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Phys Med Biol. 2014 Sep 21;59(18):5317-5328. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/59/18/5317. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Cherenkov excited phosphorescence-based pO2 estimation during multi-beam radiation therapy: phantom and simulation studies.

Author information

Department of Physics & Astronomy, Dartmouth College Hanover NH 03755.
Department of Biophysics & Biochemistry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia PA 19104.
Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College Hanover NH 03755.
Department of Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine, Lebanon NH 03756.
Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon NH 03756.
Contributed equally


Megavoltage radiation beams used in External Beam Radiotherapy (EBRT) generate Cherenkov light emission in tissues and equivalent phantoms. This optical emission was utilized to excite an oxygen-sensitive phosphorescent probe, PtG4, which has been developed specifically for NIR lifetime-based sensing of the partial pressure of oxygen (pO2). Phosphorescence emission, at different time points with respect to the excitation pulse, was acquired by an intensifier-gated CCD camera synchronized with radiation pulses delivered by a medical linear accelerator. The pO2 distribution was tomographically recovered in a tissue-equivalent phantom during EBRT with multiple beams targeted from different angles at a tumor-like anomaly. The reconstructions were tested in two different phantoms that have fully oxygenated background, to compare a fully oxygenated and a fully deoxygenated inclusion. To simulate a realistic situation of EBRT, where the size and location of the tumor is well known, spatial information of a prescribed region was utilized in the recovery estimation. The phantom results show that region-averaged pO2 values were recovered successfully, differentiating aerated and deoxygenated inclusions. Finally, a simulation study was performed showing that pO2 in human brain tumors can be measured to within 15 mmHg for edge depths less than 10-20 mm using the Cherenkov Excited Phosphorescence Oxygen imaging (CEPhOx) method and PtG4 as a probe. This technique could allow non-invasive monitoring of pO2 in tumors during the normal process of EBRT, where beams are generally delivered from multiple angles or arcs during each treatment fraction.

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