David Dunkerley headshot

David Dunkerley, PhD

Radiation Oncology Physics Resident

Department of Human Oncology

2019 Physics Residency Alumnus

I am a second-year radiation oncology physics resident in the Department of Human Oncology.  My previous work is in image guidance, motion management, and 3D tracking in interventional cardiology, and I am interested in applying my background in imaging physics and technologies to clinical issues including patient and tumor motion management and image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) research.


PhD, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Medical Physics (2017)

MS, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Medical Physics (2014)

BS, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Physics with Concentration in Astrophysics (2011)

Selected Honors and Awards

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) 2012 Distinguished Student Award (2012)

LANL Student Symposium Poster Presentation winner (2010)

Boards, Advisory Committees and Professional Organizations

American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) 2016–present

The International Society for Optic and Photonics (SPIE) 2012–present

Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) 2012–present

  • Intra-fraction motion of pelvic oligometastases and feasibility of PTV margin reduction using MRI guided adaptive radiotherapy Frontiers in oncology
    Snyder J, Smith B, St-Aubin J, Dunkerley D, Shepard A, Caster J, Hyer D
    2023 Apr 19;13:1098593. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2023.1098593. eCollection 2023.
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      PURPOSE: This study assesses the impact of intra-fraction motion and PTV margin size on target coverage for patients undergoing radiation treatment of pelvic oligometastases. Dosimetric sparing of the bowel as a function of the PTV margin is also evaluated.

      MATERIALS AND METHODS: Seven patients with pelvic oligometastases previously treated on our MR-linac (35 Gy in 5 fractions) were included in this study. Retrospective adaptive plans were created for each fraction on the daily MRI datasets using PTV margins of 5 mm, 3 mm, and 2 mm. Dosimetric constraint violations and GTV coverage were measured as a function of PTV margin size. The impact of intra-fraction motion on GTV coverage was assessed by tracking the GTV position on the cine MR images acquired during treatment delivery and creating an intra-fraction dose distribution for each IMRT beam. The intra-fraction dose was accumulated for each fraction to determine the total dose delivered to the target for each PTV size.

      RESULTS: All OAR constraints were achieved in 85.7%, 94.3%, and 100.0% of fractions when using 5 mm, 3 mm, and 2 mm PTV margins while scaling to 95% PTV coverage. Compared to plans with a 5 mm PTV margin, there was a 27.4 ± 12.3% (4.0 ± 2.2 Gy) and an 18.5 ± 7.3% (2.7 ± 1.4 Gy) reduction in the bowel D0.5cc dose for 2 mm and 3 mm PTV margins, respectively. The target dose (GTV V35 Gy) was on average 100.0 ± 0.1% (99.6 - 100%), 99.6 ± 1.0% (97.2 - 100%), and 99.0 ± 1.4% (95.0 - 100%), among all fractions for the 5 mm, 3 mm, and 2 mm PTV margins on the adaptive plans when accounting for intra-fraction motion, respectively.

      CONCLUSION: A 2 mm PTV margin achieved a minimum of 95% GTV coverage while reducing the dose to the bowel for all patients.

      PMID:37152034 | PMC:PMC10154517 | DOI:10.3389/fonc.2023.1098593

      View details for PubMedID 37152034
  • Initial clinical applications treating pediatric and adolescent patients using MR-guided radiotherapy Frontiers in oncology
    Kozak MM, Crompton D, Gross BA, Harshman L, Dickens D, Snyder J, Shepard A, St-Aubin J, Dunkerley D, Hyer D, Buatti JM
    2022 Nov 7;12:962926. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2022.962926. eCollection 2022.
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      PURPOSE: To demonstrate the clinical applications and feasibility of online adaptive magnetic resonance image guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) in the pediatric, adolescent and young adult (AYA) population.

      METHODS: This is a retrospective case series of patients enrolled onto a prospective study. All pediatric (age < 18) and AYA patients (age< 30), treated on the Elekta Unity MR linear accelerator (MRL) from 2019 to 2021 were enrolled onto a prospective registry. Rationale for MRgRT included improved visualization of and alignment to the primary tumor, re-irradiation in a critical area, ability to use smaller margins, and need for daily adaptive replanning to minimize dose to adjacent critical structures. Step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiation treatment (IMRT) plans were generated for all Unity patients with a dose grid of 3 mm and a statistical uncertainty of < 1% per plan.

      RESULTS: A total of 15 pediatric and AYA patients have been treated with median age of 13 years (range: 6 mos - 27 yrs). Seven patients were <10 yo. The clinical applications of MRgRT included Wilms tumor with unresectable IVC thrombus (n=1), Ewing sarcoma (primary and metastatic, n=3), recurrent diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG, n=2), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (n=1), clival chordoma (n=1), primitive neuroectodermal tumor of the pancreas (n=1), recurrent gluteo-sacral germ cell tumor (n=1), C-spine ependymoma (n=1), and posterior fossa ependymoma (n=1). Two children required general anesthesia. One AYA patient could not complete the MRgRT course due to tumor-related pain exacerbated by longer treatment times. Two AYA patients experienced anxiety related to treatment on the MRL, one of which required daily Ativan. No patient experienced treatment interruptions or unexpected toxicity.

      CONCLUSION: MRgRT was well-tolerated by pediatric and AYA patients. There was no increased use of anesthesia outside of our usual practice. Dosimetric advantages were seen for patients with tumors in critical locations such as adjacent to or involving optic structures, stomach, kidney, bowel, and heart.

      PMID:36419881 | PMC:PMC9676495 | DOI:10.3389/fonc.2022.962926

      View details for PubMedID 36419881
  • Clinical Implementational and Site-Specific Workflows for a 1.5T MR-Linac Journal of clinical medicine
    Dunkerley AP, Hyer DE, Snyder JE, St-Aubin JJ, Anderson CM, Caster JM, Smith MC, Buatti JM, Yaddanapudi S
    2022 Mar 16;11(6):1662. doi: 10.3390/jcm11061662.
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      MR-guided adaptive radiotherapy (MRgART) provides opportunities to benefit patients through enhanced use of advanced imaging during treatment for many patients with various cancer treatment sites. This novel technology presents many new challenges which vary based on anatomic treatment location, technique, and potential changes of both tumor and normal tissue during treatment. When introducing new treatment sites, considerations regarding appropriate patient selection, treatment planning, immobilization, and plan-adaption criteria must be thoroughly explored to ensure adequate treatments are performed. This paper presents an institution's experience in developing a MRgART program for a 1.5T MR-linac for the first 234 patients. The paper suggests practical treatment workflows and considerations for treating with MRgART at different anatomical sites, including imaging guidelines, patient immobilization, adaptive workflows, and utilization of bolus.

      PMID:35329988 | PMC:PMC8954784 | DOI:10.3390/jcm11061662

      View details for PubMedID 35329988
  • Implementation of a real-time, ultrasound-guided prostate HDR brachytherapy program Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Smith BR, Strand SA, Dunkerley D, Flynn RT, Besemer AE, Kos JD, Caster JM, Wagner BS, Kim Y
    2021 Sep;22(9):189-214. doi: 10.1002/acm2.13363. Epub 2021 Jul 26.
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      This work presents a comprehensive commissioning and workflow development process of a real-time, ultrasound (US) image-guided treatment planning system (TPS), a stepper and a US unit. To adequately benchmark the system, commissioning tasks were separated into (1) US imaging, (2) stepper mechanical, and (3) treatment planning aspects. Quality assurance US imaging measurements were performed following the AAPM TG-128 and GEC-ESTRO recommendations and consisted of benchmarking the spatial resolution, accuracy, and low-contrast detectability. Mechanical tests were first used to benchmark the electronic encoders within the stepper and were later expanded to evaluate the needle free length calculation accuracy. Needle reconstruction accuracy was rigorously evaluated at the treatment planning level. The calibration length of each probe was redundantly checked between the calculated and measured needle free length, which was found to be within 1 mm for a variety of scenarios. Needle placement relative to a reference fiducial and coincidence of imaging coordinate origins were verified to within 1 mm in both sagittal and transverse imaging planes. The source strength was also calibrated within the interstitial needle and was found to be 1.14% lower than when measured in a plastic needle. Dose calculations in the TPS and secondary dose calculation software were benchmarked against manual TG-43 calculations. Calculations among the three calculation methods agreed within 1% for all calculated points. Source positioning and dummy coincidence was tested following the recommendations of the TG-40 report. Finally, the development of the clinical workflow, checklists, and planning objectives are discussed and included within this report. The commissioning of real-time, US-guided HDR prostate systems requires careful consideration among several facets including the image quality, dosimetric, and mechanical accuracy. The TPS relies on each of these components to develop and administer a treatment plan, and as such, should be carefully examined.

      PMID:34312999 | PMC:PMC8425918 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.13363

      View details for PubMedID 34312999
  • Comparison of catheter reconstruction techniques for the lunar ovoid channels of the Venezia<sup>TM</sup> applicator Journal of contemporary brachytherapy
    Hansen J, Dunkerley D, Bradley K, Miller J, Huang J
    2020 Aug;12(4):383-392. doi: 10.5114/jcb.2020.98119. Epub 2020 Aug 21.
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      PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to compare catheter reconstruction methods for lunar ovoid channels of the VeneziaTM advanced gynecological applicator (Elekta, Sweden).

      MATERIAL AND METHODS: Three available lunar ovoid sizes (22, 26, and 30 mm effective diameter) were evaluated. Computed tomography (CT) scans were performed with a dummy wire inserted and with the Flexitron® source position simulator (SPS) at step sizes of 5 mm from the most distal dwell position. Treatment plans were generated in Oncentra® (version 4.5.3) with different catheter reconstruction techniques: centerline reconstruction, tracing a CT dummy wire, using a source path model provided by Elekta, and using the SPS at each planning dwell position. Source position agreement was assessed in registered CT images, and dose differences were calculated with the SPS-based treatment plan as a reference. Finally, dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters were evaluated for clinical plans with the VeneziaTM applicator.

      RESULTS: For the most distal dwell position, the manufacturer's model had the closest agreement with the SPS at 0.6 ±0.3 mm across applicator sizes. Relative to the SPS, maximal dose differences outside of the applicator were between 16-39% for a 0.1 cm3 volume and 3.6-9.1% for a 2.0 cm3 volume. For two clinical plans, volume-based DVH parameters agreed ≤ 3.9%, while deviations ≤ 5.3% were seen for point metrics.

      CONCLUSIONS: Relative to the SPS-based plan, large local dose discrepancies were reduced, but not eliminated, using the manufacturer's source path model. The choice of reconstruction technique was found to have relatively limited impact on DVH parameters for regions outside of the vaginal mucosa.

      PMID:33293978 | PMC:PMC7690228 | DOI:10.5114/jcb.2020.98119

      View details for PubMedID 33293978
  • Diagnosing atmospheric communication of a sealed monitor chamber Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    McCaw TJ, Barraclough BA, Belanger M, Besemer A, Dunkerley AP, Labby ZE
    2020 Aug;21(8):309-314. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12975. Epub 2020 Jul 10.
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      Daily output variations of up to ±2% were observed for a protracted time on a Varian TrueBeam® STx; these output variations were hypothesized to be the result of atmospheric communication of the sealed monitor chamber. Daily changes in output relative to baseline, measured with an ionization chamber array (DQA3) and the amorphous silicon flat panel detector (IDU) on the TrueBeam®, were compared with daily temperature-pressure corrections (PTP ) determined from sensors within the DQA3. Output measurements were performed using a Farmer® ionization chamber over a 5-hour period, during which there was controlled variation in the monitor chamber temperature. The root mean square difference between percentage output change from baseline measured with the DQA3 and IDU was 0.50% over all measurements. Over a 7-month retrospective review of daily changes in output and PTP , weak correlation (R2 = 0.30) was observed between output and PTP for the first 5 months; for the final 2 months, daily output changes were linearly correlated with changes in PTP , with a slope of 0.84 (R2 = 0.89). Ionization measurements corrected for ambient temperature and pressure during controlled heating and cooling of the monitor chamber differed from expected values for a sealed monitor chamber by up to 4.6%, but were consistent with expectation for an air-communicating monitor chamber within uncertainty (1.3%, k = 2). Following replacement of the depressurized monitor chamber, there has been no correlation between daily percentage change in output and PTP (R2 = 0.09). The utility of control charts is demonstrated for earlier identification of changes in the sensitivity of a sealed monitor chamber.

      PMID:32648368 | PMC:PMC7484838 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12975

      View details for PubMedID 32648368
  • Commissioning of a 1.5T Elekta Unity MR-linac: A single institution experience Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Snyder JE, St-Aubin J, Yaddanapudi S, Boczkowski A, Dunkerley AP, Graves SA, Hyer DE
    2020 Jul;21(7):160-172. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12902. Epub 2020 May 20.
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      MR image-guided radiotherapy has the potential to improve patient care, but integration of an MRI scanner with a linear accelerator adds complexity to the commissioning process. This work describes a single institution experience of commissioning an Elekta Unity MR-linac, including mechanical testing, MRI scanner commissioning, and dosimetric validation. Mechanical testing included multileaf collimator (MLC) positional accuracy, measurement of radiation isocenter diameter, and MR-to-MV coincidence. Key MRI tests included magnetic field homogeneity, geometric accuracy, image quality, and the accuracy of navigator-triggered imaging for motion management. Dosimetric validation consisted of comparison between measured and calculated PDDs and profiles, IMRT measurements, and end-to-end testing. Multileaf collimator positional accuracy was within 1.0 mm, the measured radiation isocenter walkout was 0.20 mm, and the coincidence between MR and MV isocenter was 1.06 mm, which is accounted for in the treatment planning system (TPS). For a 350-mm-diameter spherical volume, the peak-to-peak deviation of the magnetic field homogeneity was 4.44 ppm and the geometric distortion was 0.8 mm. All image quality metrics were within ACR recommendations. Navigator-triggered images showed a maximum deviation of 0.42, 0.75, and 3.0 mm in the target centroid location compared to the stationary target for a 20 mm motion at 10, 15, and 20 breaths per minute, respectively. TPS-calculated PDDs and profiles showed excellent agreement with measurement. The gamma passing rate for IMRT plans was 98.4 ± 1.1% (3%/ 2 mm) and end-to-end testing of adapted plans showed agreement within 0.4% between ion-chamber measurement and TPS calculation. All credentialing criteria were satisfied in an independent end-to-end test using an IROC MRgRT phantom.

      PMID:32432405 | PMC:PMC7386194 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12902

      View details for PubMedID 32432405
  • MOSFET dosimeter characterization in MR-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT) Linac Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Yadav P, Hallil A, Tewatia D, Dunkerley AP, Paliwal B
    2020 Jan;21(1):127-135. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12799. Epub 2019 Dec 18.
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      PURPOSE: With the increasing use of MR-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT), it becomes important to understand and explore accuracy of medical dosimeters in the presence of magnetic field. The purpose of this work is to characterize metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) in MRgRT systems at 0.345 T magnetic field strength.

      METHODS: A MOSFET dosimetry system, developed by Best Medical Canada for in-vivo patient dosimetry, was used to study various commissioning tests performed on a MRgRT system, MRIdian® Linac. We characterized the MOSFET dosimeter with different cable lengths by determining its calibration factor, monitor unit linearity, angular dependence, field size dependence, percentage depth dose (PDD) variation, output factor change, and intensity modulated radiation therapy quality assurance (IMRT QA) verification for several plans. MOSFET results were analyzed and compared with commissioning data and Monte Carlo calculations.

      RESULTS: MOSFET measurements were not found to be affected by the presence of 0.345 T magnetic field. Calibration factors were similar for different cable length dosimeters either placed at the parallel or perpendicular direction to the magnetic field, with variations of less than 2%. The detector showed good linearity (R2 = 0.999) for 100-600 MUs range. Output factor measurements were consistent with ionization chamber data within 2.2%. MOSFET PDD measurements were found to be within 1% for 1-15 cm depth range in comparison to ionization chamber. MOSFET normalized angular response matched thermoluminescent detector (TLD) response within 5.5%. The IMRT QA verification data for the MRgRT linac showed that the percentage difference between ionization chamber and MOSFET was 0.91%, 2.05%, and 2.63%, respectively for liver, spine, and mediastinum.

      CONCLUSION: MOSFET dosimeters are not affected by the 0.345 T magnetic field in MRgRT system. They showed physics parameters and performance comparable to TLD and ionization chamber; thus, they constitute an alternative to TLD for real-time in-vivo dosimetry in MRgRT procedures.

      PMID:31854078 | PMC:PMC6964768 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12799

      View details for PubMedID 31854078
  • Characterization and longitudinal assessment of daily quality assurance for an MR-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) linac Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Mittauer KE, Dunkerley AP, Yadav P, Bayouth JE
    2019 Nov;20(11):27-36. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12735. Epub 2019 Oct 21.
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      PURPOSE: To describe and characterize daily machine quality assurance (QA) for an MR-guided radiotherapy (MRgRT) linac system, in addition to reporting a longitudinal assessment of the dosimetric and mechanical stability over a 7-month period of clinical operation.

      METHODS: Quality assurance procedures were developed to evaluate MR imaging/radiation isocenter, imaging and patient handling system, and linear accelerator stability. A longitudinal assessment was characterized for safety interlocks, laser and imaging isocenter coincidence, imaging and radiation (RT) isocentricity, radiation dose rate and output, couch motion, and MLC positioning. A cylindrical water phantom and an MR-compatible A1SL detector were utilized. MR and RT isocentricity and MLC positional accuracy was quantified through dose measured with a 0.40 cm2 x 0.83 cm2 field at each cardinal angle. The relationship between detector response to MR/RT isocentricity and MLC positioning was established through introducing known errors in phantom position.

      RESULTS: Correlation was found between detector response and introduced positional error (N = 27) with coefficients of determination of 0.9996 (IEC-X), 0.9967 (IEC-Y), 0.9968 (IEC-Z) in each respective shift direction. The relationship between dose (DoseMR/RT+MLC ) and the vector magnitude of MLC and MR/RT positional error (Errormag ) was calculated to be a nonlinear response and resembled a quadratic function: DoseMR/RT+MLC [%] = -0.0253 Errormag [mm]2 - 0.0195 Errormag [mm]. For the temporal assessment (N = 7 months), safety interlocks were functional. Laser coincidence to MR was within ±2.0 mm (99.6%) and ±1.0 mm (86.8%) over the 7-month assessment. IGRT position-reposition shifts were within ±2.0 mm (99.4%) and ±1.0 mm (92.4%). Output was within ±3% (99.4%). Mean MLC and MR/RT isocenter accuracy was 1.6 mm, averaged across cardinal angles for the 7-month period.

      CONCLUSIONS: The linac and IGRT accuracy of an MR-guided radiotherapy system has been validated and monitored over seven months for daily QA. Longitudinal assessment demonstrated a drift in dose rate, but temporal assessment of output, MLC position, and isocentricity has been stable.

      PMID:31633882 | PMC:PMC6839363 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12735

      View details for PubMedID 31633882
  • Evaluation of a commercial Monte Carlo dose calculation algorithm for electron treatment planning Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Huang JY, Dunkerley D, Smilowitz JB
    2019 Jun;20(6):184-193. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12622. Epub 2019 May 23.
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      The RayStation treatment planning system implements a Monte Carlo (MC) algorithm for electron dose calculations. For a TrueBeam accelerator, beam modeling was performed for four electron energies (6, 9, 12, and 15 MeV), and the dose calculation accuracy was tested for a range of geometries. The suite of validation tests included those tests recommended by AAPM's Medical Physics Practice Guideline 5.a, but extended beyond these tests in order to validate the MC algorithm in more challenging geometries. For MPPG 5.a testing, calculation accuracy was evaluated for square cutouts of various sizes, two custom cutout shapes, oblique incidence, and heterogenous media (cork). In general, agreement between ion chamber measurements and RayStation dose calculations was excellent and well within suggested tolerance limits. However, this testing did reveal calculation errors for the output of small cutouts. Of the 312 output factors evaluated for square cutouts, 20 (6.4%) were outside of 3% and 5 (1.6%) were outside of 5%, with these larger errors generally being for the smallest cutout sizes within a given applicator. Adjustment of beam modeling parameters did not fix these calculation errors, nor does the planning software allow the user to input correction factors as a function of field size. Additional validation tests included several complex phantom geometries (triangular nose phantom, lung phantom, curved breast phantom, and cortical bone phantom), designed to test the ability of the algorithm to handle high density heterogeneities and irregular surface contours. In comparison to measurements with radiochromic film, RayStation showed good agreement, with an average of 89.3% pixels passing for gamma analysis (3%/3mm) across four phantom geometries. The MC algorithm was able to accurately handle the presence of irregular surface contours (curved cylindrical phantom and a triangular nose phantom), as well as heterogeneities (cork and cortical bone).

      PMID:31120615 | PMC:PMC6560228 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12622

      View details for PubMedID 31120615
  • Radiation treatment planning and delivery strategies for a pregnant brain tumor patient Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Labby ZE, Barraclough B, Bayliss RA, Besemer AE, Dunkerley AP, Howard SP
    2018 Sep;19(5):368-374. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12262. Epub 2018 Jul 30.
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      The management of a pregnant patient in radiation oncology is an infrequent event requiring careful consideration by both the physician and physicist. The aim of this manuscript was to highlight treatment planning techniques and detail measurements of fetal dose for a pregnant patient recently requiring treatment for a brain cancer. A 27-year-old woman was treated during gestational weeks 19-25 for a resected grade 3 astrocytoma to 50.4 Gy in 28 fractions, followed by an additional 9 Gy boost in five fractions. Four potential plans were developed for the patient: a 6 MV 3D-conformal treatment plan with enhanced dynamic wedges, a 6 MV step-and-shoot (SnS) intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plan, an unflattened 6 MV SnS IMRT plan, and an Accuray TomoTherapy HDA helical IMRT treatment plan. All treatment plans used strategies to reduce peripheral dose. Fetal dose was estimated for each treatment plan using available literature references, and measurements were made using thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) and an ionization chamber with an anthropomorphic phantom. TLD measurements from a full-course radiation delivery ranged from 1.0 to 1.6 cGy for the 3D-conformal treatment plan, from 1.0 to 1.5 cGy for the 6 MV SnS IMRT plan, from 0.6 to 1.0 cGy for the unflattened 6 MV SnS IMRT plan, and from 1.9 to 2.6 cGy for the TomoTherapy treatment plan. The unflattened 6 MV SnS IMRT treatment plan was selected for treatment for this particular patient, though the fetal doses from all treatment plans were deemed acceptable. The cumulative dose to the patient's unshielded fetus is estimated to be 1.0 cGy at most. The planning technique and distance between the treatment target and fetus both contributed to this relatively low fetal dose. Relevant treatment planning strategies and treatment delivery considerations are discussed to aid radiation oncologists and medical physicists in the management of pregnant patients.

      PMID:30062720 | PMC:PMC6123144 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12262

      View details for PubMedID 30062720
  • Long-term dosimetric stability of multiple TomoTherapy delivery systems Journal of applied clinical medical physics
    Smilowitz JB, Dunkerley D, Hill PM, Yadav P, Geurts MW
    2017 May;18(3):137-143. doi: 10.1002/acm2.12085. Epub 2017 May 2.
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      The dosimetric stability of six TomoTherapy units was analyzed to investigate changes in performance over time and with system upgrades. Energy and output were tracked using monitor chamber signal, onboard megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) detector profile, and external ion chamber measurements. The systems (and monitoring periods) include three Hi-Art (67, 61, and 65 mos.), two TomoHDA (31 and 26 mos.), and one Radixact unit (11 mos.), representing approximately 10 years of clinical use. The four newest systems use the Dose Control Stability (DCS) system and Fixed Target Linear Accelerator (linac) (FTL). The output stability is reported as deviation from reference monitor chamber signal for all systems and/or from an external chamber signal. The energy stability was monitored using relative (center versus off-axis) MVCT detector signal (beam profile) and/or the ratio of chamber measurements at 2 depths. The clinical TomoHDA data were used to benchmark the Radixact stability, which has the same FTL but runs at a higher dose rate. The output based on monitor chamber data of all systems is very stable. The standard deviation of daily output on the non-DCS systems was 0.94-1.52%. As expected, the DCS systems had improved standard deviation: 0.004-0.06%. The beam energy was also very stable for all units. The standard deviation in profile flatness was 0.23-0.62% for rotating target systems and 0.04-0.09% for FTL. Ion chamber output and PDD ratios supported these results. The output stability on the Radixact system during extended treatment delivery (20, 30, and 40 min) was comparable to a clinical TomoHDA system. For each system, results are consistent between different measurement tools and techniques, proving not only the dosimetric stability, but also these quality parameters can be confirmed with various metrics. The replacement history over extended time periods of the major dosimetric components of the different delivery systems (target, linac, and magnetron) is also reported.

      PMID:28464517 | PMC:PMC5689853 | DOI:10.1002/acm2.12085

      View details for PubMedID 28464517
  • Monte Carlo simulation of inverse geometry x-ray fluoroscopy using a modified MC-GPU framework Proceedings of SPIE--the International Society for Optical Engineering
    Dunkerley AP, Tomkowiak MT, Slagowski JM, McCabe BP, Funk T, Speidel MA
    2015 Feb 21;9412:94120S. doi: 10.1117/12.2081684.
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      Scanning-Beam Digital X-ray (SBDX) is a technology for low-dose fluoroscopy that employs inverse geometry x-ray beam scanning. To assist with rapid modeling of inverse geometry x-ray systems, we have developed a Monte Carlo (MC) simulation tool based on the MC-GPU framework. MC-GPU version 1.3 was modified to implement a 2D array of focal spot positions on a plane, with individually adjustable x-ray outputs, each producing a narrow x-ray beam directed toward a stationary photon-counting detector array. Geometric accuracy and blurring behavior in tomosynthesis reconstructions were evaluated from simulated images of a 3D arrangement of spheres. The artifact spread function from simulation agreed with experiment to within 1.6% (rRMSD). Detected x-ray scatter fraction was simulated for two SBDX detector geometries and compared to experiments. For the current SBDX prototype (10.6 cm wide by 5.3 cm tall detector), x-ray scatter fraction measured 2.8-6.4% (18.6-31.5 cm acrylic, 100 kV), versus 2.1-4.5% in MC simulation. Experimental trends in scatter versus detector size and phantom thickness were observed in simulation. For dose evaluation, an anthropomorphic phantom was imaged using regular and regional adaptive exposure (RAE) scanning. The reduction in kerma-area-product resulting from RAE scanning was 45% in radiochromic film measurements, versus 46% in simulation. The integral kerma calculated from TLD measurement points within the phantom was 57% lower when using RAE, versus 61% lower in simulation. This MC tool may be used to estimate tomographic blur, detected scatter, and dose distributions when developing inverse geometry x-ray systems.

      PMID:26113765 | PMC:PMC4476537 | DOI:10.1117/12.2081684

      View details for PubMedID 26113765

Contact Information

David Dunkerley, PhD

600 Highland Avenue, K4/b100 Madison,
Madison, WI 53792