Management of three-dimensional intrafraction motion through real-time DMLC tracking

Amit Sawant, Raghu Venkat, Vikram Srivastava, David Carlson, Sergey Povzner, Herb Cattell, Paul Keall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Tumor tracking using a dynamic multileaf collimator (DMLC) represents a promising approach for intrafraction motion management in thoracic and abdominal cancer radiotherapy. In this work, we develop, empirically demonstrate, and characterize a novel 3D tracking algorithm for real-time, conformal, intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT)-based radiation delivery to targets moving in three dimensions. The algorithm obtains real-time information of target location from an independent position monitoring system and dynamically calculates MLC leaf positions to account for changes in target position. Initial studies were performed to evaluate the geometric accuracy of DMLC tracking of 3D target motion. In addition, dosimetric studies were performed on a clinical linac to evaluate the impact of real-time DMLC tracking for conformal, step-and-shoot (S-IMRT), dynamic (D-IMRT), and VMAT deliveries to a moving target. The efficiency of conformal and IMRT delivery in the presence of tracking was determined. Results show that submillimeter geometric accuracy in all three dimensions is achievable with DMLC tracking. Significant dosimetric improvements were observed in the presence of tracking for conformal and IMRT deliveries to moving targets. A gamma index evaluation with a 3%- 3 mm criterion showed that deliveries without DMLC tracking exhibit between 1.7 (S-IMRT) and 4.8 (D-IMRT) times more dose points that fail the evaluation compared to corresponding deliveries with tracking. The efficiency of IMRT delivery, as measured in the lab, was observed to be significantly lower in case of tracking target motion perpendicular to MLC leaf travel compared to motion parallel to leaf travel. Nevertheless, these early results indicate that accurate, real-time DMLC tracking of 3D tumor motion is feasible and can potentially result in significant geometric and dosimetric advantages leading to more effective management of intrafraction motion. In order to visually illustrate the algorithm, a movie of MLC tracking for a conformal field has been added to the submission as EPAPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2050-2061
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008


  • Adaptive radiotherapy
  • Dynamic MLC
  • IGRT
  • Intrafraction motion
  • Real-time
  • Tumor tracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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