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Volume 19, Number 6, 2014

Implementation of a dose gradient method into optimization of dose distribution in prostate cancer 3D-CRT plans

Marta K. Giżyńska, Paweł F. Kukołowicz, Paweł Kordowski



The aim of this work is to present a method of beam weight and wedge angle optimization for patients with prostate cancer.


3D-CRT is usually realized with forward planning based on a trial and error method. Several authors have published a few methods of beam weight optimization applicable to the 3D-CRT. Still, none on these methods is in common use.

Materials and methods

Optimization is based on the assumption that the best plan is achieved if dose gradient at ICRU point is equal to zero. Our optimization algorithm requires beam quality index, depth of maximum dose, profiles of wedged fields and maximum dose to femoral heads. The method was tested for 10 patients with prostate cancer, treated with the 3-field technique. Optimized plans were compared with plans prepared by 12 experienced planners. Dose standard deviation in target volume, and minimum and maximum doses were analyzed.


The quality of plans obtained with the proposed optimization algorithms was comparable to that prepared by experienced planners. Mean difference in target dose standard deviation was 0.1% in favor of the plans prepared by planners for optimization of beam weights and wedge angles. Introducing a correction factor for patient body outline for dose gradient at ICRU point improved dose distribution homogeneity. On average, a 0.1% lower standard deviation was achieved with the optimization algorithm. No significant difference in mean dose–volume histogram for the rectum was observed.


Optimization shortens very much time planning. The average planning time was 5 min and less than a minute for forward and computer optimization, respectively.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2014; 19(6) : 385-391

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