Study of the X-ray radiation interaction with a multislit collimator for the creation of microbeams in radiation therapy

Publication Name

Journal of Synchrotron Radiation


Microbeam radiation therapy (MRT) is a developing radiotherapy, based on the use of beams only a few tens of micrometres wide, generated by synchrotron X-ray sources. The spatial fractionation of the homogeneous beam into an array of microbeams is possible using a multislit collimator (MSC), i.e. a machined metal block with regular apertures. Dosimetry in MRT is challenging and previous works still show differences between calculated and experimental dose profiles of 10-30%, which are not acceptable for a clinical implementation of treatment. The interaction of the X-rays with the MSC may contribute to the observed discrepancies; the present study therefore investigates the dose contribution due to radiation interaction with the MSC inner walls and radiation leakage of the MSC. Dose distributions inside a water-equivalent phantom were evaluated for different field sizes and three typical spectra used for MRT studies at the European Synchrotron Biomedical beamline ID17. Film dosimetry was utilized to determine the contribution of radiation interaction with the MSC inner walls; Monte Carlo simulations were implemented to calculate the radiation leakage contribution. Both factors turned out to be relevant for the dose deposition, especially for small fields. Photons interacting with the MSC walls may bring up to 16% more dose in the valley regions, between the microbeams. Depending on the chosen spectrum, the radiation leakage close to the phantom surface can contribute up to 50% of the valley dose for a 5 mm × 5 mm field. The current study underlines that a detailed characterization of the MSC must be performed systematically and accurate MRT dosimetry protocols must include the contribution of radiation leakage and radiation interaction with the MSC in order to avoid significant errors in the dose evaluation at the micrometric scale.

Open Access Status

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Funding Sponsor

Université Grenoble Alpes



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