A method for implementing dynamic photon beam intensity modulation using independent jaws and a multileaf collimator

C. X. Yu, M. J. Symons, M. N. Du, A. A. Martinez, J. W. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


A mathematical model is derived for digitally controlled linear accelerators to deliver a desired photon intensity distribution by combining collimator motion and machine dose rate variations. It shows that, at any instant, the quotient of the machine dose rate and the speed of collimator motion is proportional to the gradient of the desired in-air photon fluence distribution. The model is applicable for both independently controlled collimator jaws and multileaf collimators and can be implemented by controlling different parameters to accommodate linear accelerators from different manufacturers. For independent jaws, each pair of jaws creates photon fluence variations along the direction of the jaw movement. For multileaf collimators, where each leaf is independently controlled, any two-dimensional (2D) photon fluence distribution can be delivered. The model has been implemented for wedged isodose distributions using independent jaws, and 2D intensity modulation using a multileaf collimator. One-dimensional (1D) wedged isodose distributions are created by moving an independent jaw at constant speed while varying machine dose rate. 2D intensity modulation has been implemented using a 'dynamic stepping' scheme, which controls the leaf progression during irradiation at constant machine dose rate. With this automated delivery scheme, the beam delivery time for dynamic intensity modulation, which depends on the complexity of the desired intensity distribution, approaches that of conventional beam modifiers. This paper shows the derivation of the model, its application, and the authors' delivery scheme. Examples of 1D dynamic wedges and 2D intensity modulations will be given to illustrate the versatility of the model, the simplicity of its application, and the efficiency of beam delivery. These features make this approach practical for delivering conformal therapy treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number005
Pages (from-to)769-787
Number of pages19
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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