Evaluation of a commercially-available block for spatially fractionated radiation therapy

Courtney Buckey, Sotirios Stathakis, Ken Cashon, Alonso Gutierrez, Carlos Esquivel, Chengyu Shi, Nikos Papanikolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present the dosimetric characteristics of a commercially-produced universal GRID block for spatially fractioned radiation therapy. The dosimetric properties of the GRID block were evaluated. Ionization chamber and film measurements using both Kodak EDR2 and Gafchromic EBT film were performed in a solid water phantom to determine the relative output of the GRID block as well as its spatial dosimetric characteristics. The surface dose under the block and at the openings was measured using ultra thin TLDs. After introducing the GRID block into the treatment planning system, a treatment plan was created using the GRID block and also by creating a GRID pattern using the multi-leaf collimator. The percent depth doses measured with film showed that there is a shift of the dmax towards shallower depths for both energies (6 MV and 18 MV) under investigation. It was observed that the skin dose at the GRID openings was higher than the corresponding open field by a factor as high as 50% for both photon energies. The profiles showed the transmission under the block was in the order of 15-20% for 6 MV and 30% for 18 MV. The MUs calculated for a real patient using the block were about 80% less than the corresponding MUs for the same plan using the multileaf collimator to define the GRID. Based on this investigation, this brass GRID compensator is a viable alternative to other solid compensators or MLC-based fields currently in use. Its ease of creation and use give it decided advantages. Its ability to be created once and used for multiple patients (by varying the collimation of the linear accelerator jaws) makes it attractive from a cost perspective. We believe this compensator can be put to clinical use, and will allow more centers to offer GRID therapy to their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-11
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010


  • Compensators
  • GRID therapy
  • Spatially fractionated radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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