Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Radiation Oncology

DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Date of Submission

August 2014


Background To evaluate the dosimetric differences between Superposition/Convolution (SC) and Monte Carlo (MC) calculated dose distributions for simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) prostate cancer intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) compared to experimental (film) measurements and the implications for clinical treatments.

Methods Twenty-two prostate patients treated with an in-house SIB-IMRT protocol were selected. SC-based plans used for treatment were re-evaluated with EGS4-based MC calculations for treatment verification. Accuracy was evaluated with-respect-to film-based dosimetry. Comparisons used gamma (γ)-index, distance-to-agreement (DTA), and superimposed dose distributions. The treatment plans were also compared based on dose-volume indices and 3-D γ index for targets and critical structures.

Results Flat-phantom comparisons demonstrated that the MC algorithm predicted measurements better than the SC algorithm. The average PTVprostate D98 agreement between SC and MC was 1.2% ± 1.1. For rectum, the average differences in SC and MC calculated D50 ranged from -3.6% to 3.4%. For small bowel, there were up to 30.2% ± 40.7 (range: 0.2%, 115%) differences between SC and MC calculated average D50 index. For femurs, the differences in average D50 reached up to 8.6% ± 3.6 (range: 1.2%, 14.5%). For PTVprostate and PTVnodes, the average gamma scores were >95.0%.

Conclusion MC agrees better with film measurements than SC. Although, on average, SC-calculated doses agreed with MC calculations within the targets within 2%, there were deviations up to 5% for some patient's treatment plans. For some patients, the magnitude of such deviations might decrease the intended target dose levels that are required for the treatment protocol, placing the patients in different dose levels that do not satisfy the protocol dose requirements.


© 2009 Dogan et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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VCU Radiation Oncology Publications