Optimization of Beam Orientation in Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy Planning
- For the last decade, optimization of beam orientations in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has been shown to be successful in improving the treatment plan. Unfortunately, the quality of a set of beam orientations depends heavily on its corresponding beam intensity profiles. Usually, a stochastic selector is used for optimizing beam orientation, and then a single objective inverse treatment planning algorithm is used for the optimization of beam intensity profiles. The overall time needed to solve the inverse planning for every random selection of beam orientations becomes excessive. Recently, considerable improvement has been made in optimizing beam intensity profiles by using multiple objective inverse treatment planning. Such an approach results in a variety of beam intensity profiles for every selection of beam orientations, making the dependence between beam orientations and its intensity profiles less important. This thesis takes advantage of this property to accelerate the optimization process through an approximation of the intensity profiles that are used for multiple selections of beam orientations, saving a considerable amount of calculation time. A dynamic algorithm (DA) and evolutionary algorithm (EA), for beam orientations in IMRT planning will be presented. The DA mimics, automatically, the methods of beam's eye view and observer's view which are recognized in conventional conformal radiation therapy. The EA is based on a dose-volume histogram evaluation function introduced as an attempt to minimize the deviation between the mathematical and clinical optima. To illustrate the efficiency of the algorithms they have been applied to different clinical examples. In comparison to the standard equally spaced beams plans, improvements are reported for both algorithms in all the clinical examples even when, for some cases, fewer beams are used. A smaller number of beams is always desirable without compromising the quality of the treatment plan. It results in a shorter treatment delivery time, which reduces potential errors in terms of patient movements and decreases discomfort.