Research Papers:

An image guided small animal stereotactic radiotherapy system

Hao Sha, Thirupandiyur S. Udayakumar, Perry B. Johnson, Nesrin Dogan, Alan Pollack and Yidong Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:18825-18836. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7939

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Hao Sha1, Thirupandiyur S. Udayakumar1, Perry B. Johnson1, Nesrin Dogan1, Alan Pollack1, Yidong Yang1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL, 33136, USA

Correspondence to:

Yidong Yang, e-mail: yidongyang@med.miami.edu

Keywords: computed tomography (CT), contrast enhancement, image guidance, stereotactic radiotherapy, preclinical radiation research

Received: October 30, 2015     Accepted: February 11, 2016     Published: March 06, 2016


Small animal radiotherapy studies should be performed preferably on irradiators capable of focal tumor irradiation and healthy tissue sparing. In this study, an image guided small animal arc radiation treatment system (iSMAART) was developed which can achieve highly precise radiation targeting through the utilization of onboard cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) guidance. The iSMAART employs a unique imaging and radiation geometry where animals are positioned upright. It consists of a stationary x-ray tube, a stationary flat panel detector, and a rotatable and translational animal stage. System performance was evaluated in regards to imaging, image guidance, animal positioning, and radiation targeting using phantoms and tumor bearing animals. The onboard CBCT achieved good signal, contrast, and sub-millimeter spatial resolution. The iodine contrast CBCT accurately delineated orthotopic prostate tumors. Animal positioning was evaluated with ~0.3 mm vertical displacement along superior-inferior direction. The overall targeting precision was within 0.4 mm. Stereotactic radiation beams conformal to tumor targets can be precisely delivered from multiple angles surrounding the animal. The iSMAART allows radiobiology labs to utilize an image guided precision radiation technique that can focally irradiate tumors while sparing healthy tissues at an affordable cost.

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