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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Sep 1;78(1):297-305. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.11.008. Epub 2010 Apr 13.

Development of a micro-computed tomography-based image-guided conformal radiotherapy system for small animals.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5847, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To report on the physical aspects of a system in which radiotherapy functionality was added to a micro-computed tomography (microCT) scanner, to evaluate the accuracy of this instrument, and to and demonstrate the application of this technology for irradiating tumors growing within the lungs of mice.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

A GE eXplore RS120 microCT scanner was modified by the addition of a two-dimensional subject translation stage and a variable aperture collimator. Quality assurance protocols for these devices, including measurement of translation stage positioning accuracy, collimator aperture accuracy, and collimator alignment with the X-ray beam, were devised. Use of this system for image-guided radiotherapy was assessed by irradiation of a solid water phantom as well as of two mice bearing spontaneous MYC-induced lung tumors. Radiation damage was assessed ex vivo by immunohistochemical detection of gammaH2AX foci.

RESULTS:

The positioning error of the translation stage was found to be <0.05 mm, whereas after alignment of the collimator with the X-ray axis through adjustment of its displacement and rotation, the collimator aperture error was <0.1 mm measured at isocenter. Computed tomography image-guided treatment of a solid water phantom demonstrated target localization accuracy to within 0.1 mm. Gamma-H2AX foci were detected within irradiated lung tumors in mice, with contralateral lung tissue displaying background staining.

CONCLUSIONS:

Addition of radiotherapy functionality to a microCT scanner is an effective means of introducing image-guided radiation treatments into the preclinical setting. This approach has been shown to facilitate small-animal conformal radiotherapy while leveraging existing technology.

Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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