Small animal research allows detailed study of biological processes, disease progression and response to therapy with the potential to provide a natural bridge to the clinical environment. The Small Animal Radiation Research Platform (SARRP) is a novel and complete system capable of delivering multidirectional (focal), kilo-voltage radiation fields to targets in small animals under robotic control using cone-beam CT (CBCT) image guidance.
This talk provides a complete overview of the SARRP and extends on the calibration and radiation delivery capabilities of the system. A novel technique for the calibration of the treatment beam is presented, which employs an x-ray camera whose precise position need not be known. Different radiation delivery procedures enable the system to radiate through a series of points, representative of a complex shape. For the first time, a particularly interesting case of shell dose irradiation is challenged. The goal in peripheral dose distribution is to deliver a high dose of radiation to the shape surface, with minimal dose to the shape interior. This goal is achieved by geometrically creating a spherical shell through intersecting cylinders in the SARRP configuration. The ability to deliver a dose shell allows mechanistic research of how a tumor interacts with its microenvironment to sustain its growth and lead to its resistance or recurrence.