The production and detection of optimized low-Z linear accelerator target beams for image guidance in radiotherapy
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Recent work has demonstrated improvement of image quality with low atomic number (Z) linear accelerator (linac) targets and energies as low as 3.5 MV compared to a standard 6 MV therapeutic beam. In this work, the incident electron beam energy has been lowered to energies between 1.90 and 2.35 MeV. The improvement of megavoltage planar image quality with the use of carbon and aluminum linac targets has been assessed compared to a standard 6 MV therapeutic beam. Common electronic portal imaging devices contain a 1.0 mm copper conversion plate to increase detection efficiency of a therapeutic megavoltage spectrum. When used in imaging with a photon beam generated with a low-Z target, the conversion plate attenuates a substantial proportion of photons in the diagnostic range, thereby reducing the achievable image quality. Image quality as a function of copper plate thickness has been assessed for planar imaging and cone beam computed tomography.