Kippenes H, Gavin PR, Parsaei H, et al.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) theoretically allows detailed tailoring of the dose distribution in tissue. The goal of this study was to determine if a method of dynamic IMRT could be used to deliver a high dose of radiation to a concave shaped target around the cervical spinal cord. Fifteen young adult dogs from our laboratory population were randomly divided into two groups. A radiation dose of 84 Gy in 4 Gy fractions was delivered with a conventional 4 field technique for Group A dogs, and with dynamic IMRT for Group B dogs to a “C-shaped” target close to the cervical spinal cord. Neurologic status, magnetic resonance imaging results and histopathologic changes were compared among dogs in the two groups. Group A dogs developed myelomalacia with a latency period of 65 +/- 9 days. Group B dogs did not have any histologic changes to the cervical spinal cord when euthanasia was performed 12 months after irradiation. The results demonstrate that this IMRT technique can be safely and precisely delivered to a patient in a clinical situation.