Feasibility of using intermediate x-ray energies for highly conformal extracranial radiotherapy

Peng Dong, Victoria Yu, Dan Nguyen, John Demarco, Kaley Woods, Salime Boucher, Daniel A. Low, Ke Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the feasibility of using intermediate energy 2 MV x-rays for extracranial robotic intensity modulated radiation therapy. Methods: Two megavolts flattening filter free x-rays were simulated using the Monte Carlo code MCNP (v4c). A convolution/superposition dose calculation program was tuned to match the Monte Carlo calculation. The modeled 2 MV x-rays and actual 6 MV flattened x-rays from existing Varian Linacs were used in integrated beam orientation and fluence optimization for a head and neck, a liver, a lung, and a partial breast treatment. A column generation algorithm was used for the intensity modulation and beam orientation optimization. Identical optimization parameters were applied in three different planning modes for each site: 2, 6 MV, and dual energy 2/6 MV. Results: Excellent agreement was observed between the convolution/superposition and the Monte Carlo calculated percent depth dose profiles. For the patient plans, overall, the 2/6 MV x-ray plans had the best dosimetry followed by 2 MV only and 6 MV only plans. Between the two single energy plans, the PTV coverage was equivalent but 2 MV x-rays improved organs-at-risk sparing. For the head and neck case, the 2MV plan reduced lips, mandible, tongue, oral cavity, brain, larynx, left and right parotid gland mean doses by 14%, 8%, 4%, 14%, 24%, 6%, 30% and 16%, respectively. For the liver case, the 2 MV plan reduced the liver and body mean doses by 17% and 18%, respectively. For the lung case, lung V20, V10, and V5 were reduced by 13%, 25%, and 30%, respectively. V10 of heart with 2 MV plan was reduced by 59%. For the partial breast treatment, the 2 MV plan reduced the mean dose to the ipsilateral and contralateral lungs by 27% and 47%, respectively. The mean body dose was reduced by 16%. Conclusions: The authors showed the feasibility of using flattening filter free 2 MV x-rays for extracranial treatments as evidenced by equivalent or superior dosimetry compared to 6 MV plans using the same inverse noncoplanar intensity modulated planning method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041709
JournalMedical physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • 4pi radiotherapy
  • intermediate energy
  • inverse optimization
  • non-coplanar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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