This study investigates differences between treatment plans generated by Ray Tracing (RT) and Monte Carlo (MC) calculation algorithms in homogeneous and heterogeneous body regions. Particularly, we focus on the head and on the thorax, respectively, for robotic stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery with Cyberknife. Radiation plans for tumors located in the head and in the thorax region have been calculated and compared to each other in 47 cases and several tumor types.
Assuming MC as the algorithm of highest accuracy it is shown that based on selected dose parameters, RT slightly underestimates the dose in homogeneous regions and overestimates in heterogeneous regions. In addition, deviations occur due to tumor size rendering large differences for small tumors. We conclude that dose prescriptions for radiotherapy treatments should differentiate between RT and MC calculation algorithm. This is especially important for small tumors in heterogeneous body regions.