Dose painting by dynamic irradiation delivery on an image-guided small animal radiotherapy platform

Stefan J. Van Hoof, Joana B. Verde, Frank Verhaegen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: Using synchronized three-dimensional stage translation and multiangle radiation delivery to improve conformality and homogeneity of radiation delivery to complexly shaped target volumes for precision preclinical radiotherapy.

Methods: A CT image of a mouse was used to design irradiation plans to target the spinal cord and an orthotopic lung tumour. A dose painting method is proposed that combines heterogeneous two-dimensional area irradiations from multiple beam directions. For each beam direction, a two-dimensional area was defined based on the projection of the target volume. Each area was divided into many single beam Monte Carlo simulations, based on radiochromic film characterization of a 2.4 mm beam of a commercial precision image-guided preclinical irradiation platform. Beam-on time optimization including all simulated beams from multiple beam directions was used to achieve clinically relevant irradiation objects. Dose painting irradiation plans were compared to irradiation plans using a fixed aperture and rotatable variable aperture collimator.

Results: Irradiation plans for the proposed dose painting approach achieved good target coverage, similar dose to avoidance structures in comparison with irradiation using a rotatable variable aperture collimator, and considerably less dose to avoidance volumes in comparison with irradiation using a non-rotatable fixed aperture collimator. Required calculations and beam-on times were considerably longer for the dose painting method.

Conclusion: It was shown that the proposed dose painting strategy is a valuable extension to increase the versatility of current generation precision preclinical radiotherapy platforms. More conformal and homogeneous dose delivery may be achieved at the cost of increased radiation planning and delivery duration.

Advances in knowledge: More advanced radiation planning for image-guided preclinical radiotherapy platforms can improve target dose conformality and homogeneity with the use of optimized dynamic irradiations with synchronized couch translation. The versatility of these platforms can be increased without hardware modifications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20180744
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Radiology
Issue number1095
Publication statusPublished - 2019



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