Several methods can be used to achieve multi-criteria optimization of radiation therapy treatment planning, which strive for Pareto-optimality. The property of the solution being Pareto optimal is desired, because it guarantees that no criteria can be improved without deteriorating another criteria. The most widely used methods are the weighted-sum method, in which the different treatment objectives are weighted, and constrained optimization methods, in which treatment goals are set and the algorithm has to find the best plan fulfilling these goals. The constrained method used in this paper, the 2p element of c (2-phase element-constraint) method is based on the element-constraint method, which generates Pareto-optimal solutions. Both approaches are uniquely related to each other. In this paper, we will show that it is possible to switch from the constrained method to the weighted-sum method by using the Lagrange multipliers from the constrained optimization problem, and vice versa by setting the appropriate constraints. In general, the theory presented in this paper can be useful in cases where a new situation is slightly different from the original situation, e.g. in online treatment planning, with deformations of the volumes of interest, or in automated treatment planning, where changes to the automated plan have to be made. An example of the latter is given where the planner is not satisfied with the result from the constrained method and wishes to decrease the dose in a structure. By using the Lagrange multipliers, a weighted-sum optimization problem is constructed, which generates a Pareto-optimal solution in the neighbourhood of the original plan, but fulfills the new treatment objectives.

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Physics in Medicine and Biology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Breedveld, S., Storchi, P., & Heijmen, B. (2009). The equivalence of multi-criteria methods for radiotherapy plan optimization. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 54(23), 7199–7209. Retrieved from