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J Med Phys. 2006 Apr;31(2):67-71. doi: 10.4103/0971-6203.26690.

Impact of 6MV photon beam attenuation by carbon fiber couch and immobilization devices in IMRT planning and dose delivery.

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Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre, Rohini, Delhi, India.


Multiple fields in IMRT and optimization allow conformal dose to the target and reduced dose to the surroundings and the regions of interest. Thus we can escalate the dose to the target to achieve better tumor control with low morbidity. Orientation of multiple beams can be achieved by i) different gantry angles, ii) rotating patient's couch isocentrically. In doing so, one or more beam may pass through different materials like the treatment couch, immobilization cast fixation plate, head and neck rest or any other supportive device. Our observations for 6MV photon beam on PRIMUS-KXE2 with MED-TEC carbon fiber tabletop and 10 × 10 cm(2) field size reveals that the maximum dose attenuation by the couch was of the order of 2.96% from gantry angle 120-160°. Attenuation due to cast fixation base plate of PMMA alone was of the order of 5.8-10.55% at gantry angle between 0 and 90°. Attenuation due to carbon fiber base plate alone was 3.8-7.98%. Attenuation coefficient of carbon fiber and PMMA was evaluated and was of the order of 0.082 cm(-1) and 0.064 cm(-1) respectively. Most of the TPS are configured for direct beam incidence attenuation correction factors only. Whereas when the beam is obliquely incident on the couch, base plate, headrest and any other immobilization device get attenuated more than the direct beam incidence. The correction factors for oblique incidence beam attenuation are not configured in most of the commercially available treatment planning systems. Therefore, such high variations in dose delivery could lead to under-dosage to the target volume for treatments requiring multiple fields in IMRT and 3D-CRT and need to be corrected for monitor unit calculations.


Attenuation; base plate; carbon fiber; dosimetry; intensity modulated radiation therapy; treatment couch

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