Clinical Evaluation of the Inverse Planning System Utilized in Gamma Knife Lightning

Taoran Cui, Ke Nie, Jiahua Zhu, Shabbar Danish, Joseph Weiner, Anupama Chundury, Nisha Ohri, Yin Zhang, Irina Vergalasova, Ning Yue, Xiao Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The purpose of this study is to independently compare the performance of the inverse planning algorithm utilized in Gamma Knife (GK) Lightning Treatment Planning System (TPS) to manual forward planning, between experienced and inexperienced users, for different types of targets. Materials and Methods: Forty patients treated with GK stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for pituitary adenoma (PA), vestibular schwannoma (VS), post-operative brain metastases (pBM), and intact brain metastases (iBM) were randomly selected, ten for each site. Three inversely optimized plans were generated for each case by two experienced planners (OptExp1 and OptExp2) and a novice planner (OptNov) using GK Lightning TPS. For each treatment site, the Gradient Index (GI), the Paddick Conformity Index (PCI), the prescription percentage, the scaled beam-on time (sBOT), the number of shots used, and dosimetric metrics to OARs were compared first between the inversely optimized plans and the manually generated clinical plans, and then among the inversely optimized plans. Statistical analyses were performed using the Student’s t-test and the ANOVA followed by the post-hoc Tukey tests. Results: The GI for the inversely optimized plans significantly outperformed the clinical plans for all sites. PCIs were similar between the inversely optimized and clinical plans for PA and VS, but were significantly improved in the inversely optimized plans for iBM and pBM. There were no significant differences in the sBOT between the inversely optimized and clinical plans, except for the PA cases. No significant differences were observed in dosimetric metrics, except for lower brain V12Gy and PTV D98% in the inversely optimized plans for iBM. There were no noticeable differences in plan qualities among the inversely optimized plans created by the novice and experienced planners. Conclusion: Inverse planning in GK Lightning TPS produces GK SRS plans at least equivalent in plan quality and similar in sBOT compared to manual forward planning in this independent validation study. The automatic workflow of inversed planning ensures a consistent plan quality regardless of a planner’s experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number832656
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - Feb 23 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


  • Gamma Knife Icon™
  • Gamma Knife Lightning
  • GammaPlan
  • brain metastases (BM)
  • inverse planning
  • pituitary adenoma
  • stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS)
  • vestibular schwannoma


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