In this work, we investigated the delivery of a clinically acceptable pediatric whole brain radiotherapy plan at FLASH dose rates using two lateral opposing 40-MeV electron beams produced by a practically realizable linear accelerator system. The EGSnrc Monte Carlo software modules, BEAMnrc and DOSXYZnrc, were used to generate whole brain radiotherapy plans for a pediatric patient using two lateral opposing 40-MeV electron beams. Electron beam phase space files were simulated using a model of a diverging beam with a diameter of 10 cm at 50 cm SAD (defined at brain midline). The electron beams were collimated using a 10-cm-thick block composed of 5 cm of aluminum oxide and 5 cm of tungsten. For comparison, a 6-MV photon plan was calculated with the Varian AAA algorithm. Electron beam parameters were based on a novel linear accelerator designed for the PHASER system and powered by a commercial 6-MW klystron. Calculations of the linear accelerator's performance indicated an average beam current of at least 6.25 μA, providing a dose rate of 115 Gy/s at isocenter, high enough for cognition-sparing FLASH effects. The electron plan was less homogenous with a homogeneity index of 0.133 compared to the photon plan's index of 0.087. Overall, the dosimetric characteristics of the 40-MeV electron plan were suitable for treatment. In conclusion, Monte Carlo simulations performed in this work indicate that two lateral opposing 40-MeV electron beams can be used for pediatric whole brain irradiation at FLASH dose rates of 115 Gy/s and serve as motivation for a practical clinical FLASH radiotherapy system, which can be implemented in the near future.
Initial Steps Towards a Clinical FLASH Radiotherapy System: Pediatric Whole Brain Irradiation with 40 MeV Electrons at FLASH Dose Rates
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Dylan Yamabe Breitkreutz, Muhammad Shumail, Karl K. Bush, Sami G. Tantawi, Peter G. Maxim, Billy W. Loo; Initial Steps Towards a Clinical FLASH Radiotherapy System: Pediatric Whole Brain Irradiation with 40 MeV Electrons at FLASH Dose Rates. Radiat Res doi: https://doi.org/10.1667/RADE-20-00069.1
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