Louisiana State University | Newhauser W.D.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Physics in Medicine and Biology | Year: 2015

State-of-the-art radiotherapy treatment planning systems provide reliable estimates of the therapeutic radiation but are known to underestimate or neglect the stray radiation exposures. Most commonly, stray radiation exposures are reconstructed using empirical formulas or lookup tables. The purpose of this study was to develop the basic physics of a model capable of calculating the total absorbed dose both inside and outside of the therapeutic radiation beam for external beam photon therapy. The model was developed using measurements of total absorbed dose in a water-box phantom from a 6 MV medical linear accelerator to calculate dose profiles in both the in-plane and cross-plane direction for a variety of square field sizes and depths in water. The water-box phantom facilitated development of the basic physical aspects of the model. RMS discrepancies between measured and calculated total absorbed dose values in water were less than 9.3% for all fields studied. Computation times for 10 million dose points within a homogeneous phantom were approximately 4 min. These results suggest that the basic physics of the model are sufficiently simple, fast, and accurate to serve as a foundation for a variety of clinical and research applications, some of which may require that the model be extended or simplified based on the needs of the user. A potentially important advantage of a physics-based approach is that the model is more readily adaptable to a wide variety of treatment units and treatment techniques than with empirical models. © 2015 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


Wang H.,University of Houston | Vassiliev O.N.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Physics in Medicine and Biology | Year: 2014

Models based on the amorphous track structure approximation have been successful in predicting the biological effects of heavy charged particles. Development of such models remains an active area of research that includes applications to hadrontherapy. In such models, the radial distribution of the dose deposited by delta electrons and directly by the particle is the main characteristic of track structure. We calculated these distributions with Geant4-DNA Monte Carlo code for protons in the energy range from 10 to 100 MeV. These results were approximated by a simple formula that combines the well-known inverse square distance dependence with two factors that eliminate the divergence of the radial dose integral at both small and large distances. A clear physical interpretation is given to the asymptotic behaviour of the radial dose distribution resulting from these two factors. The proposed formula agrees with the Monte Carlo data within 10% for radial distances of up to 10 μm, which corresponds to a dose range covering over eight orders of magnitude. Differences between our results and those of previously published analytical models are discussed. © 2014 Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine.


Fontenot J.D.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Journal of applied clinical medical physics / American College of Medical Physics | Year: 2012

Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) is an effective but complex technique for delivering radiation therapy. VMAT relies on precise combinations of dose rate, gantry speed, and multileaf collimator (MLC) shapes to deliver intensity-modulated patterns. Such complexity warrants the development of correspondingly robust performance verification systems. In this work, we report on a remote, automated software system for daily delivery verification of VMAT treatments. The performance verification software system consists of three main components: (1) a query module for retrieving daily MLC, gantry, and jaw positions reported by the linear accelerator control system to the record and verify system; (2) an analysis module which reads the daily delivery report generated from the database query module, compares the reported treatment positions against the planned positions, and compiles delivery position error reports; and (3) a graphical reporting module which displays reports initiated by a user anywhere within the institutional network or which can be configured to alert authorized users when predefined tolerance values are exceeded. The utility of the system was investigated through analysis of patient data collected at our clinic. Nearly 2500 VMAT fractions have been analyzed with the delivery verification system at our institution. The average percentage of reported MLC leaf positions within 3 mm, gantry positions within 2°, and jaw positions within 3 mm of their planned positions was 92.9% ± 5.5%, 95.9%± 2.9%, and 99.7% ± 0.6%, respectively. The level of agreement between planned and reported MLC positions decreased for treatment plans requiring larger MLC leaf movements between control points. Differences in the reported MLC position error between the delivery verification system and data extracted manually from the control system were noted; however, the differences are likely systematic and, therefore, may be characterized if appropriately accounted for. Further investigation is needed to confirm the utility and accuracy of the system.


Fontenota J.D.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics | Year: 2014

The purpose of this study was to assess the accuracy and efficacy of an automated treatment plan verification, or "secondary check", tool (Mobius3D), which uses a reference dataset to perform an independent three-dimensional dose verification of the treatment planning system (TPS) dose calculation and assesses plan quality by comparing dose-volume histograms to reference benchmarks. The accuracy of the Mobius3D (M3D) system was evaluated by comparing dose calculations from IMRT and VMAT plans with measurements in phantom geometries and with TPS calculated dose distributions in prostate, lung, and head and neck patients (ten each). For the patient cases, instances of DVH limits exceeding reference values were also recorded. M3D showed agreement with measured point and planar doses that was comparable to the TPS in phantom geometries. No statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) were noted. M3D dose distributions from VMAT plans in patient cases were in good agreement with the TPS, with an average of 99.5% of dose points showing γ5%,3mm < 1. The M3D system also identified several plans that had exceeded dose-volume limits specified by RTOG protocols for those sites. The M3D system showed dosimetric accuracy comparable with the TPS, and identified several plans that exceeded dosimetric benchmarks. The M3D system possesses the potential to enhance the current treatment plan verification paradigm and improve safety in the clinical treatment planning and review process.


Vassiliev O.N.,Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications | Year: 2014

We propose a model of the radiation-induced bystander effect based on an analogy with magnetic systems. The main benefit of this approach is that it allowed us to apply powerful methods of statistical mechanics. The model exploits the similarity between how spin-spin interactions result in correlations of spin states in ferromagnets, and how signalling from a damaged cell reduces chances of survival of neighbour cells, resulting in correlated cell states. At the root of the model is a classical Hamiltonian, similar to that of an Ising ferromagnet with long-range interactions. The formalism is developed in the framework of the Mean Field Theory. It is applied to modelling tissue response in a uniform radiation field. In this case the results are remarkably simple and at the same time nontrivial. They include cell survival curves, expressions for the tumour control probability and effects of fractionation. The model extends beyond of what is normally considered as bystander effects. It offers an insight into low-dose hypersensitivity and into mechanisms behind threshold doses for deterministic effects. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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