Fraction-variant beam orientation optimization for non-coplanar IMRT

Daniel O'Connor, Victoria Yu, Dan Nguyen, Dan Ruan, Ke Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Conventional beam orientation optimization (BOO) algorithms for IMRT assume that the same set of beam angles is used for all treatment fractions. In this paper we present a BOO formulation based on group sparsity that simultaneously optimizes non-coplanar beam angles for all fractions, yielding a fraction-variant (FV) treatment plan. Beam angles are selected by solving a multi-fraction fluence map optimization problem involving 500-700 candidate beams per fraction, with an additional group sparsity term that encourages most candidate beams to be inactive. The optimization problem is solved using the fast iterative shrinkage-thresholding algorithm. Our FV BOO algorithm is used to create five-fraction treatment plans for digital phantom, prostate, and lung cases as well as a 30-fraction plan for a head and neck case. A homogeneous PTV dose coverage is maintained in all fractions. The treatment plans are compared with fraction-invariant plans that use a fixed set of beam angles for all fractions. The FV plans reduced OAR mean dose and D 2 values on average by 3.3% and 3.8% of the prescription dose, respectively. Notably, mean OAR dose was reduced by 14.3% of prescription dose (rectum), 11.6% (penile bulb), 10.7% (seminal vesicle), 5.5% (right femur), 3.5% (bladder), 4.0% (normal left lung), 15.5% (cochleas), and 5.2% (chiasm). D 2 was reduced by 14.9% of prescription dose (right femur), 8.2% (penile bulb), 12.7% (proximal bronchus), 4.1% (normal left lung), 15.2% (cochleas), 10.1% (orbits), 9.1% (chiasm), 8.7% (brainstem), and 7.1% (parotids). Meanwhile, PTV homogeneity defined as D 95/D 5 improved from .92 to .95 (digital phantom), from .95 to .98 (prostate case), and from .94 to .97 (lung case), and remained constant for the head and neck case. Moreover, the FV plans are dosimetrically similar to conventional plans that use twice as many beams per fraction. Thus, FV BOO offers the potential to reduce delivery time for non-coplanar IMRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045015
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 15 2018


  • beam orientation optimization
  • group sparsity
  • non-coplanar IMRT
  • proximal algorithms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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