Efficient double-scattering proton therapy with a patient-specific bolus

Wei Zou, Brendan Burgdorf, Ning J. Yue, Lingshu Yin, Miao Zhang, Atif Khan, Salma K. Jabbour, James McDonough, Lei Dong, Boon Keng Kevin Teo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: Passive scattering proton radiotherapy utilizes beam-specific compensators to shape the dose to the distal end of the tumor target. These compensators typically require therapists to enter the treatment room to mount between beams. This study investigates a novel approach that utilizes a single patient-specific bolus to accomplish the role of multi-field compensators to improve the efficiency of the treatment delivery. Methods: Ray-tracing from the proton virtual source was used to convert the beam-specific compensators (mounted on the gantry nozzle) into an equivalent bolus thickness on the patient surface. The field bolus contours were combined to create a single bolus. A 3D acrylic bolus was milled for a head phantom. The dose distribution of the compensator plan was compared to the bolus plan using 3D Gamma analysis and film measurements. Boluses for two clinical patients were also designed. Results: The calculated phantom dose distribution of the original proton compensator plan was shown to be equivalent to the plan with the surface bolus. Film irradiations with the proton bolus also confirmed the dosimetric equivalence of the two techniques. The dose distribution equivalency of the bolus plans for the clinical patients were demonstrated. Conclusions: We presented a novel approach that uses a single patient-specific bolus to replace patient compensators during passive scattering proton delivery. This approach has the potential to reduce the treatment time, the compensator manufacturing costs, the risk of potential collision between the compensator and the patient/couch, and the waste of compensator material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalPhysica Medica
StatePublished - Jun 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


  • Bolus
  • Compensator
  • Passive scattering
  • Proton


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