To provide an alternative device for immobilization of the head while easing claustrophobia and improving comfort, an “open-face” thermoplastic mask was evaluated using video-based optical surface imaging (OSI) and kilovoltage (kV) X-ray radiography. A three-point thermoplastic head mask with a precut opening and reinforced strips was developed. After molding, it provided sufficient visible facial area as the region of interest for OSI. Using real-time OSI, the head motion of ten volunteers in the new mask was evaluated during mask locking and 15 minutes lying on the treatment couch. Using a nose mark with reference to room lasers, forced head movement in open-face and full-head masks (with a nose hole) was compared. Five patients with claustrophobia were immobilized with open-face masks, set up using OSI and kV, and treated in 121 fractions, in which 61 fractions were monitored during treatment using real-time OSI. With the open-face mask, head motion was found to be Symbol and Symbol in volunteers during the experiment, and Symbol and Symbol in patients during treatment. These agree with patient motion calculated from pre-/post-treatment OSI and kV data using different anatomical landmarks. In volunteers, the head shift induced by mask-locking was Symbol and Symbol, and the range of forced movements in the open-face and full-head masks were found to be similar. Most (80%) of the volunteers preferred the open-face mask to the full-head mask, while claustrophobic patients could only tolerate the open-face mask. The open-face mask is characterized for its immobilization capability and can immobilize patients sufficiently Symbol during radiotherapy. It provides a clinical solution to the immobilization of patients with head and neck (HN) cancer undergoing radiotherapy, and is particularly beneficial for claustrophobic patients. This new open-face mask is readily adopted in radiotherapy clinic as a superior alternative to the standard full-head mask.
PACS numbers: 87.19.xj, 87.63.L-, 87.59.-e, 87.55.tg, 87.55.-x