Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has stirred considerable excitement in the radiation oncology community. Its objective is to make the dose conform to the tumor and spare other organs. Instead of resorting to the rather complex inverse-planning, the technique described here is an extension of the conventional treatment planning technique. The beam orientation and wedge angles are chosen in the conventional rule-based manner. However, within each conformal beam's eye view (BEV) field including margin, a number of sub-field openings are added. The smaller field openings are designed to irradiate the tumor, while sparing the normal tissue of the organs at risk (OARs) that intrude into the target region in the BEV. As the number of intrusions into the target BEV increases, the number of sub-fields for each beam increases. The Cimmino simultaneous projection method was employed to obtain the optimized weighting for each field of each beam. In cases where the dose constraints for the tumor and for the OARs are reasonable, it is possible to obtain a plan with a fairly small number of beams that satisfies the specified dose objectives. This is illustrated for the treatment of prostate cancer, where the rectum creates a concavity in the planning target volume. An advantage of this technique is that the quality assurance for the delivery of these plans does not require extensive special efforts. (C) 2000 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
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