We have developed a total body photon irradiation technique using multiple overlapping open field arcs (TB-ARC). This simple technique uses predetermined arc-weights, with MUs calculated as a function of prescription depth only. Patients lie on a stretcher, in the prone/supine treatment position with AP/PA arcs. This treatment position has many advantages including ease of delivery (especially for tall, pediatric or compromised patients), dose uniformity, simplicity for organ shielding, and imaging capabilities.
Using a Varian TrueBeam linac, 14 arcs using 40×40 cm2 6 MV open photon beams, sweeping across 10 degrees each, complete a 140 degree arc. The nominal SSD at zero degrees is 200 cm. Arcs at the sweep limits (+/− 70 degrees) are differentially weighted and deliver a dose within 10% of the prescription on central axis, at a depth of 10 cm over a superior-inferior length of 275 cm.
CT planning using Varian Eclipse enables dose evaluation. A custom made beam spoiler, consisting of a 2.5 m sheet of polycarbonate (6 mm thick) increases the surface dose from 45% to 90%. This beam spoiler also serves as a support in the event that differential attenuation is required for organs such as lung, heart, liver, kidneys. The geometry of the sweeping beam technique limits organ dose (using varying thicknesses of melting alloy) to about 20% and 40% of prescription at dmax and midplane respectively. Digital imaging with a portable DR cassette enables proper attenuator location prior to treatment.