Commissioning a multileaf collimator virtual cone for the stereotactic radiosurgery of trigeminal neuralgia

Academic Article


  • A multileaf collimator (MLC), virtual-cone treatment technique has been commissioned for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN) at Tri-Cities Cancer Center (TCCC). This novel technique was initially developed at the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB); it is designed to produce a spherical dose profile similar to a fixed, 5-mm conical collimator distribution. Treatment is delivered with a 10-MV flattening-filter-free (FFF) beam using a high-definition MLC on a Varian Edge linear accelerator. Absolute dose output and profile measurements were performed in a 20 × 20 × 14 cm3 solid-water phantom using an Exradin W2 scintillation detector and Gafchromic EBT3 film. Dose output constancy for the virtual cone was evaluated over 6 months using an Exradin A11 parallel plate chamber. The photo-neutron dose generated by these treatments was assessed at distances of 50 and 100 cm from isocenter using a Ludlum Model 30–7 Series Neutron Meter. TGN treatments at TCCC have been previously delivered at 6-MV FFF using a 5-mm stereotactic cone. To assess the dosimetric impact of using a virtual cone, eight patients previously treated for TGN with a 5-mm cone were re-planned using a virtual cone. Seven patients have now been treated for TGN using a virtual cone at TCCC. Patient-specific quality assurance was performed for each patient using Gafchromic EBT-XD film inside a Standard Imaging Stereotactic Dose Verification Phantom. The commissioning results demonstrate that the virtual-cone dosimetry, first described at UAB, is reproducible on a second Edge linear accelerator at an independent clinical site. The virtual cone is a credible alternative to a physical, stereotactic cone for the treatment of TGN at TCCC.
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    Author List

  • Brown TAD; Ayers RG; Popple RA