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Grid therapy using high definition multileaf collimators: realizing benefits of the bystander effect


BACKGROUND: In microbeam radiotherapy (MRT), parallel arrays of high-intensity synchrotron x-ray beams achieve normal tissue sparing without compromising tumor control. Grid-therapy using clinical linacs has spatial modulation on a larger scale and achieves promising results for palliative treatments of bulky tumors. The availability of high definition multileaf collimators (HDMLCs) with 2.5 mm leaves provides an opportunity for grid-therapy to more closely approach MRT. However, challenges to the wider implementation of grid-therapy remain because spatial modulation of the target volume runs counter to current radiotherapy practice and mechanisms for the beneficial effects of MRT are not fully understood. Without more knowledge of cell dose responses, a quantitative basis for planning treatments is difficult. The aim of this study is to determine if therapeutic benefits of MRT can be achieved using a linac with HDMLCs and if so, to develop a predictive model to support treatment planning. MATERIAL AND METHODS: HD120-MLCs of a Varian Novalis TXTM were used to generate grid patterns of 2.5 and 5.0 mm spacing, which were characterized dosimetrically using GafchromicTM EBT3 film. Clonogenic survival of normal (HUVEC) and cancer (NCI-H460, HCC-1954) cell lines following irradiation under the grid and open fields using a 6 MV photon beam were compared in-vitro for the same average dose. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Relative to an open field, survival of normal cells in a 2.5 mm striped field was the same, while the survival of both cancer cell lines was significantly lower. A mathematical model was developed to incorporate dose gradients of the spatial modulation into the standard linear quadratic model. Our new bystander extended LQ model assumes spatial gradients drive the diffusion of soluble factors that influence survival through bystander effects, successfully predicting the experimental results that show an increased therapeutic ratio. Our results challenge conventional radiotherapy practice and propose that additional gain can be realized by prescribing spatially modulated treatments to harness the bystander effect.

Type Journal
ISBN 1651-226X (Electronic) 0284-186X (Linking)
Authors Peng, V.; Suchowerska, N.; Rogers, L.; Claridge Mackonis, E.; Oakes, S.; McKenzie, D. R.
Responsible Garvan Author Dr Samantha Oakes
Publisher Name Acta Oncologica
Published Date 2017-08-31
Published Volume 56
Published Issue 8
Published Pages 1048-1059
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1080/0284186X.2017.1299939
URL link to publisher's version