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Med Phys. 2008 Apr;35(4):1191-8.

Combined kV and MV imaging for real-time tracking of implanted fiducial markers.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5847, USA.


In the presence of intrafraction organ motion, target localization uncertainty can greatly hamper the advantage of highly conformal dose techniques such as intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). To minimize the adverse dosimetric effect caused by tumor motion, a real-time knowledge of the tumor position is required throughout the beam delivery process. The recent integration of onboard kV diagnostic imaging together with MV electronic portal imaging devices on linear accelerators can allow for real-time three-dimensional (3D) tumor position monitoring during a treatment delivery. The aim of this study is to demonstrate a near real-time 3D internal fiducial tracking system based on the combined use of kV and MV imaging. A commercially available radiotherapy system equipped with both kV and MV imaging systems was used in this work. A hardware video frame grabber was used to capture both kV and MV video streams simultaneously through independent video channels at 30 frames per second. The fiducial locations were extracted from the kV and MV images using a software tool. The geometric tracking capabilities of the system were evaluated using a pelvic phantom with embedded fiducials placed on a moveable stage. The maximum tracking speed of the kV/MV system is approximately 9 Hz, which is primarily limited by the frame rate of the MV imager. The geometric accuracy of the system is found to be on the order of less than 1 mm in all three spatial dimensions. The technique requires minimal hardware modification and is potentially useful for image-guided radiation therapy systems.

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