The sensitivity of radiobiological models in carbon ion radiotherapy (CIRT) and its consequences on the clinical treatment plan: Differences between LEM and MKM models

Joanna Góra*, Sarah Grosshagauer, Piero Fossati, Marta Mumot, Markus Stock, Mansure Schafasand, Antonio Carlino

*Korrespondierende:r Autor:in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in Fachzeitschrift (peer-reviewed)Artikel in Fachzeitschrift


PURPOSE: Carbon ion radiotherapy (CIRT) relies on relative biological effectiveness (RBE)-weighted dose calculations. Japanese clinics predominantly use the microdosimetric kinetic model (MKM), while European centers utilize the local effect model (LEM). Despite both models estimating RBE-distributions in tissue, their physical and mathematical assumptions differ, leading to significant disparities in RBE-weighted doses. Several European clinics adopted Japanese treatment schedules, necessitating adjustments in dose prescriptions and organ at risk (OAR) constraints. In the context of these two clinically used standards for RBE-weighted dose estimation, the objective of this study was to highlight specific scenarios for which the translations between models diverge, as shortcomings between them can influence clinical decisions.

METHODS: Our aim was to discuss planning strategies minimizing those discrepancies, ultimately striving for more accurate and robust treatments. Evaluations were conducted in a virtual water phantom and patient CT-geometry, optimizing LEM RBE-weighted dose first and recomputing MKM thereafter. Dose-averaged linear energy transfer (LETd) distributions were also assessed.

RESULTS: Results demonstrate how various parameters influence LEM/MKM translation. Similar LEM-dose distributions lead to markedly different MKM-dose distributions and variations in LETd. Generally, a homogeneous LEM RBE-weighted dose aligns with lower MKM values in most of the target volume. Nevertheless, paradoxical MKM hotspots may emerge (at the end of the range), potentially influencing clinical outcomes. Therefore, translation between models requires great caution.

CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the relationship between these two clinical standards enables combining European and Japanese based experiences. The implementation of optimal planning strategies ensures the safety and acceptability of the clinical plan for both models and therefore enhances plan robustness from the RBE-weighted dose and LETd distribution point of view. This study emphasizes the importance of optimal planning strategies and the need for comprehensive CIRT plan quality assessment tools. In situations where simultaneous LEM and MKM computation capabilities are lacking, it can provide guidance in plan design, ultimately contributing to enhanced CIRT outcomes.

Seiten (von - bis)e14321
FachzeitschriftJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
PublikationsstatusElektronische Veröffentlichung vor Drucklegung - 04 März 2024


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