Patient specific evaluation of breathing motion induced interplay effects

Published:December 16, 2022DOI:


      • Patient specific estimation of interplay effects improves ahead of treatment.
      • Investigated a novel software allowing virtual phantom motion during beam delivery.
      • Developed in-house software to generate user defined breathing traces.
      • Physically moved the 3D dose measuring phantom by programmed couch for validation.
      • Investigated interplay for 14 Lung VMAT SABR plans and various breathing traces.



      In lung SABR, interplay between target motion and dynamically changing beam parameters can affect the target coverage. To identify the potential need for motion-management techniques, a comprehensive methodology for pre-treatment estimation of interplay effects has been implemented.


      In conjunction with an alpha-version of VeriSoft and OCTAVIUS 4D (PTW-Freiburg, Germany), a method is presented to calculate a virtual, motion-simulated 3D dose distribution based on measurement data acquired in a stationary phantom and a subsequent correction with time-dependent target-motion patterns. In-house software has been developed to create user-defined motion patterns based on either simplistic or real patient-breathing patterns including the definition of the exact beam starting phase. The approach was validated by programmed couch and phantom motion during beam delivery.
      Five different breathing traces with extremely altered beam-on phases (0 % and 50 % respiratory phase) and a superior-inferior motion altitude of 25 mm were used to probe the influence of interplay effects for 14 lung SABR plans. Gamma analysis (2 %/2mm) was used for quantification.


      Validation measurements resulted in >98 % pass rates. Regarding the interplay effect evaluation, gamma pass rates of <92 % were observed for sinusoidal breathing patterns with <25 number of breaths per delivery time (NBs) and realistic patterns with <18 NBs.


      The potential influence of interplay effects on the target coverage is highly dependent on the patient’s breathing behaviour. The presented moving-platform-free approach can be used for verification of ITV-based treatment plans to identify whether the clinical goals are achievable without explicit use of a respiratory management technique.


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