Bi-criteria Pareto optimization to balance irradiation time and dosimetric objectives in proton arc therapy.

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Physics in medicine and biology


Objective. Proton arc therapy (PAT) is a new delivery technique that exploits the continuous rotation of the gantry to distribute the therapeutic dose over many angular windows instead of using a few static fields, as in conventional (intensity-modulated) proton therapy. Although coming along with many potential clinical and dosimetric benefits, PAT has also raised a new optimization challenge. In addition to the dosimetric goals, the beam delivery time (BDT) needs to be considered in the objective function. Considering this bi-objective formulation, the task of finding a good compromise with appropriate weighting factors can turn out to be cumbersome.Approach. We have computed Pareto-optimal plans for three disease sites: a brain, a lung, and a liver, following a method of iteratively choosing weight vectors to approximate the Pareto front with few points. Mixed-integer programming (MIP) was selected to state the bi-criteria PAT problem and to find Pareto optimal points with a suited solver.Main results. The trade-offs between plan quality and beam irradiation time (staticBDT) are investigated by inspecting three plans from the Pareto front. The latter are carefully picked to demonstrate significant differences in dose distribution and delivery time depending on their location on the frontier. The results were benchmarked against IMPT and SPArc plans showing the strength of degrees of freedom coming along with MIP optimization.Significance. This paper presents for the first time the application of bi-criteria optimization to the PAT problem, which eventually permits the planners to select the best treatment strategy according to the patient conditions and clinical resources available.









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