Technical aspects of real time positron emission tracking for gated radiotherapy

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Journal titleMedical Physics
Pages783795; # of pages: 13
Subjectsodium 22; algorithm; Article; fiducial marker; imaging software; positron emission tomography; radiation detector; radiation dose distribution; radiology phantom; real time tracking system; respiratory gated imaging; respiratory gated radiotherapy
AbstractPurpose: Respiratory motion can lead to treatment errors in the delivery of radiotherapy treatments. Respiratory gating can assist in better conforming the beam delivery to the target volume.We present a study of the technical aspects of a real time positron emission tracking system for potential use in gated radiotherapy. Methods: The tracking system, called PeTrack, uses implanted positron emission markers and position sensitive gamma ray detectors to track breathing motion in real time. PeTrack uses an expectation-maximization algorithm to track the motion of fiducial markers. A normalized least mean squares adaptive filter predicts the location of the markers a short time ahead to account for system response latency. The precision and data collection efficiency of a prototype PeTrack system were measured under conditions simulating gated radiotherapy. The lung insert of a thorax phantom was translated in the inferior-superior direction with regular sinusoidal motion and simulated patient breathing motion (maximum amplitude of motion -10 mm, period 4 s). The system tracked the motion of a 22Na fiducial marker (0.34 MBq) embedded in the lung insert every 0.2 s. The position of the was marker was predicted 0.2 s ahead. For sinusoidal motion, the equation used to model the motion was fitted to the data. The precision of the tracking was estimated as the standard deviation of the residuals. Software was also developed to communicate with a Linac and toggle beam delivery. In a separate experiment involving a Linac, 500 monitor units of radiation were delivered to the phantom with a 3×3 cm photon beam and with 6 and 10 MV accelerating potential. Radiochromic films were inserted in the phantom to measure spatial dose distribution. In this experiment, the period of motion was set to 60 s to account for beam turn-on latency. The beam was turned off when the marker moved outside of a 5-mm gating window. Results: The precision of the tracking in the IS direction was 0.53 mm for a sinusoidally moving target, with an average count rate -250 cps. The average prediction error was 1.1 0.6 mm when the marker moved according to irregular patient breathing motion. Across all beam deliveries during the radiochromic film measurements, the average prediction error was 0.8 0.5 mm. The maximum error was 2.5 mm and the 95th percentile error was 1.5 mm. Clear improvement of the dose distribution was observed between gated and nongated deliveries. The full-width at halfmaximum of the dose profiles of gated deliveries differed by 3 mm or less than the static reference dose distribution. Monitoring of the beam on/off times showed synchronization with the location of the marker within the latency of the system. Conclusions: PeTrack can track the motion of internal fiducial positron emission markers with submillimeter precision. The system can be used to gate the delivery of a Linac beam based on the position of a moving fiducial marker. This highlights the potential of the system for use in respiratory-gated radiotherapy. © 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21277451
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Record identifier6f446d4a-e225-424c-8cc7-f3bd14415650
Record created2016-03-09
Record modified2016-05-09
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