A study on repainting strategies for treating moderately moving targets with proton pencil beam scanning at the new Gantry 2 at PSI
Treating moving targets using a scanning gantry for proton therapy is a promising but very challenging, not yet clinically demonstrated treatment modality. The interference of organ motion with the sequence of the beam delivery produces uncontrolled dose inhomogeneities within the target. One promising approach to overcome this difficulty is to increase the speed of scanning in order to apply the dose repeatedly (so-called repainting ). To obtain sufficiently high scanning speeds a new, technologically improved gantry—Gantry 2—has been designed and is currently under construction at PSI. As there are many possible repainting strategies, the way repainting will be implemented on Gantry 2 will depend on the result of a careful analysis of the various treatment delivery strategies available. To achieve this aim, and prior to the start of experimental work with Gantry 2, simulations of dose distribution errors due to organ motion under various beam delivery strategies were investigated. The effects of motion on the dose distribution were studied for moderate motion amplitudes (5 mm) for spherical target volumes in a homogeneous medium and with homogeneous dose. In total over 200 000 dose distributions have been simulated and analyzed and selected results are discussed. From the obtained results we are confident to be able to treat moderately moving targets on Gantry 2 using repainted pencil-beam spot scanning. Continuous line scanning seems to be the most elegant solution; it provides higher repainting rates and produces superior results but is probably more difficult to realize. For larger motion amplitudes, continuous line scanning still shows good results, but we plan anyways to use a gating system for these cases, not only to reduce the inhomogeneity within the target volume but also to reduce safety margins.