Scatter imaging during lung stereotactic body radiation therapy characterized with phantom studies

Phys Med Biol. 2020 Aug 10;65(15):155013. doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ab9355.


By collecting photons scattered out of the therapy beam, scatter imaging creates images of the treated volume. Two phantoms were used to assess the possible application of scatter imaging for markerless tracking of lung tumors during stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) treatment. A scatter-imaging camera was assembled with a CsI flat-panel detector and a 5 mm diameter pinhole collimator. Scatter images were collected during the irradiation of phantoms with megavoltage photons. To assess scatter image quality, spherical phantom lung tumors of 2.1-2.8 cm diameters were placed inside a static, anthropomorphic phantom. To show the efficacy of the technique with a moving target (3 cm diameter), the position of a simulated tumor was tracked in scatter images during sinusoidal motion (15 mm amplitude, 0.25 Hz frequency) in a dynamic lung phantom in open-field, dynamic conformal arc (DCA), and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) deliveries. Anatomical features are identifiable on static phantom scatter images collected with 10 MU of delivered dose (2.1 cm diameter lung tumor contrast-to-noise ratio of 4.4). The contrast-to-noise ratio increases with tumor size and delivered dose. During dynamic motion, the position of the 3.0 cm diameter lung tumor was identified with a root-mean-square error of 0.8, 1.2, and 2.9 mm for open field (0.3 s frame integration), DCA (0.5 s), and VMAT (0.5 s), respectively. Based on phantom studies, scatter imaging is a potential technique for markerless lung tumor tracking during SBRT without additional imaging dose. Quality scatter images may be collected at low, clinically relevant doses (10 MU). Scatter images are capable of sub-millimeter tracking precision, but modulation decreases accuracy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Lung Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Molecular Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Radiosurgery / instrumentation*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated
  • Scattering, Radiation*