Development and optimization of a beam shaper device for a mobile dedicated IOERT accelerator

Antonella Soriani, Giuseppe Iaccarino, Giuseppe Felici, Alessia Ciccotelli, Paola Pinnarò, Carolina Giordano, Marcello Benassi, Marco Dandrea, Luca Bellesi, Lidia Strigari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to design and build a prototype beam shaper to be used on a dedicated mobile accelerator that protects organs at risk within the radiation field and conforms the beam to the target geometry during intraoperative electron radiotherapy (IOERT). A dosimetric characterization of the beam shaper device was performed based on Monte Carlo (MC) simulations, as well as experimental data, at different energies, field sizes, and source to skin distances. Methods: A mobile light intraoperative accelerator (LIAC®, Sordina, Italy) was used. The design of the beam shaper prototype was based on MC simulations (BEAMnrcOMEGA and DOSXYZnrc code) for a selection of materials and thicknesses, as well as for dosimetric characterization. Percentage depth dose (PDD) and profile measurements were performed using a p-type silicon diode and a commercial water phantom, while output factors were measured using a PinPoint ion chamber in a PMMA phantom. Planar doses in planes of interest were carried out using radiochromic films (GafchromicTM EBT and EBT2) in PMMA and in a Solid Water® phantom. Several experimental set-ups were investigated with the beam shaper device fixed on the top of the phantom, varying both the short side of the rectangular field and the air gap between the device and the phantom surface, simulating the clinical situation. The output factors (OFs) were determined using different geometrical set-ups and energies. Results: The beam shaper prototype consists of four blades sliding alongside each other and mounted on a special support at the end of the 10 cm diameter PMMA circular applicator. Each blade is made of an upper layer of 2.6 cm of Teflon® and a lower layer of 8 mm of stainless steel. All rectangles inscribed in a 5 cm diameter can be achieved in addition to any squircle-shaped field. When one side of the rectangular field is held constant and the second side is reduced, both R50 and Rmax move towards the phantom surface. Comparing the PDDs obtained with the 5 cm circular applicator and with a 4.4 × 4.4 cm2 square field (that is the equivalent square of the 5 cm circular field) obtained with the beam shaper, a different behavior was observed in the region extending from the surface to a depth of 50 of the maximum dose. Isodoses measured for rectangular fields used for clinical cases (i.e., 4 × 9 cm2 8 MeV) are shown, with different air gaps. For each energy investigated, the normalized OFs slowly increase, when the length of the side decreases down to about 4 cm, and then rapidly decreases for smaller field widths. MC simulation showed an excellent agreement with experimental data (2). Conclusions: The beam shaper device is able to provide squarerectangularsquircle fields with adequate dose homogeneity for mobile dedicated accelerators, thus allowing conformal treatment with IOERT. Monte Carlo simulation can be a very useful tool to simulate any clinical set up and can be used to create a data set to calculate MUs, thereby increasing the accuracy of the delivered dose during IOERT procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6080-6089
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • mobile dedicated linear accelerators
  • rectangular IOERT field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Development and optimization of a beam shaper device for a mobile dedicated IOERT accelerator'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this