Field-in-field breast planning for a jawless, double-stack MLC LINAC using flattening-filter-free beams

Robert Morris, Eric Laugeman, Jessica Hilliard, Imran Zoberi, Ana Heerman, Geoffrey Hugo, Sasa Mutic, Bin Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: This study intends to develop an efficient field-in-field (FiF) planning technique with the Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS) to determine the feasibility of using the Halcyon treatment delivery system for 3D treatment of breast cancer. Methods: Ten treatment plans were prepared on the Halcyon treatment planning system and compared to the same patients’ clinically delivered TrueBeam plans which used flattened 6 MV and 10 MV beams. Patients selected for this study were treated via simple, tangential breast irradiation and did not receive radiotherapy of the supraclavicular or internal mammary lymph nodes. Planning target volumes (PTV) volumes ranged from 519 cc to 1211 cc with a mean target volume of 877 cc. Several planning techniques involving collimator, gantry rotation, and number of FiF segments were investigated as well as the use of the dynamically flattened beam (DFB) — a predefined MLC pattern that is designed to provide a flattened beam profile at 10 cm depth on a standard water phantom. For comparison, the clinically delivered TrueBeam plans remained unaltered except for normalization of the target coverage to more readily compare the two treatment delivery techniques. Results: Using the physician defined PTV, normalized such that 98% of the volume was covered by 95% of the prescribed dose, the Halcyon plans were deemed clinically acceptable and comparable to the TrueBeam plans by the radiation oncologist. Resulting average global maximum doses in the test patients were identical between the TrueBeam and Halcyon plans (108% of Rx) and a mean PTV dose of 102.5% vs 101.6%, respectively. Conclusions: From this study a practical and efficient planning method for delivering 3D conformal breast radiotherapy using the Halcyon linear accelerator has been developed. When normalized to the clinically desired coverage, hot spots were maintained to acceptable levels and overall plan quality was comparable to plans delivered on conventional C-arm LINACs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-26
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • 6FFF
  • field-in-field radiotherapy planning
  • halcyon treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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