Magnetic field effects on the energy deposition spectra of MV photon radiation

Phys Med Biol. 2009 Jan 21;54(2):243-57. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/2/005. Epub 2008 Dec 16.


Several groups worldwide have proposed various concepts for improving megavoltage (MV) radiotherapy that involve irradiating patients in the presence of a magnetic field-either for image guidance in the case of hybrid radiotherapy-MRI machines or for purposes of introducing tighter control over dose distributions. The presence of a magnetic field alters the trajectory of charged particles between interactions with the medium and thus has the potential to alter energy deposition patterns within a sub-cellular target volume. In this work, we use the MC radiation transport code PENELOPE with appropriate algorithms invoked to incorporate magnetic field deflections to investigate electron energy fluence in the presence of a uniform magnetic field and the energy deposition spectra within a 10 microm water sphere as a function of magnetic field strength. The simulations suggest only very minor changes to the electron fluence even for extremely strong magnetic fields. Further, calculations of the dose-averaged lineal energy indicate that a magnetic field strength of at least 70 T is required before beam quality will change by more than 2%.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Magnetics* / statistics & numerical data
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging / statistics & numerical data
  • Photons / therapeutic use*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Water


  • Water