First experimental measurement of the effect of cardio-synchronous brain motion on the dose distribution during microbeam radiation therapy
Purpose: Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is an emerging radiation oncology modality ideal for treating inoperable brain tumors. MRT employs quasi-parallel beams of low-energy x rays produced from modern synchrotrons. A tungsten carbide multislit collimator (MSC) spatially fractionates the broad beam into rectangular beams. In this study, the MSC creates beams 50 μm wide ("peaks") separated by a center-to-center distance of 400 μm ("valleys"). The peak to valley dose ratio (PVDR) is of critical importance to the efficacy of MRT. The underlying radiobiological advantage of MRT relies on high peak dose for tumor control and low valley dose for healthy tissue sparing. Cardio synchronous brain motion of the order 100-200 μm is comparable to microbeam width and spacing. The motion can have a detrimental effect on the PVDR, full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the microbeams, and ultimately the dose distribution. We present the first experimental measurement of the effect of brain motion on MRT dose distribution. Dosimetry in MRT is difficult due to the high dose rate (up to 15-20 kGy/s) and small field sizes. Methods: A real-time dosimetry system based on a single silicon strip detector (SSSD) has been developed with spatial resolution ~10 μm. The SSSD was placed in a water-equivalent phantom and scanned through the microbeam distribution. A monodirectional positioning stage reproduced brain motion during the acquisition. Microbeam profiles were reconstructed from the SSSD and compared with Geant4 simulation and radiochromic HD-V2 film. Results: The SSSD is able to reconstruct dose profiles within 2 μm compared to film. When brain motion is applied the SSSD shows a two time increase in FWHM of profiles and 50% reduction in PVDR. This is confirmed by Geant4 and film data. Conclusions: Motion-induced misalignment and distortion of microbeams at treatment delivery will result in a reduced PVDR and increased irradiation of additional healthy tissue compromising the radiobiological effectiveness of MRT. The SSSD was able to reconstruct dose profiles under motion conditions and predict similar effects on FWHM and PVDR as by the simulation. The SSSD is a simple to setup, real-time detector which can provide time-resolved high spatial resolution dosimetry of microbeams in MRT.