Kilovoltage rotational external beam radiotherapy on a breast computed tomography platform: A feasibility study

Nicolas D. Prionas, Sarah E. McKenney, Robin L Stern, John M Boone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To demonstrate the feasibility of a dedicated breast computed tomography (bCT) platform to deliver rotational kilovoltage (kV) external beam radiotherapy (RT) for partial breast irradiation, whole breast irradiation, and dose painting. Methods and Materials: Rotational kV-external beam RT using the geometry of a prototype bCT platform was evaluated using a Monte Carlo simulator. A point source emitting 178 keV photons (approximating a 320-kVp spectrum with 4-mm copper filtration) was rotated around a 14-cm voxelized polyethylene disk (0.1 cm tall) or cylinder (9 cm tall) to simulate primary and primary plus scattered photon interactions, respectively. Simulations were also performed using voxelized bCT patient images. Beam collimation was varied in the x-y plane (1-14 cm) and in the z-direction (0.1-10 cm). Dose painting for multiple foci, line, and ring distributions was demonstrated using multiple rotations with varying beam collimation. Simulations using the scanner's native hardware (120 kVp filtered by 0.2-mm copper) were validated experimentally. Results: As the x-y collimator was narrowed, the two-dimensional dose profiles shifted from a cupped profile with a high edge dose to an increasingly peaked central dose distribution with a sharp dose falloff. Using a 1-cm beam, the cylinder edge dose was <7% of the dose deposition at the cylinder center. Simulations using 120-kVp X-rays showed distributions similar to the experimental measurements. A homogeneous dose distribution (<2.5% dose fluctuation) with a 20% decrease in dose deposition at the cylinder edge (i.e., skin sparing) was demonstrated by weighted summation of four dose profiles using different collimation widths. Simulations using patient bCT images demonstrated the potential for treatment planning and image-guided RT. Conclusions: Rotational kV-external beam RT for partial breast irradiation, dose painting, and whole breast irradiation with skin sparing is feasible on a bCT platform with the potential for high-resolution image-guided RT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-539
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • Breast cancer
  • Computed tomography
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Rotational kilovoltage radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation
  • Cancer Research


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