Stereotactic radiosurgery with MLC-defined arcs: Verification of dosimetry, spatial accuracy, and end-to-end tests

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To measure dosimetric and spatial accuracy of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) delivered to targets as small as the trigeminal nerve (TN) using a standard external beam treatment planning system (TPS) and multileaf collimator-(MLC) equipped linear accelerator without cones or other special attachments or modifications. Methods: Dosimetric performance was assessed by comparing computed dose distributions to film measurements. Comparisons included the γ-index, beam profiles, isodose lines, maximum dose, and spatial accuracy. Initially, single static 360° arcs of MLC-shaped fields ranging from 1.6 × 5 to 30 × 30 mm 2 were planned and delivered to an in-house built block phantom having approximate dimensions of a human head. The phantom was equipped with markings that allowed accurate setup using planar kV images. Couch walkout during multiple-arc treatments was investigated by tracking a ball pointer, initially positioned at cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) isocenter, as the couch was rotated. Tracks were mapped with no load and a 90 kg stack of plastic plates simulating patient treatment. The dosimetric effect of walkout was assessed computationally by comparing test plans that corrected for walkout to plans that neglected walkout. The plans involved nine 160° arcs of 2.4 × 5 mm 2 fields applied at six different couch angles. For end-to-end tests that included CT simulation, target contouring, planning, and delivery, a cylindrical phantom mimicking a 3 mm lesion was constructed and irradiated with the nine-arc regimen. The phantom, lacking markings as setup aids was positioned under CBCT guidance by registering its surface and internal structures with CTs from simulation. Radiochromic film passing through the target center was inserted parallel to the coronal and the sagittal plane for assessment of spatial and dosimetric accuracy. Results: In the single-arc block phantom tests computed maximum doses of all field sizes agreed with measurements within 2.4 ± 2.0%. Profile widths at 50% maximum agreed within 0.2 mm. The largest targeting error was 0.33 mm. The γ-index (3%, 1 mm) averaged over 10 experiments was >1 in only 1% of pixels for field sizes up to 10 × 10 mm 2 and rose to 4.4% as field size increased to 20 × 20 mm 2 . Table walkout was not affected by load. Walkout shifted the target up to 0.6 mm from CBCT isocenter but, according to computations shifted the dose cloud of the nine-arc plan by only 0.16 mm. Film measurements verified the small dosimetric effect of walkout, allowing walkout to be neglected during planning and treatment. In the end-to-end tests average and maximum targeting errors were 0.30 ± 0.10 and 0.43 mm, respectively. Gamma analysis of coronal and sagittal dose distributions based on a 3%/0.3 mm agreement remained <1 at all pixels. To date, more than 50 functional SRS treatments using MLC-shaped static field arcs have been delivered. Conclusion: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) can be planned and delivered on a standard linac without cones or other modifications with better than 0.5 mm spatial and 5% dosimetric accuracy.
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    Author List

  • Brezovich IA; Wu X; Popple RA; Covington E; Cardan R; Shen S; Fiveash J; Bredel M; Guthrie B
  • Start Page

  • 84
  • End Page

  • 98
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 5