Toward in vivo dosimetry in external beam radiotherapy using x-ray acoustic computed tomography: A soft-tissue phantom study validation

Author(s): Hao Lei, Wei Zhang, Ibrahim OraiqatZhipeng LiuJun NiXueding WangIssam El Naqa


Purpose: To study, using phantoms made from biological tissues, the feasibility and practical challenges of monitoring the position of the radiation beam and the deposited dose by x-ray acoustic computed tomography (XACT) during external beam radiotherapy delivery.

Material and methods: A prototype XACT system with a single immersion ultrasound transducer, which was positioned around the target sample driven by a motor-controlled rotation stage, was used to acquire the x-ray acoustic (XA) signals produced by a medical linear accelerator (Linac) to form an XACT image of the irradiated phantom. To investigate the feasibility of XACT in tracking the position of radiation dose, a large piece of veal liver with embedded fat tissue was imaged and beam misalignments were measured. Next, we explored the sensitivity of XACT in monitoring and quantifying the delivered dose, in which a block of porcine gel was embedded with equally spaced lard cylinders and imaged. The doses on the lard cylinders modulated by physical wedges were quantified from the XACT image and were verified by comparison to measurements from radiochromic films as the gold standard. Then, to simulate how XACT can perform in a targeted tissue in the human body, a porcine gel phantom with lard cylinders covered by different materials (bone, muscle, and air gap, respectively) was also imaged.

Results: The reconstructed XACT images of the phantoms show congruence with the boundaries of the beam field and the interfaces between the different tissue materials. The beam displacement from the target was tracked properly by the reconstructed XACT images. An intensity difference as small as 2.9% in delivered dose region can be measured from XACT images P = 0.02. The intensities of XACT images were highly correlated to the film measurements with an R2 better than 0.986. The expected variances of dose delivered to different target regions as a result of the difference in attenuation were successfully captured by the XACT images.

Conclusions: This study validated the feasibility of XACT in accurately obtaining relative dose maps of tissue-mimicking phantoms. XACT offers a practical method for verifying the beam position against the target and quantifying the relative dose delivered to the target during external beam radiotherapy.

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