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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 692874, 10 pages
Review Article

A Review on the Use of Grid-Based Boltzmann Equation Solvers for Dose Calculation in External Photon Beam Treatment Planning

1Department of Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong
2Department of Physics and Materials Science, City University of Hong Kong, Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong

Received 2 May 2013; Accepted 22 July 2013

Academic Editor: Maria F. Chan

Copyright © 2013 Monica W. K. Kan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Deterministic linear Boltzmann transport equation (D-LBTE) solvers have recently been developed, and one of the latest available software codes, Acuros XB, has been implemented in a commercial treatment planning system for radiotherapy photon beam dose calculation. One of the major limitations of most commercially available model-based algorithms for photon dose calculation is the ability to account for the effect of electron transport. This induces some errors in patient dose calculations, especially near heterogeneous interfaces between low and high density media such as tissue/lung interfaces. D-LBTE solvers have a high potential of producing accurate dose distributions in and near heterogeneous media in the human body. Extensive previous investigations have proved that D-LBTE solvers were able to produce comparable dose calculation accuracy as Monte Carlo methods with a reasonable speed good enough for clinical use. The current paper reviews the dosimetric evaluations of D-LBTE solvers for external beam photon radiotherapy. This content summarizes and discusses dosimetric validations for D-LBTE solvers in both homogeneous and heterogeneous media under different circumstances and also the clinical impact on various diseases due to the conversion of dose calculation from a conventional convolution/superposition algorithm to a recently released D-LBTE solver.