Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 194-199

Commissioning experience and quality assurance of helical tomotherapy machines

Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Tulsa, OK 74133, USA

Correspondence Address:
Amarjit Sen
Radiation Oncology Department, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74133
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6203.56078

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A helical tomotherapy machine combines a straight 6 MV linear accelerator mounted on a ring gantry with CT technology for image-guided intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment. A fan beam created by the collimator and jaws produces a maximum of 40 Χ 5 cm 2 field size at the isocenter. The gantry and hence the fan beam rotates at a constant speed while the couch moves linearly into the gantry bore, thus producing a helical delivery. The beam is modulated by a 64-leaf binary multileaf collimator (MLC), which enables IMRT treatment. The linac can be operated at a lower voltage (3.5 MV) and dose rate to produce megavoltage CT images, which are used for image-guided patient setup. We have installed two such units since 2004 and treated more than 2000 patients. The machine comes "precommissioned" from the manufacturer, and the beam characteristics and IMRT plans on phantom are measured and compared with manufacturer's data after acceptance tests are performed on site. Our experience with commissioning the machines and periodic quality assurance with tolerance limits for optimal performance are described.

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