SU-F-T-375: Optimization of a New Co-60 Machine for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy: A Monte Carlo Characterization Study




To provide a wide range of dose output for intensity modulation purposes while minimizing the beam penumbra for a new rotating cobalt therapy system. The highest dose rate needs to be maximized as well.


The GEPTS Monte Carlo system is used to calculate the dose distribution from each tested Co-60 head for a wide range of field sizes (1×1 to 40×40 cm2). This includes the transport of photons (and secondary electrons) from the source through the collimation system (primary collimator, Y and × jaws, and MLCs) and finally in the water phantom. Photon transport includes Compton scattering (with electron binding effect), Rayleigh scattering, Photoelectric effect (with detailed simulation of fluorescence x-rays). Calculations are done for different system designs to reduce geometric penumbra and provide dose output modulation.


Taking into account different clinical requirements, the choice of a movable head (SAD = 70 to 80 cm) is made. The 120-leaf MLC (6-cm thick) entrance is at 32 cm from the bottom of the source (to reduce penumbra while allowing larger patient clearance). Three system designs (refereed here as S1–3) were simulated with different effective source sizes (2mm, 10mm and 17mm diameter). The effective point source is at mid-height of the 25-mm-long source. Using a 12000-Ci source, the designed Co-60 head can deliver a wide range of dose outputs (0.5 − 4 Gy/mn). A dose output of 2.2 Gy/mn can be delivered for a 10cm × 10cm field size with 1-cm penumbra using a 10mm effective source.


A new 60Co-based VMAT machine is designed to meet different clinical requirements in term of dose output and beam penumbra. Outcomes from this study can be used for the design of 60Co machines for which a renewed interest is seen.