Design of a modulated orthovoltage stereotactic radiosurgery system

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To achieve stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) dose distributions with sharp gradients using orthovoltage energy fluence modulation with inverse planning optimization techniques.


A pencil beam model was used to calculate dose distributions from an orthovoltage unit at 250 kVp. Kernels for the model were derived using Monte Carlo methods. A Genetic Algorithm search heuristic was used to optimize the spatial distribution of added tungsten filtration to achieve dose distributions with sharp dose gradients. Optimizations were performed for depths of 2.5, 5.0, and 7.5 cm, with cone sizes of 5, 6, 8, and 10 mm. In addition to the beam profiles, 4π isocentric irradiation geometries were modeled to examine dose at 0.07 mm depth, a representative skin depth, for the low energy beams. Profiles from 4π irradiations of a constant target volume, assuming maximally conformal coverage, were compared. Finally, dose deposition in bone compared to tissue in this energy range was examined.


Based on the results of the optimization, circularly symmetric tungsten filters were designed to modulate the orthovoltage beam across the apertures of SRS cone collimators. For each depth and cone size combination examined, the beam flatness and 80-20% and 90-10% penumbrae were calculated for both standard, open cone-collimated beams as well as for optimized, filtered beams. For all configurations tested, the modulated beam profiles had decreased penumbra widths and flatness statistics at depth. Profiles for the optimized, filtered orthovoltage beams also offered decreases in these metrics compared to measured linear accelerator cone-based SRS profiles. The dose at 0.07 mm depth in the 4π isocentric irradiation geometries was higher for the modulated beams compared to unmodulated beams; however, the modulated dose at 0.07 mm depth remained Symbol0.025% of the central, maximum dose. The 4π profiles irradiating a constant target volume showed improved statistics for the modulated, filtered distribution compared to the standard, open cone-collimated distribution. Simulations of tissue and bone confirmed previously published results that a higher energy beam (≥ 200 keV) would be preferable, but the 250 kVp beam was chosen for this work because it is available for future measurements.


A methodology has been described that may be used to optimize the spatial distribution of added filtration material in an orthovoltage SRS beam to result in dose distributions with decreased flatness and penumbra statistics compared to standard open cones. This work provides the mathematical foundation for a novel, orthovoltage energy fluence-modulated SRS system.

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