18 March 2015 Multi-energy imagers for a radiotherapy treatment environment
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Abstract
Over the last ~15 years, the central goal in external beam radiotherapy of maximizing dose to the tumor while minimizing dose to surrounding normal tissues has been greatly facilitated by the development and clinical implementation of many innovations. These include megavoltage active matrix flat-panel imagers (MV AMFPIs) designed to image the treatment beam, and separate kilovoltage (kV) AMFPIs and x-ray sources designed to provide high-contrast projection and cone-beam CT images in the treatment room. While these systems provide clinically valuable information, a variety of advantages would accrue through introduction of the capability to produce clinically useful, high quality imaging information at multiple energies (e.g., kV and MV) from a single detector along the treatment beam direction. One possible approach for achieving this goal involves substitution of the x-ray converters used in conventional MV AMFPIs with thick, segmented crystalline scintillators designed for dual-energy operation, coupled with the addition of x-ray imaging beams that contain a significant diagnostic component. A second approach involves introduction of a large area, monolithic array of photon counting pixels with multiple energy thresholds and event counters, which could provide multi-spectral views of the treatment beam with improved contrast. In this paper, the motivations behind, and the merits of each approach are described. In addition, prospects for such dual-energy imagers and photon counting array designs are discussed in the context of the radiotherapy environment.
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Larry E. Antonuk, Langechuan Liu, Albert K. Liang, Youcef El-Mohri, Qihua Zhao, Martin Koniczek, Hao Jiang, "Multi-energy imagers for a radiotherapy treatment environment", Proc. SPIE 9412, Medical Imaging 2015: Physics of Medical Imaging, 94120F (18 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2082945; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2082945
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