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1.  A technique for pediatric total skin electron irradiation 
Total skin electron irradiation (TSEI) is a special radiotherapy technique which has generally been used for treating adult patients with mycosis fungoides. Recently, two infants presented with leukemia cutis isolated to the skin requiring TSEI. This work discusses the commissioning and quality assurance (QA) methods for implementing a modified Stanford technique using a rotating harness system to position sedated pediatric patients treated with electrons to the total skin.
Methods and Results
Commissioning of pediatric TSEI consisted of absolute calibration, measurement of dosimetric parameters, and subsequent verification in a pediatric patient sized cylindrical phantom using radiographic film and optically stimulated luminance (OSL) dosimeters. The depth of dose penetration under TSEI treatment condition was evaluated using radiographic film sandwiched in the phantom and demonstrated a 2 cm penetration depth with the maximum dose located at the phantom surface. Dosimetry measurements on the cylindrical phantom and in-vivo measurements from the patients suggested that, the factor relating the skin and calibration point doses (i.e., the B-factor) was larger for the pediatric TSEI treatments as compared to adult TSEI treatments. Custom made equipment, including a rotating plate and harness, was fabricated and added to a standard total body irradiation stand and tested to facilitate patient setup under sedated condition. A pediatric TSEI QA program, consisting of daily output, energy, flatness, and symmetry measurements as well as in-vivo dosimetry verification for the first cycle was developed. With a long interval between pediatric TSEI cases, absolute dosimetry was also repeated as part of the QA program. In-vivo dosimetry for the first two infants showed that a dose of ± 10% of the prescription dose can be achieved over the entire patient body.
Though pediatric leukemia cutis and the subsequent need for TSEI are rare, the ability to commission the technique on a modified TBI stand is appealing for clinical implementation and has been successfully used for the treatment of two pediatric patients at our institution.
PMCID: PMC3349519  PMID: 22433063
Pediatric total skin electron irradiation; Commissioning; Quality assurance; Leukemia cutis
2.  An Attempted Substitute Study of Total Skin Electron Therapy Technique by Using Helical Photon Tomotherapy with Helical Irradiation of the Total Skin Treatment: A Phantom Result 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:108794.
An anthropomorphic phantom was used to investigate a treatment technique and analyze the dose distributions for helical irradiation of the total skin (HITS) by helical tomotherapy (HT). Hypothetical bolus of thicknesses of 0, 10, and 15 mm was added around the phantom body to account for the dose homogeneity and setup uncertainty. A central core structure was assigned as a “complete block” to force the dose tangential delivery. HITS technique with prescribed dose (Dp) of 36 Gy in 36 fractions was generated. The radiochromic EBT2 films were used for the dose measurements. The target region with 95.0% of the Dp received by more than 95% of the PTV was obtained. The calculated mean doses for the organs at risk (OARs) were 4.69, 3.10, 3.20, and 2.94 Gy for the lung, heart, liver, and kidneys, respectively. The measurement doses on a phantom surface for a plan with 10 mm hypothetical bolus and bolus thicknesses of 0, 1, 2, and 3 mm are 89.5%, 111.4%, 116.9%, and 117.7% of Dp, respectively. HITS can provide an accurate and uniform treatment dose in the skin with limited doses to OARs and is safe to replace a total skin electron beam regimen.
PMCID: PMC3747477  PMID: 23984313
3.  Dosimetry in brain tumor phantom at 15 MV 3D conformal radiation therapy 
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common, aggressive, highly malignant and infiltrative of all brain tumors with low rate of control. The main goal of this work was to evaluate the spatial dose distribution into a GBM simulator inside a head phantom exposed to a 15 MV 3D conformal radiation therapy in order to validate internal doses. A head and neck phantom developed by the Ionizing Radiation Research Group (NRI) was used on the experiments. Such phantom holds the following synthetic structures: brain and spinal cord, skull, cervical and thoracic vertebrae, jaw, hyoid bone, laryngeal cartilages, head and neck muscles and skin. Computer tomography (CT) of the simulator was taken, capturing a set of contrasted references. Therapy Radiation planning (TPS) was performed based on those CT images, satisfying a 200 cGy prescribed dose split in three irradiation fields. The TPS assumed 97% of prescribed dose cover the prescribed treatment volume (PTV). Radiochromic films in a solid water phantom provided dose response as a function of optical density. Spatial dosimetric distribution was generated by radiochromic film samples at coronal, sagittal-anterior and sagittal-posterior positions, inserted into tumor simulator and brain. The spatial dose profiles held 70 to 120% of the prescribed dose. In spite of the stratified profile, as opposed to the smooth dose profile from TPS, the tumor internal doses were within a 5% deviation from 214.4 cGy evaluated by TPS. 83.2% of the points with a gamma value of less than 1 (3%/3mm) for TPS and experimental values, respectively. At the tumor, measured at coronal section, a few dark spots in the film caused the appearance of outlier points in 13-15% of dose deviation percentage. And, as final conclusion, such dosimeter choice and the physical anthropomorphic and anthropometric phantom provided an efficient method for validating radiotherapy protocols.
PMCID: PMC3729429  PMID: 23829593
4.  Preclinical Assessment of Comfort and Secure Fit of ThermoBrachytherapy Surface Applicator (TBSA) on Volunteer Subjects 
A thermobrachytherapy surface applicator (TBSA) was developed for simultaneous heat and brachytherapy treatment of chestwall (CW) recurrence of breast cancer. The ability to comfortably secure the applicator over the upper torso relative to the CW target throughout treatment is assessed on volunteers.
Male and post-mastectomy female volunteers were enrolled to evaluate applicator secure fit to CW. Female subjects with intact breast were also enrolled to assess the ability to treat challenging cases. Magnetic resonance (MR) images of volunteers wearing a TBSA over the upper torso were acquired once every 15 minutes for 90 minutes. Applicator displacement over this time period required for treatment preplanning and delivery was assessed using MR visible markers. Applicator comfort and tolerability were assessed using a questionnaire. Probability estimates of applicator displacements were used to investigate dosimetric impact for the worst case variation in radiation source-to-skin distance for 5 and 10 mm deep targets spread 17×13cm on a torso phantom. Average and median displacements along lateral and radial directions were less than 1.2 mm over 90 minutes for all volunteers. Maximum lateral and radial displacements were measured to be less than 1 and 1.5 mm respectively for all CW volunteers and, less than 2 mm for intact breast volunteers excluding outliers. No complaint of pain or discomfort was reported. Phantom treatment planning for the maximum displacement of 2mm indicated < 10% increase in skin dose with < 5% loss of homogeneity index (HI) for −2 mm uniform HDR source displacement. For +2 mm uniform displacement, skin dose decreased and HI increased by 20%. The volunteer study demonstrated that such large and uniform displacements should be rare for CW subjects and the measured variation is expected to be low for multi-fraction conformal brachytherapy treatment.
PMCID: PMC3439213  PMID: 22955650
Hyperthermia; conformal microwave array; brachytherapy; chestwall recurrence; breast cancer
5.  An Investigation into the Robustness of Optical-CT Dosimetry of a Radiochromic Dosimeter Compatible with the RPC Head-and-Neck Phantom 
The potential of the PRESAGE™/Optical-CT system as a comprehensive 3D dosimetry tool has been demonstrated. The current study focused on detailed characterization of robustness (intra-dosimeter uniformity and temporal stability) and reproducibility (inter-dosimeter reproducibility) of PRESAGE™ inserts compatible with the RPC H&N phantom. In addition, the accuracy and precision of PRESAGE dose measurement was also evaluated. Four identical PRESAGE™ dosimeters (10cm diameter and 7cm height cylinders) were irradiated with the same rotationally symmetric treatment plan using a Varian accelerator. The treatment plan was designed to rigorously evaluate robustness and reproducibility for multiple dose levels and in 3D. All dosimeters were scanned by optical-CT at daily intervals to study temporal stability. Dose comparisons were made between PRESAGE, ECLIPSE, and independent measurement with EBT film at a select depth. The use of improved optics and acquisition technique yielded substantially higher quality 3D dosimetry data from PRESAGE than has been achieved previously (noise reduced to ~1%, accuracy to within 3%). Data analysis showed excellent intra-dosimeter uniformity, temporal stability and inter-dosimeter reproducibility of relative radiochromic response. In general, the PRESAGE™ dose-distribution was found to agree better with EBT (~99% pass rate) than with ECLIPSE calculations (~92% pass rate) especially in penumbral regions for a 3% dose-difference and 3 mm distance-to-agreement evaluation criteria. The results demonstrate excellent robustness and reproducibility of the PRESAGE™ for relative 3D-dosimetry and represent a significant step towards incorporation in the RadOnc-clinic (e.g. integration with RPC phantom).
PMCID: PMC2855979  PMID: 20407594
6.  Advantages and implications of high dose rate (HDR) total skin electron irradiation (TSEI) for the management of Mycosis Fungoides. Indian experience 
Mycosis Fungoides (MF) is an indolent lymphoproliferative disorder affecting dermis caused by abnormal proliferation of CD4+ T-cells. Radiation therapy is the most effective modality of treatment for MF which offers cure in limited stage disease and desirable palliation in advance stage disease. Treating entire skin having many curved surfaces and folds with radiation is the real challenge for the radiation oncologist. Many techniques, dose schedules and modifications in total skin electron irradiation (TSEI) have been tried since 1950s. TSEI treatment is a very time consuming, inconvenient and physically challenging to both patient as well as oncologist.
At our center TSEI was performed since 1983 with conventional linear accelerator where the treatment time was prolonged beyond two hours, which was very difficult or the patient, oncologist, technical officer and eating away the machine time hampering the treatment of other patients. From 1998 we shifted to high dose rate (HDR) mode, in order to bring down the treatment time of a single patient every day from two and half hour to 15 min. The reduction of treatment time increases patient compliance and at the same time saved machine time.
Materials and methods
Between 1998 and 2003, eleven pathological diagnosed MF patients were treated using HDR TSEI. All the patients were male between 40 and 70 years of age, who had the history of having the disease for 7–22 months. Four patients had T2 and seven patients had T3 stage disease with more than 90% skin surface involvement. TSEI was performed with 4 MeV electrons with a daily fraction size of 120 cGy to a total dose of 36 Gy. At the end of 36 Gy, boost dose of 10 Gy was delivered to self shielding regions like sole, scalp and perineum. Considering the treatment related toxicities and consequent treatment interruptions, in the first seven patients, the last four patients were treated using similar HDR TSEI technique with modified treatment schedule, where the treatment was given on an alternate day basis following 2nd week of initiation of treatment.
The patients were followed over a period of 144 months with a median of 72 months. Nine patients are alive without any evidence of disease, one patient relapsed and one died due to progression of disease. The most common radiation related morbidities are erythema, skin blisters, various degree of desquamations, swelling of joints (specially small joints) etc. which are controlled by treatment interruptions and conservative measures. By modifying the treatment schedule, the incidence of toxicity as well as treatment interruptions were brought down.
We can conclude that HDR-TSEI is an excellent and safe therapeutic modality for the patients with MF both curative as well as palliative without any added toxicity profile, provided patient positioning is done properly.
PMCID: PMC4054997  PMID: 24936328
Mycosis Fungoides; Total skin electron irradiation; HDR TSEI
7.  Development of a Patient-Specific Two-Compartment Anthropomorphic Breast Phantom 
Physics in Medicine and Biology  2012;57(13):4293-4307.
To develop a technique for the construction of a two-compartment anthropomorphic breast phantom specific to an individual patient’s pendant breast anatomy.
Three-dimensional breast images were acquired on a prototype dedicated breast computed tomography (bCT) scanner as part of an ongoing IRB-approved clinical trial of bCT. The images from the breast of a patient were segmented into adipose and glandular tissue regions and divided into 1.59 mm thick breast sections to correspond to the thickness of polyethylene stock. A computer controlled water-jet cutting machine was used to cut the outer breast edge and the internal regions corresponding to glandular tissue from the polyethylene. The stack of polyethylene breast segments was encased in a thermoplastic “skin” and filled with water. Water-filled spaces modeled glandular tissue structures and the surrounding polyethylene modeled the adipose tissue compartment. Utility of the phantom was demonstrated by inserting 200 μm microcalcifications as well as measuring point dose deposition during bCT scanning.
Rigid registration of the original patient images with bCT images of the phantom showed similar tissue distribution. Linear profiles through the registered images demonstrated a mean coefficient of determination (r2) between grayscale profiles of 0.881. The exponent of the power law describing the anatomical noise power spectrum was identical in the coronal images of the patient’s breast and the phantom. Microcalcifications were visualized in the phantom at bCT scanning. Real-time air kerma rate was measured during bCT scanning and fluctuated with breast anatomy. On average, point dose deposition was 7.1% greater than mean glandular dose.
A technique to generate a two-compartment anthropomorphic breast phantom from bCT images has been demonstrated. The phantom is the first, to our knowledge, to accurately model the uncompressed pendant breast and the glandular tissue distribution for a specific patient. The modular design of the phantom allows for studies of a single breast segment and the entire breast volume. Insertion of other devices, materials, and tissues of interest into the phantom provide a robust platform for future breast imaging and dosimetry studies.
PMCID: PMC3404613  PMID: 22705748
Computed tomography; breast; phantom
8.  Deformable adult human phantoms for radiation protection dosimetry: anthropometric data representing size distributions of adult worker populations and software algorithms 
Physics in Medicine and Biology  2010;55(13):3789-3811.
Computational phantoms representing workers and patients are essential in estimating organ doses from various occupational radiation exposures and medical procedures. Nearly all existing phantoms, however, were purposely designed to match internal and external anatomical features of the Reference Man as defined by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP). To reduce uncertainty in dose calculations caused by anatomical variations, a new generation of phantoms of varying organ and body sizes is needed. This paper presents detailed anatomical data in tables and graphs that are used to design such size-adjustable phantoms representing a range of adult individuals in terms of the body height, body weight and internal organ volume/mass. Two different sets of information are used to derive the phantom sets: (1) individual internal organ size and volume/mass distribution data derived from the recommendations of the ICRP in Publications 23 and 89 and (2) whole-body height and weight percentile data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 1999–2002). The NHANES height and weight data for 19 year old males and females are used to estimate the distributions of individuals’ size, which is unknown, that corresponds to the ICRP organ and tissue distributions. This paper then demonstrates the usage of these anthropometric data in the development of deformable anatomical phantoms. A pair of phantoms—modeled entirely in mesh surfaces—of the adult male and female, RPI-adult male (AM) and RPI-adult female (AF) are used as the base for size-adjustable phantoms. To create percentile-specific phantoms from these two base phantoms, organ surface boundaries are carefully altered according to the tabulated anthropometric data. Software algorithms are developed to automatically match the organ volumes and masses with desired values. Finally, these mesh-based, percentile-specific phantoms are converted into voxel-based phantoms for Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations. This paper also compares absorbed organ doses for the RPI-AM-5th-height and -weight percentile phantom (165 cm in height and 56 kg in weight) and the RPI-AM-95th-height and -weight percentile phantom (188 cm in height and 110 kg in weight)with those for theRPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom (176 cm in height and 73 kg in weight) from exposures to 0.5 MeV external photon beams. The results suggest a general finding that the phantoms representing a slimmer and shorter individual male received higher absorbed organ doses because of lesser degree of photon attenuation due to smaller amount of body fat. In particular, doses to the prostate and adrenal in the RPI-AM-5th-height and -weight percentile phantom is about 10% greater than those in the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom approximating the ICRP Reference Man. On the other hand, the doses to the prostate and adrenal in the RPI-AM-95th-height and -weight percentile phantom are approximately 20% greater than those in the RPI-AM-50th-height and -weight percentile phantom. Although this study only considered the photon radiation of limited energies and irradiation geometries, the potential to improve the organ dose accuracy using the deformable phantom technology is clearly demonstrated.
PMCID: PMC3290660  PMID: 20551505
9.  A 3-Dimensional Absorbed Dose Calculation Method Based on Quantitative SPECT for Radionuclide Therapy: Evaluation for 131I Using Monte Carlo Simulation 
A general method is presented for patient-specific 3-dimensional absorbed dose calculations based on quantitative SPECT activity measurements.
The computational scheme includes a method for registration of the CT image to the SPECT image and position-dependent compensation for attenuation, scatter, and collimator detector response performed as part of an iterative reconstruction method. A method for conversion of the measured activity distribution to a 3-dimensional absorbed dose distribution, based on the EGS4 (electron-gamma shower, version 4) Monte Carlo code, is also included. The accuracy of the activity quantification and the absorbed dose calculation is evaluated on the basis of realistic Monte Carlo–simulated SPECT data, using the SIMIND (simulation of imaging nuclear detectors) program and a voxel-based computer phantom. CT images are obtained from the computer phantom, and realistic patient movements are added relative to the SPECT image. The SPECT-based activity concentration and absorbed dose distributions are compared with the true ones.
Correction could be made for object scatter, photon attenuation, and scatter penetration in the collimator. However, inaccuracies were imposed by the limited spatial resolution of the SPECT system, for which the collimator response correction did not fully compensate.
The presented method includes compensation for most parameters degrading the quantitative image information. The compensation methods are based on physical models and therefore are generally applicable to other radionuclides. The proposed evaluation methodology may be used as a basis for future intercomparison of different methods.
PMCID: PMC2804897  PMID: 12163637
Monte Carlo; absorbed dose; SPECT; 131I; image registration
10.  EPID in vivo dosimetry in RapidArc technique 
The aim of the study was to estimate the dose at the reference point applying an aSi-EPID device in the course of patient treatment.
Materials and methods
The method assumes direct proportionality between EPID signal and dose delivered to the patient reference point during the treatment session. The procedure consists of treatment plan calculation for the actual patient in the arc technique. The plan was realized with an elliptic water-equivalent phantom. An ionization chamber inside the phantom measured the dose delivered to the reference point. Simultaneously, the EPID matrix measured the CU distribution. EPID signal was also registered during patient irradiation with the same treatment plan. The formula for in vivo dose calculation was based on the CU(g) function, EPID signal registered during therapy and the relation between the dose and EPID signal level measured for the phantom. In vivo dose was compared with dose planned with the treatment planning system.
Irradiation was performed with a Clinac accelerator by Varian Medical Systems in the RapidArc technique. The Clinac was equipped with an EPID matrix (electronic portal image device) of aSi-1000. Treatment plans were calculated with the Eclipse/Helios system. The phantom was a Scanditronix/Wellhöfer Slab phantom, and the ionization chamber was a 0.6 ccm PTW chamber.
In vivo dose calculations were performed for five patients. Planned dose at the reference point was 2 Gy for each treatment plan. Mean in vivo dose was in the range of 1.96–2.09.
Our method was shown to be appropriate for in vivo dose evaluation in the RapidArc technique.
PMCID: PMC3863289  PMID: 24376916
Arc technique; Portal dosimetry; IMRT; Verification; Electronic portal imaging device
11.  Dosimetric accuracy of tomotherapy dose calculation in thorax lesions 
To analyse limits and capabilities in dose calculation of collapsed-cone-convolution (CCC) algorithm implemented in helical tomotherapy (HT) treatment planning system for thorax lesions.
The agreement between measured and calculated dose was verified both in homogeneous (Cheese Phantom) and in a custom-made inhomogeneous phantom. The inhomogeneous phantom was employed to mimic a patient's thorax region with lung density encountered in extreme cases and acrylic inserts of various dimensions and positions inside the lung cavity. For both phantoms, different lung treatment plans (single or multiple metastases and targets in the mediastinum) using HT technique were simulated and verified. Point and planar dose measurements, both with radiographic extended-dose-range (EDR2) and radiochromic external-beam-therapy (EBT2) films, were performed. Absolute point dose measurements, dose profile comparisons and quantitative analysis of gamma function distributions were analyzed.
An excellent agreement between measured and calculated dose distributions was found in homogeneous media, both for point and planar dose measurements. Absolute dose deviations <3% were found for all considered measurement points, both inside the PTV and in critical structures. Very good results were also found for planar dose distribution comparisons, where at least 96% of all points satisfied the gamma acceptance criteria (3%-3 mm), both for EDR2 and for EBT2 films. Acceptable results were also reported for the inhomogeneous phantom. Similar point dose deviations were found with slightly worse agreement for the planar dose distribution comparison: 96% of all points passed the gamma analysis test with acceptable levels of 4%-4 mm and 5%-4 mm, for EDR2 and EBT2 films respectively. Lower accuracy was observed in high dose/low density regions, where CCC seems to overestimate the measured dose around 4-5%.
Very acceptable accuracy was found for complex lung treatment plans calculated with CCC algorithm implemented in the tomotherapy TPS even in the heterogeneous phantom with very low lung-density.
PMCID: PMC3045960  PMID: 21306629
12.  Clinical results of the total skin electron irradiation of the mycosis fungoides in adults. Conventional fractionation and low dose schemes 
Mycosis fungoides (MF) is a rare skin condition, effectively treated by irradiation. Since 1951, different methods of total skin irradiation have been developed. Although dose–response effect has been demonstrated in many publications, controversies about low dose treatment still exist.
The analysis of results of the total skin electron irradiation (TSEI), especially low dose TSEI in comparison with standard dose treatment is the subject of this review. Also, acute and late side effects of radiotherapy in MF are discussed.
Materials and methods
Medline search and analysis of studies published between 1995 and 2012, containing key words: mycosis fungoides, standard dose TSEI, low dose TSEI, total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT).
Detailed analysis of relevant studies demonstrated that standard dose radiotherapy 30–36 Gy is the most effective treatment used in clinical practice. Objective response rate (ORR) is high, especially for less advanced stages of disease. Complete response rate (CR), although slightly lower, is still relatively high.
For more advanced MF, TSEI serves as a very good method of palliative treatment and relief of symptoms, like pruritus, pain or desquamation.
There is no consensus regarding low dose TSEI; the method is widely accepted as a palliative treatment or in case of reirradiation.
Standard dose TSEI is an effective method of MF treatment for radical and palliative treatment, producing high rate of ORR and reasonably long time to progression (TTP). Acute and late side effect of treatment are mostly mild and easy to manage. Low dose TSEI is still in the phase of clinical studies.
PMCID: PMC4054994  PMID: 24936327
Mycosis fungoides; Standard dose TSEI; Low dose TSEI; Total skin electron beam therapy (TSEBT)
13.  Evaluation of quantitative imaging methods for organ activity and residence time estimation using a population of phantoms having realistic variations in anatomy and uptake 
Medical physics  2009;36(2):612-619.
Estimating organ residence times is an essential part of patient-specific dosimetry for radioimmunotherapy (RIT). Quantitative imaging methods for RIT are often evaluated using a single physical or simulated phantom but are intended to be applied clinically where there is variability in patient anatomy, biodistribution, and biokinetics. To provide a more relevant evaluation, the authors have thus developed a population of phantoms with realistic variations in these factors and applied it to the evaluation of quantitative imaging methods both to find the best method and to demonstrate the effects of these variations. Using whole body scans and SPECT/CT images, organ shapes and time-activity curves of 111In ibritumomab tiuxetan were measured in dosimetrically important organs in seven patients undergoing a high dose therapy regimen. Based on these measurements, we created a 3D NURBS-based cardiac-torso (NCAT)-based phantom population. SPECT and planar data at realistic count levels were then simulated using previously validated Monte Carlo simulation tools. The projections from the population were used to evaluate the accuracy and variation in accuracy of residence time estimation methods that used a time series of SPECT and planar scans. Quantitative SPECT (QSPECT) reconstruction methods were used that compensated for attenuation, scatter, and the collimator-detector response. Planar images were processed with a conventional (CPlanar) method that used geometric mean attenuation and triple-energy window scatter compensation and a quantitative planar (QPlanar) processing method that used model-based compensation for image degrading effects. Residence times were estimated from activity estimates made at each of five time points. The authors also evaluated hybrid methods that used CPlanar or QPlanar time-activity curves rescaled to the activity estimated from a single QSPECT image. The methods were evaluated in terms of mean relative error and standard deviation of the relative error in the residence time estimates taken over the phantom population. The mean errors in the residence time estimates over all the organs were <9.9% (pure QSPECT), <13.2% (pure QPLanar), <7.2% (hybrid QPlanar/QSPECT), <19.2% (hybrid CPlanar/QSPECT), and 7%–159% (pure CPlanar). The standard deviations of the errors for all the organs over all the phantoms were <9.9%, <11.9%, <10.8%, <22.0%, and <107.9% for the same methods, respectively. The processing methods differed both in terms of their average accuracy and the variation of the accuracy over the population of phantoms, thus demonstrating the importance of using a phantom population in evaluating quantitative imaging methods. Hybrid CPlanar/QSPECT provided improved accuracy compared to pure CPlanar and required the addition of only a single SPECT acquisition. The QPlanar or hybrid QPlanar/QSPECT methods had mean errors and standard deviations of errors that approached those of pure QSPECT while providing simplified image acquisition protocols, and thus may be more clinically practical.
PMCID: PMC2848525  PMID: 19292001
absolute quantitation; phantom population; quantitative SPECT; radioimmunotherapy
14.  Fast, simple, and informative patient-specific dose verification method for intensity modulated total marrow irradiation with helical tomotherapy 
Patient-specific dose verification for treatment planning in helical tomotherapy is routinely performed using a homogeneous virtual water cylindrical phantom of 30 cm diameter and 18 cm length (Cheese phantom). Because of this small length, treatment with total marrow irradiation (TMI) requires multiple deliveries of the dose verification procedures to cover a wide range of the target volumes, which significantly prolongs the dose verification process. We propose a fast, simple, and informative patient-specific dose verification method which reduce dose verification time for TMI with helical tomotherapy.
We constructed a two-step solid water slab phantom (length 110 cm, height 8 cm, and two-step width of 30 cm and 15 cm), termed the Whole Body Phantom (WB phantom). Three ionization chambers and three EDR-2 films can be inserted to cover extended field TMI treatment delivery. Three TMI treatment plans were conducted with a TomoTherapy HiArt Planning Station and verified using the WB phantom with ion chambers and films. Three regions simulating the head and neck, thorax, and pelvis were covered in a single treatment delivery. The results were compared to those with the cheese phantom supplied by Accuray, Inc. following three treatment deliveries to cover the body from head to pelvis.
Use of the WB phantom provided point doses or dose distributions from head and neck to femur in a single treatment delivery of TMI. Patient-specific dose verification with the WB phantom was 62% faster than with the cheese phantom. The average pass rate in gamma analysis with the criteria of a 3-mm distance-to-agreement and 3% dose differences was 94% ± 2% for the three TMI treatment plans. The differences in pass rates between the WB and cheese phantoms at the upper thorax to abdomen regions were within 2%. The calculated dose agreed with the measured dose within 3% for all points in all five cases in both the WB and cheese phantoms.
Our dose verification method with the WB phantom provides simple and rapid quality assurance without limiting dose verification information in total marrow irradiation with helical tomotherapy.
PMCID: PMC3922911  PMID: 24461048
15.  Study of dose distribution in a human body in international space station compartments with the tissue-equivalent spherical phantom 
Journal of Radiation Research  2014;55(Suppl 1):i61.
Space radiation is known to be key hazard of manned space mission. To estimate accurately radiation health risk detailed study of dose distribution inside human body by means of human phantom is conducted. In the space experiment MATROSHKA-R, the tissue-equivalent spherical phantom (32 kg mass, 35 cm diameter and 10 cm central spherical cave) made in Russia has been used on board the ISS for more than 8 years. Owing to the specially chosen phantom shape and size, the chord length distributions of the detector locations are attributed to self-shielding properties of the critical organs in a real human body. If compared with the anthropomorphic phantom Rando used inside and outside the ISS, the spherical phantom has lower mass, smaller size and requires less crew time for the detector installation/retrieval; its tissue-equivalent properties are closer to the standard human body tissue than the Rando-phantom material. Originally the spherical phantom was installed in the star board crew cabin of the ISS Service Module, then in the Piers-1, MIM-2 and MIM-1 modules of the ISS Russian segment, and finally in JAXA Kibo module. Total duration of the detector exposure is more than 1700 days in 8 sessions.
In the first phase of the experiment with the spherical phantom, the dose measurements were realized with only passive detectors (thermoluminescent and solid-state track detectors). The detectors are placed inside the phantom along the axes of 20 containers and on the phantom outer surface in 32 pockets of the phantom jacket. After each session the passive detectors are returned to the ground. The results obtained show the dose difference on the phantom surface as much as a factor of 2, the highest dose being observed close to the outer wall of the compartment, and the lowest dose being in the opposite location along the phantom diameter. Maximum dose rate measured in the phantom is obviously due to the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) and Earth' radiation belt contribution on the ISS trajectory. Minimum dose rate is caused mainly by the strongly penetrating GCR particles and is observed behind more than 5 g/cm2 tissue shielding. Critical organ doses, mean-tissue and effective doses of a crew member in the ISS compartments are also estimated with the spherical phantom data. The estimated effective dose rate is found to be from 10 to 15% lower than the averaged dose on the phantom surface as dependent on the attitude of the critical organs.
The spherical phantom proved its effectiveness to measure the critical organ doses together with the effective dose in-flight and if supplied with active dosimeters can be recommended for future exploratory manned missions to monitor continuously the effective dose.
PMCID: PMC3941517
space radiation; spherical phantom; passive and active detectors; effective dose
16.  Progress on ThermoBrachytherapy Surface Applicator for Superficial Tissue Diseases 
Proceedings of SPIE  2009;7181:10.1117/12.809493.
This work reports the ongoing development of a combination applicator for simultaneous heating of superficial tissue disease using a 915 MHz DCC (dual concentric conductor) array and High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy delivered via an integrated conformal catheter array. The progress includes engineering design changes in the waterbolus, DCC configurations and fabrication techniques of the conformal multilayer applicator. The dosimetric impact of the thin copper DCC array is also assessed. Steady state fluid dynamics of the new waterbolus bag indicates nearly uniform flow with less than 1°C variation across a large (19×32cm) bolus. Thermometry data of the torso phantom acquired with computer controlled movement of fiberoptic temperature probes inside thermal mapping catheters indicate feasibility of real time feedback control for the DCC array. MR (magnetic resonance) scans of a torso phantom indicate that the waterbolus thickness across the treatment area is controlled by the pressure applied by the surrounding inflatable airbladder and applicator securing straps. The attenuation coefficient of the DCC array was measured as 3± 0.001% and 2.95±0.03 % using an ion chamber and OneDose™ dosimeters respectively. The performance of the combination applicator on patient phantoms provides valuable feedback to optimize the applicator prior use in the patient clinic.
PMCID: PMC3877330  PMID: 24392196
hyperthermia; brachytherapy; thermoradiotherapy; superficial disease; chestwall recurrence
17.  Characterization of Scatter and Penetration Using Monte Carlo Simulation in 131I Imaging 
In 131I SPECT, image quality and quantification accuracy are degraded by object scatter as well as scatter and penetration in the collimator. The characterization of energy and spatial distributions of scatter and penetration performed in this study by Monte Carlo simulation will be useful for the development and evaluation of techniques that compensate for such events in 131I imaging.
First, to test the accuracy of the Monte Carlo model, simulated and measured data were compared for both a point source and a phantom. Next, simulations to investigate scatter and penetration were performed for four geometries: point source in air, point source in a water-filled cylinder, hot sphere in a cylinder filled with nonradioactive water, and hot sphere in a cylinder filled with radioactive water. Energy spectra were separated according to order of scatter, type of interaction, and γ-ray emission energy. A preliminary evaluation of the triple-energy window (TEW) scatter correction method was performed.
The accuracy of the Monte Carlo model was verified by the good agreement between measured and simulated energy spectra and radial point spread functions. For a point source in air, simulations show that 73% of events in the photopeak window had either scattered in or penetrated the collimator, indicating the significance of collimator interactions. For a point source in a water-filled phantom, the separated energy spectra showed that a 20% photopeak window can be used to eliminate events that scatter more than two times in the phantom. For the hot sphere phantoms, it was shown that in the photopeak region the spectrum shape of penetration events is very similar to that of primary (no scatter and no penetration) events. For the hot sphere regions of interest, the percentage difference between true scatter counts and the TEW estimate of scatter counts was <12%.
In 131I SPECT, object scatter as well as collimator scatter and penetration are significant. The TEW method provides a reasonable correction for scatter, but the similarity between the 364-keV primary and penetration energy spectra makes it difficult to compensate for these penetration events using techniques that are based on spectral analysis.
PMCID: PMC2811856  PMID: 10647615
scatter correction; penetration; 131I imaging; SPECT; Monte Carlo simulated data
18.  First treatment of mycosis fungoides by total skin electron beam (TSEB) therapy in Greece 
Mycosis fungoides (MF), the most common subtype of cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma (CTCL), is a rare chronic skin neoplasia. Total skin electron irradiation has been employed along with a variety of other topical or systemic treatments for MF management.
To report the first case treated by TSEB irradiation protocol in Greece.
Materials and methods
A fractionated 36 Gy total skin electron beam (TSEB) therapy was prescribed to a 65-years-old male patient with mycosis fungoides (MF), stage IIB, refractory to several treatments during a 20-year period. Dose uniform delivery was monitored by thermo-luminescence dosimetry.
Results and discussion
The homogeneous skin dose distribution resulted in a complete clinical response. Limited, irradiation-oriented, side effects appeared.
The first TSEB irradiation prescription in Greek medical chronicles was proved effective in this case of tumor stage MF (T3-IIB), which had been refractory to several single or combination treatments.
PMCID: PMC4054992  PMID: 24936330
Mycosis fungoides; TSEB; Radiation therapy
19.  A feasibility study using radiochromic films for fast neutron 2D passive dosimetry 
Physics in medicine and biology  2010;55(17):4977-4992.
The objective of this paper is threefold: (1) to establish sensitivity of XRQA and EBT radiochromic films to fast neutron exposure; (2) to develop a film response to radiation dose calibration curve and (3) to investigate a two-dimensional (2D) film dosimetry technique for use in establishing an experimental setup for a radiobiological irradiation of mice and to assess the dose to the mice in this setup. The films were exposed to a 10 MeV neutron beam via the 2H(d,n)3He reaction. The XRQA film response was a factor of 1.39 greater than EBT film response to the 10 MeV neutron beam when exposed to a neutron dose of 165 cGy. A film response-to-soft tissue dose calibration function was established over a range of 0–10 Gy and had a goodness of fit of 0.9926 with the calibration data. The 2D film dosimetry technique estimated the neutron dose to the mice by measuring the dose using a mouse phantom and by placing a piece of film on the exterior of the experimental mouse setup. The film results were benchmarked using Monte Carlo and aluminum (Al) foil activation measurements. The radiochromic film, Monte Carlo and Al foil dose measurements were strongly correlated, and the film within the mouse phantom agreed to better than 7% of the externally mounted films. These results demonstrated the potential application of radiochromic films for passive 2D neutron dosimetry.
PMCID: PMC3730278  PMID: 20693612
20.  A dosimetric phantom study of dose accuracy and build-up effects using IMRT and RapidArc in stereotactic irradiation of lung tumours 
Background and purpose
Stereotactic lung radiotherapy (SLRT) has emerged as a curative treatment for medically inoperable patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and the use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and volumetric modulated arc treatments (VMAT) have been proposed as the best practical approaches for the delivery of SLRT. However, a large number of narrow field shapes are needed in the dose delivery of intensity-modulated techniques and the probability of underdosing the tumour periphery increases as the effective field size is decreased. The purpose of this study was to evaluate small lung tumour doses irradiated by intensity-modulated techniques to understand the risk for dose calculation errors in precision radiotherapy such as SLRT.
Materials and methods
The study was executed with two heterogeneous phantoms with targets of Ø1.5 and Ø4.0 cm. Dose distributions in the simulated tumours delivered by small sliding window apertures (SWAs), IMRT and RapidArc treatment plans were measured with radiochromic film. Calculation algorithms of pencil beam convolution (PBC) and anisotropic analytic algorithm (AAA) were used to calculate the corresponding dose distributions.
Peripheral doses of the tumours were decreased as SWA decreased, which was not modelled by the calculation algorithms. The smallest SWA studied was 2 mm, which reduced the 90% isodose line width by 4.2 mm with the Ø4.0 cm tumour as compared to open field irradiation. PBC was not able to predict the dose accurately as the gamma evaluation failed to meet the criteria of ±3%/±1 mm on average in 61% of the defined volume with the smaller tumour. With AAA the corresponding value was 16%. The dosimetric inaccuracy of AAA was within ±3% with the optimized treatment plans of IMRT and RapidArc. The exception was the clinical RapidArc plan with dose overestimation of 4%.
Overall, the peripheral doses of the simulated lung tumours were decreased by decreasing the SWA. To achieve adequate surface dose coverage to small lung tumours with a difference less than 1 mm in the isodose line radius between the open and modulated field, a larger than 6 mm SWA should be used in the dose delivery of SLRT.
PMCID: PMC3403858  PMID: 22647680
Stereotactic body radiotherapy; Lung cancer; IMRT; Heterogeneity; Surface dose
21.  Three-dimensional radiochromic film dosimetry for volumetric modulated arc therapy using a spiral water phantom 
Journal of Radiation Research  2013;54(6):1153-1159.
We validated 3D radiochromic film dosimetry for volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) using a newly developed spiral water phantom. The phantom consists of a main body and an insert box, each of which has an acrylic wall thickness of 3 mm and is filled with water. The insert box includes a spiral film box used for dose-distribution measurement, and a film holder for positioning a radiochromic film. The film holder has two parallel walls whose facing inner surfaces are equipped with spiral grooves in a mirrored configuration. The film is inserted into the spiral grooves by its side edges and runs along them to be positioned on a spiral plane. Dose calculation was performed by applying clinical VMAT plans to the spiral water phantom using a commercial Monte Carlo-based treatment-planning system, Monaco, whereas dose was measured by delivering the VMAT beams to the phantom. The calculated dose distributions were resampled on the spiral plane, and the dose distributions recorded on the film were scanned. Comparisons between the calculated and measured dose distributions yielded an average gamma-index pass rate of 87.0% (range, 91.2–84.6%) in nine prostate VMAT plans under 3 mm/3% criteria with a dose-calculation grid size of 2 mm. The pass rates were increased beyond 90% (average, 91.1%; range, 90.1–92.0%) when the dose-calculation grid size was decreased to 1 mm. We have confirmed that 3D radiochromic film dosimetry using the spiral water phantom is a simple and cost-effective approach to VMAT dose verification.
PMCID: PMC3823780  PMID: 23685667
spiral water phantom; VMAT; radiochromic film; film dosimetry; QA; spiral phantom
22.  Thermal Characteristics of ThermoBrachytherapy Surface Applicators (TBSA) for Treating Chestwall Recurrence 
Physics in medicine and biology  2010;55(7):1949-1969.
To study temperature and thermal dose distributions of ThermoBrachytherapy Surface Applicators (TBSA) developed for concurrent or sequential high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy and microwave hyperthermia treatment of chest wall recurrence and other superficial disease.
A steady state thermodynamics model coupled with the fluid dynamics of water bolus and electromagnetic radiation of hyperthermia applicator is used to characterize the temperature distributions achievable with TBSA applicators in an elliptical phantom model of the human torso. Power deposited by 915 MHz conformal microwave array (CMA) applicators is used to assess the specific absorption rate (SAR) distributions of rectangular (500 cm2) and L-shaped (875 cm2) TBSA. The SAR distribution in tissue and fluid flow distribution inside the Dual-Input Dual-Output (DIDO) water bolus are coupled to solve the steady state temperature and thermal dose distributions of rectangular TBSA (R-TBSA) for superficial tumor targets extending 10–15 mm beneath the skin surface. Thermal simulations are carried out for a range of bolus inlet temperature (Tb=38–43°C), water flow rate (Qb=2–4 L/min) and tumor blood perfusion (ωb=2–5 kg/m3/s) to characterize their influence on thermal dosimetry.
Steady state SAR patterns of R- and L-TBSA demonstrate the ability to produce conformal and localized power deposition inside tumor target sparing surrounding normal tissues and nearby critical organs. Acceptably low variation in tissue surface cooling and surface temperature homogeneity was observed for the new DIDO bolus at 2 L/min water flow rate. Temperature depth profiles and thermal dose volume histograms indicate bolus inlet temperature (Tb) to be the most influential factor on thermal dosimetry. A 42 °C water bolus was observed to be the optimal choice for superficial tumors extending 10–15 mm from the surface even under significant blood perfusion. Lower bolus temperature may be chosen to reduce thermal enhancement ratio (TER) in the most sensitive skin where maximum radiation dose is delivered and to extend thermal enhancement of radiation dose deeper.
This computational study indicates that well-localized elevation of tumor target temperature to 40–44 °C can be accomplished by large surface-conforming TBSA applicators using appropriate selection of coupling bolus temperature.
PMCID: PMC2863129  PMID: 20224154
chestwall recurrence; conformal thermal therapy; hyperthermia; brachytherapy; thermoradiotherapy; specific absorption rate; thermal dose
23.  Monte Carlo Study of Fetal Dosimetry Parameters for 6 MV Photon Beam 
Because of the adverse effects of ionizing radiation on fetuses, prior to radiotherapy of pregnant patients, fetal dose should be estimated. Fetal dose has been studied by several authors in different depths in phantoms with various abdomen thicknesses (ATs). In this study, the effect of maternal AT and depth in fetal dosimetry was investigated, using peripheral dose (PD) distribution evaluations. A BEAMnrc model of Oncor linac using out of beam components was used for dose calculations in out of field border. A 6 MV photon beam was used to irradiate a chest phantom. Measurements were done using EBT2 radiochromic film in a RW3 phantom as abdomen. The followings were measured for different ATs: Depth PD profiles at two distances from the field's edge, and in-plane PD profiles at two depths. The results of this study show that PD is depth dependent near the field's edge. The increase in AT does not change PD depth of maximum and its distribution as a function of distance from the field's edge. It is concluded that estimating the maximum fetal dose, using a flat phantom, i.e., without taking into account the AT, is possible. Furthermore, an in-plane profile measured at any depth can represent the dose variation as a function of distance. However, in order to estimate the maximum PD the depth of Dmax in out of field should be used for in-plane profile measurement.
PMCID: PMC3785068  PMID: 24083135
Fetal dosimetry; Monte Carlo; peripheral dose; radiotherapy
24.  Verification of the performance accuracy of a real-time skin-dose tracking system for interventional fluoroscopic procedures 
A tracking system has been developed to provide real-time feedback of skin dose and dose rate during interventional fluoroscopic procedures. The dose tracking system (DTS) calculates the radiation dose rate to the patient’s skin using the exposure technique parameters and exposure geometry obtained from the x-ray imaging system digital network (Toshiba Infinix) and presents the cumulative results in a color mapping on a 3D graphic of the patient. We performed a number of tests to verify the accuracy of the dose representation of this system. These tests included comparison of system–calculated dose-rate values with ionization-chamber (6 cc PTW) measured values with change in kVp, beam filter, field size, source-to-skin distance and beam angulation. To simulate a cardiac catheterization procedure, the ionization chamber was also placed at various positions on an Alderson Rando torso phantom and the dose agreement compared for a range of projection angles with the heart at isocenter. To assess the accuracy of the dose distribution representation, Gafchromic film (XR-RV3, ISP) was exposed with the beam at different locations. The DTS and film distributions were compared and excellent visual agreement was obtained within the cm-sized surface elements used for the patient graphic. The dose (rate) values agreed within about 10% for the range of variables tested. Correction factors could be applied to obtain even closer agreement since the variable values are known in real-time. The DTS provides skin-dose values and dose mapping with sufficient accuracy for use in monitoring diagnostic and interventional x-ray procedures.
PMCID: PMC3127243  PMID: 21731400
skin dose; dosimetry; radiation safety; cardiac fluoroscopic procedures; fluoroscopic dose; dose tracking; real-time dosimetry; fluoroscopic interventional procedures
25.  Fast, high-resolution 3D dosimetry utilizing a novel optical-CT scanner incorporating tertiary telecentric collimation 
Medical physics  2008;35(1):101-111.
This study introduces a charge coupled device (CCD) area detector based optical-computed tomography (optical-CT) scanner for comprehensive verification of radiation dose distributions recorded in nonscattering radiochromic dosimeters. Defining characteristics include: (i) a very fast scanning time of ~5 min to acquire a complete three-dimensional (3D) dataset, (ii) improved image formation through the use of custom telecentric optics, which ensures accurate projection images and minimizes artifacts from scattered and stray-light sources, and (iii) high resolution (potentially 50 μm) isotropic 3D dose readout. The performance of the CCD scanner for 3D dose readout was evaluated by comparison with independent 3D readout from the single laser beam OCTOPUS™-scanner for the same PRESAGE™ dosimeters. The OCTOPUS™ scanner was considered the “gold standard” technique in light of prior studies demonstrating its accuracy. Additional comparisons were made against calculated dose distributions from the ECLIPSE treatment-planning system. Dose readout for the following treatments were investigated: (i) a single rectangular beam irradiation to investigate small field and very steep dose gradient dosimetry away from edge effects, (ii) a 2-field open beam parallel-opposed irradiation to investigate dosimetry along steep dose gradients, and (iii) a 7-field intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) irradiation to investigate dosimetry for complex treatment delivery involving modulation of fluence and for dosimetry along moderate dose gradients. Dose profiles, dose-difference plots, and gamma maps were employed to evaluate quantitative estimates of agreement between independently measured and calculated dose distributions. Results indicated that dose readout from the CCD scanner was in agreement with independent gold-standard readout from the OCTOPUS™-scanner as well as the calculated ECLIPSE dose distribution for all treatments, except in regions within a few millimeters of the edge of the dosimeter, where edge artifact is predominant. Agreement of line profiles was observed, even along steep dose gradients. Dose difference plots indicated that the CCD scanner dose readout differed from the OCTOPUS™ scanner readout and ECLIPSE calculations by ~10% along steep dose gradients and by ~5% along moderate dose gradients. Gamma maps (3% dose-difference and 3 mm distance-toagreement acceptance criteria) revealed agreement, except for regions within 5 mm of the edge of the dosimeter where the edge artifact occurs. In summary, the data demonstrate feasibility of using the fast, high-resolution CCD scanner for comprehensive 3D dosimetry in all applications, except where dose readout is required close to the edges of the dosimeter. Further work is ongoing to reduce this artifact.
PMCID: PMC2504744  PMID: 18293567
3D dosimetry; optical-CT; PRESAGE™; radiation; quality assurance; telecentric

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