A novel, yet simple MLC‐based 3D‐crossfire technique for spatially fractionated GRID therapy treatment of deep‐seated bulky tumors
Wiley -- Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
DOI 10.1002/acm2.12826
  1. 3D‐MLC Crossfire
  2. Bulky‐tumors
  3. cerrobend GRID‐block
  4. dose‐escalation



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.


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.


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.


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.