Nolan Esplen, Francois Therriault-Proulx, Luc Beaulieu, Magdalena Bazalova-Cartera
Radiotherapy and radiobiology research seeks to understand the effects of varying radiation dosages in order to improve patient outcomes. In order to be valid, of course, researchers must ensure that each dose is administered at the correct rate and amount—which can be tricky to verify when working with small animals, as researchers often do.
To address this issue, a team of Canadian researchers recently used the Xstrahl SARRP to determine whether the use of a fully 3D printed mouse “phantom” could improve the often-questioned accuracy of results in preclinical radiotherapy dose verification experiments. Not only did researchers successfully use the 3D printed mouse to obtain “accurate dose estimates for a variety of preclinical treatment paradigms”, but they also found that the use of these phantoms could ultimately make critical radiobiology experiments more precise, more streamlined, and less costly.
The value of SARRP:
Because the study centered on assessing whether a 3D printed model could serve to accurately verify dosimetry in radiotherapy and radiobiology experiments, researchers needed to use tools specifically designed to accommodate extremely small, targeted fields.
The SARRP platform enabled researchers to conduct “a total of seven image-guided treatment configurations” that were then measured by both radiochromic film and a plastic scintillating dosimeter that were carefully inserted into the 3D model’s thorax, brain, and flank. The team then compared these physical results against a “validated MC model of the SARRP system” and concluded that, for each treatment variation and target, “the mean dose deviation between measured and MC dose data was found to be less than 5%, deemed an acceptable threshold.” As such, researchers were able to conclude that a 3D printed mouse phantom, used in conjunction with a system like the SARRP, can be a cost-effective and easily replicated tool to enable more “precise preclinical dosimetry, critical to ensuring the reliability of dose-response outcomes in radiobiological experiments, and streamlining the dose verification procedures for increasingly complex preclinical treatments.”[:]