Dosimetric impact of fiducial markers in patients undergoing photon beam radiation therapy

Phys Med. 2012 Jul;28(3):240-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2011.08.002. Epub 2011 Aug 27.

Abstract

Fiducial markers are widely used in image-guided radiation therapy to correct for setup error and organ motion. These markers, however, can cause dose perturbations in the target volume for patients undergoing external-beam radiation therapy. The goal of this study was to determine the dosimetric impact of various types of fiducial markers commonly used in patients receiving photon radiation therapy. Monte Carlo simulations based on a newly developed EGSnrcMP user code were used to investigate three types of gold fiducial markers and a carbon marker. A single photon field with each fiducial in various orientations and two parallel-opposed beams were simulated at 6-MV and 18-MV energies. The results indicated that dose perturbations depended on marker size, material, and orientation, as well as on incident beam energy. Maximum dose perturbations were found for a single 6-MV beam. The increase in dose reached a factor of 1.58 near the upstream surface of the gold marker because of electron backscatter. At the downstream surface, the dose was reduced to a factor of 0.53 at the same point without the marker. For the 18-MV beam, the maximum dose factor was 1.48 and the minimum dose factor was 0.66. For the two parallel-opposed beams, the maximum dose reduction was within 5% at 6 MV and 2% at 18 MV. Dose enhancement, however, remained significant, reaching factors of 1.20 and 1.33 for the two energies near the fiducial surface. Carbon fiducials caused dose perturbations of only ~1%.

MeSH terms

  • Carbon
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Fiducial Markers*
  • Gold
  • Humans
  • Photons / therapeutic use*
  • Radiometry
  • Radiotherapy / standards*

Substances

  • Carbon Fiber
  • Carbon
  • Gold