In cases where surgery is not possible for lung cancer treatment, stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) may be an option. One problem when treating this type of cancer is the motion of the lungs caused by the patient's respiration. It is possible to reduce the impact of this movement with the use of respiratory gating. By combining respiratory gating with a flattening filter free (FFF) photon beam linac, the increased treatment time caused by a reduced beam-on time of respiratory gating methods can be compensated by the inherent increased dose rate of FFF beams.
This project's aim is to create hardware and software interfaces allowing free respiration gating on an Elekta Synergy-S linac specially modified to deliver 6 MV FFF photon beams.
First, a printed circuit board was created for reading the signal from a Bellows Belt from Philips (a respiration monitor belt) and transmitting an On/Off signal to the accelerator. A software was also developed to visualize patient respiration.
Secondly, a FFF model was created with the Pinnacle treatment planning system from Philips. Gamma (Γ) analysis (2%, 2 mm) was used to evaluate model. For fields going from 5.6 × 5.6 to 12 × 12 cm2, central axis depth dose model fitting shows an average gamma value of 0.2 and 100% of gamma values remain under the Γ = 1 limit. For smaller fields (0.8 × 0.8 and 1.6 × 1.6 cm2), Pinnacle has more trouble trying to fit the measurements, overestimating dose in penumbra and buildup regions.