A novel, yet simple MLC-based 3D-crossfire technique for spatially fractionated GRID therapy treatment of deep-seated bulky tumors

Damodar Pokhrel, Matthew Halfman, Lana Sanford, Quan Chen, Mahesh Kudrimoti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: Treating deep-seated bulky tumors with traditional single-field Cerrobend GRID-blocks has many limitations such as suboptimal target coverage and excessive skin toxicity. Heavy traditional GRID-blocks are a concern for patient safety at various gantry-angles and dosimetric detail is not always available without a GRID template in user’s treatment planning system. Herein, we propose a simple, yet clinically useful multileaf collimator (MLC)-based three-dimensional (3D)-crossfire technique to provide sufficient target coverage, reduce skin dose, and potentially escalate tumor dose to deep-seated bulky tumors. Materials/methods: Thirteen patients (multiple sites) who underwent conventional single-field cerrobend GRID-block therapy (maximum, 15 Gy in 1 fraction) were re-planned using an MLC-based 3D-crossfire method. Gross tumor volume (GTV) was used to generate a lattice pattern of 10 mm diameter and 20 mm center-to-center mimicking conventional GRID-block using an in-house MATLAB program. For the same prescription, MLC-based 3D-crossfire grid plans were generated using 6-gantry positions (clockwise) at 60° spacing (210°, 270°, 330°, 30°, 90°, 150°, therefore, each gantry angle associated with a complement angle at 180° apart) with differentially-weighted 6 or 18 MV beams in Eclipse. For each gantry, standard Millenium120 (Varian) 5 mm MLC leaves were fit to the grid-pattern with 90° collimator rotation, so that the tunneling dose distribution was achieved. Acuros-based dose was calculated for heterogeneity corrections. Dosimetric parameters evaluated include: mean GTV dose, GTV dose heterogeneities (peak-to-valley dose ratio, PVDR), skin dose and dose to other adjacent critical structures. Additionally, planning time and delivery efficiency was recorded. With 3D-MLC, dose escalation up to 23 Gy was simulated for all patient's plans. Results: All 3D-MLC crossfire GRID plans exhibited excellent target coverage with mean GTV dose of 13.4 ± 0.5 Gy (range: 12.43–14.24 Gy) and mean PVDR of 2.0 ± 0.3 (range: 1.7–2.4). Maximal and dose to 5 cc of skin were 9.7 ± 2.7 Gy (range: 5.4–14.0 Gy) and 6.3 ± 1.8 Gy (range: 4.1–11.1 Gy), on average respectively. Three-dimensional-MLC treatment planning time was about an hour or less. Compared to traditional GRID-block, average beam on time was 20% less, while providing similar overall treatment time. With 3D-MLC plans, tumor dose can be escalated up to 23 Gy while respecting skin dose tolerances. Conclusion: The simple MLC-based 3D-crossfire GRID-therapy technique resulted in enhanced target coverage for de-bulking deep-seated bulky tumors, reduced skin toxicity and spare adjacent critical structures. This simple MLC-based approach can be easily adopted by any radiotherapy center. It provides detailed dosimetry and a safe and effective treatment by eliminating the heavy physical GRID-block and could potentially provide same day treatment. Prospective clinical trial with higher tumor-dose to bulky deep-seated tumors is anticipated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine.


  • 3D-MLC Crossfire
  • Bulky-tumors
  • cerrobend GRID-block
  • dose-escalation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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