Monte Carlo and experimental investigations of multileaf collimated electron beams for modulated electron radiation therapy

M. C. Lee, S. B. Jiang, C. M. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Modulated electron radiation therapy (MERT) has been proposed as a means of delivering conformal dose to shallow tumors while sparing distal structures and surrounding tissues. Conventional systems for electron beam collimation are labor and time intensive in their construction and are therefore inadequate for use in the sequential delivery of multiple complex fields required by MERT. This study investigates two proposed methods of electron beam collimation: the use of existing photon multileaf collimators (MLC) in a helium atmosphere to reduce in-air electron scatter, and a MLC specifically designed for electron beam collimation. Monte Carlo simulations of a Varian Clinac 2100C were performed using the EGS4/BEAM system and dose calculations performed with the MCDOSE code. Dose penumbras from fields collimated by photon MLCs both with air and with helium at 6, 12, and 20 MeV at a range of SSDs from 70 to 90 cm were examined. Significant improvements were observed for the helium based system. Simulations were also performed on an electron specific MLC located at the level of the last scraper of a 25x25 cm2 applicator. A number of leaf materials, thicknesses, end shapes, and widths were simulated to determine optimal construction parameters. The results demonstrated that tungsten leaves 15 mm thick and 5 mm wide with unfocused ends would provide sufficient collimation for MERT fields. A prototype electron MLC was constructed and comparisons between film measurements and simulation demonstrate the validity of the Monte Carlo model. Further simulations of dose penumbras demonstrate that such an electron MLC would provide improvements over the helium filled photon MLC at all energies, and improvements in the 90-10 penumbra of 12% to 45% at 20 MeV and 6 MeV, respectively. These improvements were also seen in isodose curves when a complex field shape was simulated. It is thus concluded that an MLC specific for electron beam collimation is required for MERT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2708-2718
Number of pages11
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000


  • EGS4 Monte Carlo
  • IMRT
  • Modulated electron radiation therapy (MERT)
  • Multileaf collimator (MLC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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