Purpose: The purpose of this study was to propose a proton treatment planning method that trades physical dose (D) for dose-averaged linear energy transfer (LETd) while keeping the radiobiologically weighted dose (DRBE) to the target the same.
Methods and Materials: The target is painted with LETd by using 2, 4, and 7 fields aimed at the proximal segment of the target (split target planning [STP]). As the LETd within the target increases with increasing number of fields, D decreases to maintain the DRBE the same as the conventional treatment planning method by using beams treating the full target (full target planning [FTP]).
Results: The LETd increased 61% for 2-field STP (2STP) compared to FTP, 72% for 4STP, and 82% for 7STP inside the target. This increase in LETd led to a decrease of D with 5.3 ± 0.6 Gy for 2STP, 4.4 ± 0.7 Gy for 4STP, and 5.3 ± 1.1 Gy for 7STP, keeping the DRBE at 90% of the volume (DRBE, 90) constant to FTP.
Conclusions: LETd painting offers a method to reduce prescribed dose at no cost to the biological effectiveness of the treatment.
2015. Vol. 91, no 5, 1057-1064 p.