Breast dosimetry in transverse and longitudinal field MRI-Linac radiotherapy systems




In the framework of developing the integration of a MRI-Linac system, configurations of MRI-Linac units were simulated in order to improve the dose distribution in tangential breast radiotherapy using transverse and longitudinal magnetic field geometries of Lorentz force for both medial and lateral tangential fields.


In this work, the geant4 Monte Carlo (MC) code was utilized to compare dose distributions in breast radiotherapy for Linac-MR systems in the transverse and longitudinal geometries within humanoid phantoms across a range of magnetic field strengths of 0.5 and 1.5 T. The dose increment due to scattering from the coils was investigated for both geometries as well. Computed tomography images of two patients were used for MC simulations. One patient had intact breast while the other was mastectomized. In the simulations, planning and methods of chest wall irradiation were similar to the actual clinical planning.


In a longitudinal geometry, the magnetic field is shown to restrict the lateral spread of secondary electrons to the lung, heart, and contralateral organs, which reduced the mean dose of the ipsilateral lung and heart by means of 17.2% and 6% at 1.5 T, respectively. The transverse configuration exhibits a significant increase in tissue interface effects, which increased dose buildup in the entrance regions of the lateral and medial tangent beams to the planning target volume (PTV) and improved dose homogeneity within the PTV. The improved relative average homogeneity index for two patients to the PTV at magnetic field strength of 1.5 T with respect to no magnetic field case evaluated was 11.79% and 34.45% in the LRBP and TRBP geometries, respectively. In both geometries, the simulations show significant mean dose reductions in the contralateral breast and chest wall skin, respectively, by a mean of 16.6% and 24.9% at 0.5 T and 17.2% and 28.1% at 1.5 T in the transverse geometry, and 10.56% and 14.6% at 0.5 T and 11.3% and 16.3% at 1.5 T in the longitudinal geometry. Considering the scattered photons which reflected from the coils, the average relative dose of each voxel is slightly increased by 0.53% and 0.32% in the LRBP and TRBP geometries, respectively.


Orienting the B0 magnetic field parallel to the photon beam axis, LRBP geometry, tends to restrict the radial spread of secondary electrons which resulted in dose reduction to the lung. Dosimetry issues observed in both Linac-MR geometries, such as changes to the lateral dose distribution, significantly exhibited dose reduction in the contralateral organs on a representative breast plan. Further, the results show sharper edge dose volume histogram curves at 1.5 T for both geometries, especially in the LRBP configuration.