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Three dimensional simulation and magnetic decoupling of the linac in a linac-MR system Open Access


Other title
Particle simulation
Magnetic resonance imaging
Fringe magnetic fields
Radiation therapy
Finite element analysis
Linear accelerator
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
St. Aubin, Joel
Supervisor and department
Dr. B. Gino Fallone (Physics and Oncology)
Dr. Stephen Steciw (Oncology)
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Richard Sydora (Physics)
Dr. Sharon Morsink (Physics)
Dr. Satyapal Rathee (Oncology)
Dr. Charlie Ma (Radiation Oncology/Radiation Physics - Fox Chase Cancer Center)
Department of Physics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Real time image guided radiotherapy has been proposed by integrating an in-line 6 MV linear accelerator (linac) to a magnetic resonance (MR) imager in either a parallel or transverse configuration. In either configuration, magnetic interference in the linac is caused by its immersion in the magnetic fringe fields of the MR imager. Thus in order to minimize the effect of the magnetic interference, investigations on linac performance in external magnetic fields was completed through various simulations. Finite difference and finite element methods as well as particle simulations were performed in order to design an electron gun and an in-line 6 MV linac waveguide. Monte Carlo simulations provided calculations of dose distributions in a water tank from the derived electron phase space at the linac target. The entire simulation was validated against measurements taken from a commercial medical in-line 6 MV linac, other simulation programs, and theory. The validated linac simulation was used to investigate linac performance in external magnetic fields. The results of this investigation showed that the linac had a much lower tolerance to transverse magnetic fields compared to longitudinal fields. While transverse magnetic fields caused a global deflection of the electron beam away from the central axis of the waveguide, longitudinal fields changed the optics of the electron gun in a suboptimal way. Both transverse and longitudinal magnetic fields caused excessive beam loss if the field strength was large enough. Heating caused by excessive beam loss in external magnetic fields was shown to have little effect on the resonant frequency of the waveguide, and any change in dosimetry, if it existed, was shown to be easily corrected using the jaws or multileaf collimators (MLCs). It was determined that the low-field parallel configuration linac-MR system investigated did not require any magnetic shielding, so the focus was on shielding the transverse configuration. Using beam loss, MLC motor tolerance to magnetic fields, and MR imager homogeneity as constraints, passive and active magnetic shielding was designed and optimized. Thus through the parallel configuration, or using magnetic shielding, magnetic interference has been reduced to within the linac operational tolerance.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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