A novel, removable, cerrobend, beam-blocking device for radiation therapy of the canine head and neck: Pilot study

Michael S Kent, Davide Berlato, Isabelle Vanhaezebrouck, Ira K. Gordon, Katherine S Hansen, Alain P Theon, Randall W. Holt, Earl A. Trestrail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiation therapy of the head and neck can result in mucositis and other acute affects in the oral cavity. This prospective pilot study evaluated a novel, intraoral, beam-blocking device for use during imaging and therapeutic procedures. The beam-blocking device was made from a metal alloy inserted into a coated frozen dessert mold (Popsicle® Mold, Cost Plus World Market, Oakland, CA). The device was designed so that it could be inserted into an outer shell, which in turn allowed it to be placed or removed depending on the need due to beam configuration. A Farmer type ionization chamber and virtual water phantom were used to assess effects of field size on transmission. Six large breed cadaver dogs, donated by the owner after death, were recruited for the study. Delivered dose at the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the device, with and without the alloy block in place, were measured using radiochromic film. It was determined that transmission was field size dependent with larger field sizes leading to decreased attenuation of the beam, likely secondary to scatter. The mean and median transmission on the ventral surface without the beam-blocking device was 0.94 [range 0.94-0.96]. The mean and median transmission with the beam-blocking device was 0.52 [range 0.50-0.57]. The mean and median increase in dose due to backscatter on the dorsal surface of the beam-blocking device was 0.04 [range 0.02-0.04]. Findings indicated that this novel device can help attenuate radiation dose ventral to the block in dogs, with minimal backscatter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
StateAccepted/In press - 2016


  • Dog
  • Intraoral block
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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