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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 73-86

Review of fast Monte Carlo codes for dose calculation in radiation therapy treatment planning

Department of Medical Physics and Engineering, School of Medicine, and Medical Image & Signal Processing Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Keyvan Jabbari
Department of Medical Physics and Engineering, School of Medicine, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2228-7477.83522

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An important requirement in radiation therapy is a fast and accurate treatment planning system. This system, using computed tomography (CT) data, direction, and characteristics of the beam, calculates the dose at all points of the patient's volume. The two main factors in treatment planning system are accuracy and speed. According to these factors, various generations of treatment planning systems are developed. This article is a review of the Fast Monte Carlo treatment planning algorithms, which are accurate and fast at the same time. The Monte Carlo techniques are based on the transport of each individual particle (e.g., photon or electron) in the tissue. The transport of the particle is done using the physics of the interaction of the particles with matter. Other techniques transport the particles as a group. For a typical dose calculation in radiation therapy the code has to transport several millions particles, which take a few hours, therefore, the Monte Carlo techniques are accurate, but slow for clinical use. In recent years, with the development of the 'fast' Monte Carlo systems, one is able to perform dose calculation in a reasonable time for clinical use. The acceptable time for dose calculation is in the range of one minute. There is currently a growing interest in the fast Monte Carlo treatment planning systems and there are many commercial treatment planning systems that perform dose calculation in radiation therapy based on the Monte Carlo technique.

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