Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

David Followill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carol J. Etzel, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Rebecca M. Howell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen F. Kry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andrea Molineu, M.S.

Committee Member

Richard Popple, Ph.D.


The effectiveness of the Anisotropic Analytical Algorithm (AAA) implemented in the Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS) was evaluated using theRadiologicalPhysicsCenteranthropomorphic lung phantom using both flattened and flattening-filter-free high energy beams. Radiation treatment plans were developed following the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group and theRadiologicalPhysicsCenterguidelines for lung treatment using Stereotactic Radiation Body Therapy. The tumor was covered such that at least 95% of Planning Target Volume (PTV) received 100% of the prescribed dose while ensuring that normal tissue constraints were followed as well. Calculated doses were exported from the Eclipse TPS and compared with the experimental data as measured using thermoluminescence detectors (TLD) and radiochromic films that were placed inside the phantom. The results demonstrate that the AAA superposition-convolution algorithm is able to calculate SBRT treatment plans with all clinically used photon beams in the range from 6 MV to 18 MV. The measured dose distribution showed a good agreement with the calculated distribution using clinically acceptable criteria of ±5% dose or 3mm distance to agreement.

These results show that in a heterogeneous environment a 3D pencil beam superposition-convolution algorithms with Monte Carlo pre-calculated scatter kernels, such as AAA, are able to reliably calculate dose, accounting for increased lateral scattering due to the loss of electronic equilibrium in low density medium. The data for high energy plans (15 MV and 18 MV) showed very good tumor coverage in contrast to findings by other investigators for less sophisticated dose calculation algorithms, which demonstrated less than expected tumor doses and generally worse tumor coverage for high energy plans compared to 6MV plans. This demonstrates that the modern superposition-convolution AAA algorithm is a significant improvement over previous algorithms and is able to calculate doses accurately for SBRT treatment plans in the highly heterogeneous environment of the thorax for both lower (≤12 MV) and higher (greater than 12 MV) beam energies.


AAA, Anisotropic Analytical Algorithm, SBRT, Anthropomorphic Lung Phantom, High Energy



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