Preclinical radiotherapy at the Australian Synchrotron’s Imaging and Medical Beamline: instrumentation, dosimetry and a small-animal feasibility study.

Jayde Livingstone, Jean François Adam, Jeffrey C Crosbie, Chris J Hall, Jessica E Lye, Jonathan McKinlay, Daniele Pelliccia, Frédéric Pouzoulet, Yolanda Prezado, Andrew W Stevenson, Daniel Häusermann (2017 Jul 1) Journal of synchrotron radiation : 854-865 : DOI : 10.1107/S1600577517006233

Therapeutic applications of synchrotron X-rays such as microbeam (MRT) and minibeam (MBRT) radiation therapy promise significant advantages over conventional clinical techniques for some diseases if successfully transferred to clinical practice. Preclinical studies show clear evidence that a number of normal tissues in animal models display a tolerance to much higher doses from MRT compared with conventional radiotherapy. However, a wide spread in the parameters studied makes it difficult to make any conclusions about the associated tumour control or normal tissue complication probabilities. To facilitate more systematic and reproducible preclinical synchrotron radiotherapy studies, a dedicated preclinical station including small-animal irradiation stage was designed and installed at the Imaging and Medical Beamline (IMBL) at the Australian Synchrotron. The stage was characterized in terms of the accuracy and reliability of the vertical scanning speed, as this is the key variable in dose delivery. The measured speed was found to be within 1% of the nominal speed for the range of speeds measured by an interferometer. Furthermore, dose measurements confirm the expected relationship between speed and dose and show that the measured dose is independent of the scan direction. Important dosimetric parameters such as peak dose, valley dose, the collimator output factor and peak-to-valley dose ratio are presented for 5 mm × 5 mm, 10 mm × 10 mm and 20 mm × 20 mm field sizes. Finally, a feasibility study on three glioma-bearing rats was performed. MRT and MBRT doses were prescribed to achieve an average dose of 65 Gy in the target, and magnetic resonance imaging follow-up was performed at various time points after irradiation to follow the tumour volume. Although it is impossible to draw conclusions on the different treatments with such a small number of animals, the feasibility of end-to-end preclinical synchrotron radiotherapy studies using the IMBL preclinical stage is demonstrated.