The role of Cobalt-60 in modern radiation therapy: Dose delivery and image guidance

J Med Phys. 2009 Jul;34(3):133-6. doi: 10.4103/0971-6203.54846.


The advances in modern radiation therapy with techniques such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy and image-guided radiation therapy (IMRT and IGRT) have been limited almost exclusively to linear accelerators. Investigations of modern Cobalt-60 (Co-60) radiation delivery in the context of IMRT and IGRT have been very sparse, and have been limited mainly to computer-modeling and treatment-planning exercises. In this paper, we report on the results of experiments using a tomotherapy benchtop apparatus attached to a conventional Co-60 unit. We show that conformal dose delivery is possible and also that Co-60 can be used as the radiation source in megavoltage computed tomography imaging. These results complement our modeling studies of Co-60 tomotherapy and provide a strong motivation for continuing development of modern Cobalt-60 treatment devices.

Keywords: Cobalt-60; image guidance; intensity-modulated radiation therapy; megavoltage computed tomography; tomotherapy.