Publication Details

Cornelius, I., Guatelli, S., Fournier, P., Crosbie, J. C., Sanchez del Rio, M., Brauer-Krisch, E., Rosenfeld, A. & Lerch, M. (2014). Benchmarking and validation of a Geant4-SHADOW Monte Carlo simulation for dose calculations in microbeam radiation therapy. Journal of Synchrotron Radiation, 21 (3), 518-528.


Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a synchrotron-based radiotherapy modality that uses high-intensity beams of spatially fractionated radiation to treat tumours. The rapid evolution of MRT towards clinical trials demands accurate treatment planning systems (TPS), as well as independent tools for the verification of TPS calculated dose distributions in order to ensure patient safety and treatment efficacy. Monte Carlo computer simulation represents the most accurate method of dose calculation in patient geometries and is best suited for the purpose of TPS verification. A Monte Carlo model of the ID17 biomedical beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility has been developed, including recent modifications, using the Geant4 Monte Carlo toolkit interfaced with the SHADOW X-ray optics and ray-tracing libraries. The code was benchmarked by simulating dose profiles in water-equivalent phantoms subject to irradiation by broad-beam (without spatial fractionation) and microbeam (with spatial fractionation) fields, and comparing against those calculated with a previous model of the beamline developed using the PENELOPE code. Validation against additional experimental dose profiles in water-equivalent phantoms subject to broad-beam irradiation was also performed. Good agreement between codes was observed, with the exception of out-of-field doses and toward the field edge for larger field sizes. Microbeam results showed good agreement between both codes and experimental results within uncertainties. Results of the experimental validation showed agreement for different beamline configurations. The asymmetry in the out-of-field dose profiles due to polarization effects was also investigated, yielding important information for the treatment planning process in MRT. This work represents an important step in the development of a Monte Carlo-based independent verification tool for treatment planning in MRT.

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