A point kernel algorithm for microbeam radiation therapy

Phys Med Biol. 2017 Oct 19;62(21):8341-8359. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/aa8d63.


Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a treatment approach in radiation therapy where the treatment field is spatially fractionated into arrays of a few tens of micrometre wide planar beams of unusually high peak doses separated by low dose regions of several hundred micrometre width. In preclinical studies, this treatment approach has proven to spare normal tissue more effectively than conventional radiation therapy, while being equally efficient in tumour control. So far dose calculations in MRT, a prerequisite for future clinical applications are based on Monte Carlo simulations. However, they are computationally expensive, since scoring volumes have to be small. In this article a kernel based dose calculation algorithm is presented that splits the calculation into photon and electron mediated energy transport, and performs the calculation of peak and valley doses in typical MRT treatment fields within a few minutes. Kernels are analytically calculated depending on the energy spectrum and material composition. In various homogeneous materials peak, valley doses and microbeam profiles are calculated and compared to Monte Carlo simulations. For a microbeam exposure of an anthropomorphic head phantom calculated dose values are compared to measurements and Monte Carlo calculations. Except for regions close to material interfaces calculated peak dose values match Monte Carlo results within 4% and valley dose values within 8% deviation. No significant differences are observed between profiles calculated by the kernel algorithm and Monte Carlo simulations. Measurements in the head phantom agree within 4% in the peak and within 10% in the valley region. The presented algorithm is attached to the treatment planning platform VIRTUOS. It was and is used for dose calculations in preclinical and pet-clinical trials at the biomedical beamline ID17 of the European synchrotron radiation facility in Grenoble, France.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Electrons*
  • Head / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Photons / therapeutic use*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*