Integrating a MRI scanner with a 6 MV radiotherapy accelerator: impact of the surface orientation on the entrance and exit dose due to the transverse magnetic field

A.J.E. Raaijmakers, B.W. Raaymakers, S.E. van der Meer, J.J.W. Lagendijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

114 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

At the UMC Utrecht, in collaboration with Elekta and Philips Research Hamburg, we are developing a radiotherapy accelerator with integrated MRI functionality. The radiation dose will be delivered in the presence of a lateral 1.5 T field. Although the photon beam is not affected by the magnetic field, the actual dose deposition is done by a cascade of secondary electrons and these electrons are affected by the Lorentz force. The magnetic field causes a reduced build-up distance: because the trajectory of the electrons between collisions is curved, the entrance depth in tissue decreases. Also, at tissue-air interfaces an increased dose occurs due to the so-called electron return effect (ERE): electrons leaving tissue will describe a circular path in air and re-enter the tissue yielding a local dose increase. In this paper the impact of a 1.5 T magnetic field on both the build-up distance and the dose increase due to the ERE will be investigated as a function of the angle between the surface and the incident beam. Monte Carlo simulations demonstrate that in the presence of a 1.5 T magnetic field, the surface dose, the build-up distance and the exit dose depend more heavily on the surface orientation than in the case without magnetic field. This is caused by the asymmetrical pointspread kernel in the presence of 1.5 T and the directional behaviour of the re-entering electrons. Simulations on geometrical phantoms show that ERE dose increase at air cavities can be avoided using opposing beams, also when the air-tissue boundary is not perpendicular to the beam. For the more general case in patient anatomies, more problems may arise. Future work will address the possibilities and limitations of opposing beams in combination with IMRT in a magnetic field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)929-939
Number of pages11
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume52
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Computer Simulation
  • Electromagnetic Fields
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy
  • Journal Article

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