A technique was developed to reduce the size and magnitude of the hot and cold spots in the abutting regions of photon and electron fields. The photon and electron fields were set up such that the photon field extended ~2 cm into the electron field in the abutting region. The region of the photon beam that overlapped the electron field was modulated using a multileaf collimator, effectively broadening the photon penumbra to make it complimentary to the electron penumbra. The computer calculations were verified using film measurements for abutting a 6 MV photon beam with a 9 MeV electron beam. A uniform dose was achieved at a prespecified depth of 2 cm, and dose uniformity was improved at the specified depth and beyond compared with unmodulated photon beams. A slight increase in dose inhomogeneity was seen at shallower depths. The overall areas of the hot and cold spots were significantly reduced. The technique also reduced the sensitivity of dose homogeneity to setup errors such that the magnitudes of the hot and cold spots were about half of those produced with unmodulated photon beam when an overlap or gap of 4 mm was introduced. The technique was applied to the treatment of a head and neck cancer and a lymphoma involving the right pleura with markedly reduced dose inhomogeneity in the abutting regions.
- Combined photon and electron beams
- Intensity modulated radiation therapy
- Inverse planning
- Multileaf collimator
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging