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A Linear Accelerator Target Allowing Rapid Switching Between Treatment and High-Contrast Imaging Modes

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M Yewondwossen

M Yewondwossen*, J Robar , D Parsons , Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS


WE-DE-BRA-8 (Wednesday, August 3, 2016) 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM Room: Ballroom A

During radiotherapy treatment, lung tumors can display substantial respiratory motion. This motion usually necessitates enlarged treatment margins to provide full tumour coverage. Unfortunately, these margins limit the dose that can be prescribed for tumour control and cause complications to normal tissue. Options for real-time methods of direct detection of tumour position, and particularly those that obviate the need for inserted fiducial markers, are limited. We propose a method of tumor tracking without implanted fiducial markers using a novel fast switching-target that toggles between a FFF copper/tungsten therapy mode and a FFF low-Z target mode for imaging. In this work we demonstrate proof-of-concept of this new technology.

The prototype includes two targets: i) a FFF copper/tungsten target equivalent to that in the Varian 2100 EX 6 MV, and ii) a low-Z (carbon) target with a thickness of 110% of continuous slowing down approximation range (CSDA) at 7 MeV. The two targets can be exchanged with a custom made linear slide and motor-driven actuator. The usefulness of the switching-target concept is demonstrated through experimental BEV Planar images acquired with continual treatment and imaging at a user-defined period.

The prototype switching-target demonstrates that two recent advances in linac technology (FFF target for therapy and low-Z target) can be combined with synergy. The switching-target approach offers the capacity for rapid switching between treatment and high-contrast imaging modes, allowing intrafractional tracking, as demonstrated in this work with dynamic breathing phantom. By using a single beam-line, the design is streamlined and may obviate the need for an auxiliary imaging system (e.g., kV OBI.)

This switching-target approach is a feasible combination of two current advances in linac technology (FFF target for therapy and a FFF low-Z target) allowing new options in on-line IGRT.

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