Single-fraction spine SBRT end-to-end testing on TomoTherapy, Vero, TrueBeam, and CyberKnife treatment platforms using a novel anthropomorphic phantom

John J. Gallo, Isaac Kaufman, Rachel Powell, Shalini Pandya, Archana Somnay, Todd Bossenberger, Ezequiel Ramirez, Robert Reynolds, Timothy Solberg, Jay Burmeister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Spine SBRT involves the delivery of very high doses of radiation to targets adjacent to the spinal cord and is most commonly delivered in a single fraction. Highly conformal planning and accurate delivery of such plans is imperative for successful treatment without catastrophic adverse effects. End-to-end testing is an important practice for evaluating the entire treatment process from simulation through treatment delivery. We performed end-to-end testing for a set of representative spine targets planned and delivered using four different treatment planning systems (TPSs) and delivery systems to evaluate the various capabilities of each. An anthropomorphic E2E SBRT phantom was simulated and treated on each system to evaluate agreement between measured and calculated doses. The phantom accepts ion chambers in the thoracic region and radiochromic film in the lumbar region. Four representative targets were developed within each region (thoracic and lumbar) to represent different presentations of spinal metastases and planned according to RTOG 0631 constraints. Plans were created using the TomoTherapy TPS for delivery using the Hi · Art system, the iPlan TPS for delivery using the Vero system, the Eclipse TPS for delivery using the TrueBeam system in both flattened and flattening filter free (FFF), and the MultiPlan TPS for delivery using the CyberKnife system. Delivered doses were measured using a 0.007 cm3 ion chamber in the thoracic region and EBT3 GAFCHROMIC film in the lumbar region. Films were scanned and analyzed using an Epson Expression 10000XL flatbed scanner in conjunction with FilmQAPro2013. All treatment platforms met all dose constraints required by RTOG 0631. Ion chamber measurements in the thoracic targets delivered an overall average difference of 1.5%. Specifically, measurements agreed with the TPS to within 2.2%, 3.2%, 1.4%, 3.1%, and 3.0% for all three measureable cases on TomoTherapy, Vero, TrueBeam (FFF), TrueBeam (flattened), and CyberKnife, respectively. Film measurements for the lumbar targets resulted in average global gamma index passing rates of 100% at 3%/3 mm, 96.9% at 2%/2mm, and 61.8% at 1%/1 mm, with a 10% minimum threshold for all plans on all platforms. Local gamma analysis was also performed with similar results. While gamma passing rates were consistently accurate across all platforms through 2%/2 mm, treatment beam-on delivery times varied greatly between each platform with TrueBeam FFF being shortest, averaging 4.4 min, TrueBeam using flattened beam at 9.5 min, TomoTherapy at 30.5 min, Vero at 19 min, and CyberKnife at 46.0 min. In spite of the complexity of the representative targets and their proximity to the spinal cord, all treatment platforms were able to create plans meeting all RTOG 0631 dose constraints and produced exceptional agreement between calculated and measured doses. However, there were differences in the plan characteristics and significant differences in the beam-on delivery time between platforms. Thus, clinical judgment is required for each particular case to determine most appropriate treatment planning/delivery platform.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • SBRT
  • SBRT end-to-end testing
  • Single-fraction spine
  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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