Characteristics of a small-animal radiotherapy device, the X-RAD SmART, are described following commissioning of the device for pre-clinical radiotherapy research. Performance characteristics were assessed using published standards and compared with previous results published for similar systems. Operational radiation safety was established. Device X-ray beam quality and output dose-rate were found to be consistent with those reported for similar devices. Output steadily declined over 18 months though remained within tolerance levels. There is considerable variation in output factor across the international installations for the smallest feld size (varying by more than 30% for 2.5 mm diameter felds). Measured depth dose and profle data was mostly consistent with that published, with some diferences in penumbrae and generally reduced fatness. Target localisation is achieved with an imaging panel and with automatic corrections for panel fex and device mechanical instability, targeting within 0.2 mm is achievable. The small-animal image-guided radiotherapy platform has been implemented and assessed and found to perform as specifed. The combination of kV energy and high spatial precision make it suitable for replicating clinical dose distributions at the small-animal scale, though dosimetric uncertainties for the narrowest felds need to be acknowledged.

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Keywords Small animal radiotherapy · Pre-clinical · Commissioning · Dose delivery · Image guidance
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Feddersen, T.V., Rowshanfarzad, P., Abel, T.N., & Ebert, M.A. (2019). Commissioning and performance characteristics of a pre-clinical image-guided radiotherapy system. AUSTRALASIAN PHYSICAL & ENGINEERING SCIENCES IN MEDICINE, 42(2), 541–551. doi:10.1007/s13246-019-00755-4