History of the Photon Beam Dose Calculation Algorithm in Radiation Treatment Planning System
Progress in Medical Physics
Dose calculation algorithms play an important role in radiation therapy and are even the basis for optimizing treatment plans, an important feature in the development of complex treatment technologies such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy. We reviewed the past and current status of dose calculation algorithms used in the treatment planning system for radiation therapy. The radiation-calculating dose calculation algorithm can be broadly classified into three main groups based on the
... s based on the mechanisms used: (1) factor-based, (2) model-based, and (3) principlebased. Factor-based algorithms are a type of empirical dose calculation that interpolates or extrapolates the dose in some basic measurements. Model-based algorithms, represented by the pencil beam convolution, analytical anisotropic, and collapse cone convolution algorithms, use a simplified physical process by using a convolution equation that convolutes the primary photon energy fluence with a kernel. Model-based algorithms allowing side scattering when beams are transmitted to the heterogeneous media provide more precise dose calculation results than correction-based algorithms. Principle-based algorithms, represented by Monte Carlo dose calculations, simulate all real physical processes involving beam particles during transportation; therefore, dose calculations are accurate but time consuming. For approximately 70 years, through the development of dose calculation algorithms and computing technology, the accuracy of dose calculation seems close to our clinical needs. Next-generation dose calculation algorithms are expected to include biologically equivalent doses or biologically effective doses, and doctors expect to be able to use them to improve the quality of treatment in the near future.