The dose distributions at the abutment region for serial tomotherapy are reviewed. While tomotherapy provides unparalleled dose distributions, precise couch motion and good patient immobilization are required because the dose in the abutment region changes by 25% for each millimeter of misalignment. The process of delivering intensity-modulated radiation therapy using sequentially delivered modulated arcs yields hot spots below and cold spots above the machine isocenter when arc angles of less than 360° are used. The magnitude of the hot and cold spots increases significantly as the arc angle is reduced 180° such as when limited by couch clearance restrictions. Placement of isocenter also significantly affects the dose heterogeneity in the abutment region, with the hot and cold spots increasing nearly linearly with off-axis distance in the vertical direction. Reduction of the magnitude of the abutment region dose heterogeneities is possible if helical delivery is provided by moving the couch during arc delivery. The dose heterogeneity can also be reduced by creating 2 treatment plans, each with slightly different abutment region positions, or by using multiple couch angles.
- Abutment dosimetry
- intensity-modulated radiation therapy