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CA2181799A1 - X-ray source with shaped radiation pattern - Google Patents

X-ray source with shaped radiation pattern

Info

Publication number
CA2181799A1
CA2181799A1 CA 2181799 CA2181799A CA2181799A1 CA 2181799 A1 CA2181799 A1 CA 2181799A1 CA 2181799 CA2181799 CA 2181799 CA 2181799 A CA2181799 A CA 2181799A CA 2181799 A1 CA2181799 A1 CA 2181799A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
ray
target
beam
assembly
probe
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2181799
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Mark T. Dinsmore
Kenneth J. Harte
Alan P. Sliski
Donald O. Smith
Peter E. Oettinger
Original Assignee
Photoelectron Corp
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N5/00Radiation therapy
    • A61N5/10X-ray therapy; Gamma-ray therapy; Particle-irradiation therapy
    • A61N5/1001X-ray therapy; Gamma-ray therapy; Particle-irradiation therapy using radiation sources introduced into or applied onto the body; brachytherapy
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B90/00Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges
    • A61B90/10Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges for stereotaxic surgery, e.g. frame-based stereotaxis
    • A61B90/11Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges for stereotaxic surgery, e.g. frame-based stereotaxis with guides for needles or instruments, e.g. arcuate slides or ball joints
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J35/00X-ray tubes
    • H01J35/02Details
    • H01J35/04Electrodes mutual position thereof and constructional adaptations of the electrodes therefor
    • H01J35/06Cathodes
    • H01J35/065Field emission, photo emission or secondary emission cathodes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J35/00X-ray tubes
    • H01J35/02Details
    • H01J35/04Electrodes mutual position thereof and constructional adaptations of the electrodes therefor
    • H01J35/08Anodes; Anti cathodes
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J35/00X-ray tubes
    • H01J35/24Tubes wherein the point of impact of the cathode ray on the anode or anticathode is movable relative to the surface thereof
    • H01J35/30Tubes wherein the point of impact of the cathode ray on the anode or anticathode is movable relative to the surface thereof by deflection of the cathode ray
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J35/00X-ray tubes
    • H01J35/32Tubes wherein the X-rays are produced at or near the end of the tube or a part thereof which tube or part has a small cross-section to facilitate introduction into a small hole or cavity
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05GX-RAY TECHNIQUE
    • H05G1/00X-ray apparatus involving X-ray tubes; Circuits therefor
    • H05G1/02Constructional details
    • H05G1/04Mounting the X-ray tube within a closed housing
    • H05G1/06X-ray tube and at least part of the power supply apparatus being mounted within the same housing
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05GX-RAY TECHNIQUE
    • H05G1/00X-ray apparatus involving X-ray tubes; Circuits therefor
    • H05G1/08Electrical details
    • H05G1/10Power supply arrangements for feeding the X-ray tube
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05GX-RAY TECHNIQUE
    • H05G1/00X-ray apparatus involving X-ray tubes; Circuits therefor
    • H05G1/08Electrical details
    • H05G1/26Measuring, controlling, protecting
    • H05G1/30Controlling
    • H05G1/32Supply voltage of the X-ray apparatus or tube
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H05ELECTRIC TECHNIQUES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • H05GX-RAY TECHNIQUE
    • H05G1/00X-ray apparatus involving X-ray tubes; Circuits therefor
    • H05G1/08Electrical details
    • H05G1/26Measuring, controlling, protecting
    • H05G1/30Controlling
    • H05G1/34Anode current, heater current, heater voltage of X-ray tube
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B90/00Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges
    • A61B90/10Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges for stereotaxic surgery, e.g. frame-based stereotaxis
    • A61B2090/101Instruments, implements or accessories specially adapted for surgery or diagnosis and not covered by any of the groups A61B1/00 - A61B50/00, e.g. for luxation treatment or for protecting wound edges for stereotaxic surgery, e.g. frame-based stereotaxis for stereotaxic radiosurgery
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61NELECTROTHERAPY; MAGNETOTHERAPY; RADIATION THERAPY; ULTRASOUND THERAPY
    • A61N5/00Radiation therapy
    • A61N5/10X-ray therapy; Gamma-ray therapy; Particle-irradiation therapy
    • A61N5/1001X-ray therapy; Gamma-ray therapy; Particle-irradiation therapy using radiation sources introduced into or applied onto the body; brachytherapy
    • A61N5/1002Intraluminal radiation therapy
    • A61N2005/1005Intraluminal radiation therapy with asymmetrical radiation pattern
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H01BASIC ELECTRIC ELEMENTS
    • H01JELECTRIC DISCHARGE TUBES OR DISCHARGE LAMPS
    • H01J2201/00Electrodes common to discharge tubes
    • H01J2201/34Photoemissive electrodes
    • H01J2201/342Cathodes

Abstract

This invention is directed to an x-ray source comprising a housing (12), a power supply (12A), an elongated tubular probe (14), a target assembly (26), and a beam steering assembly (29). The housing encloses an electron beam source (22), and has elements for generating an electron beam along a beam path. The power supply (12A) is programmable to control the voltage, current and timing of an electron beam. The elongated tubular probe (14) extends along a central axis from the housing (12) about the beam path. The target assembly (26) extends along the central axis and is adapted for coupling to end of the probe (14) distal from the housing (12). The target assembly (26) includes target element (26A) positioned along the beam path, wherein the target element (26A) is adapted to emit x-rays in a predetermined spectral range in response to incident electrons. The beam steering assembly (29) includes a deflection element (30), a feedback network (31) and a deflection controller (144). The deflection element (30) deflects the beam from a nominal axis to a selected surface region on the target element (26) in response to a deflection control signal. The feedback network (31) includes deflection sensing elements for sensing the deflection of the beam and elements for generating a feedback signal representative thereof.

Description

WO 95/20241 F~l/ o.. ~
- 1 2J.~17~
X-RAY SOURCE WITH SHAPED RADIATION PATTERN
BACKGROUND OF DISCLOSURE
The present invention relates to a "; ~ , low power, ~ t~
x-ray source for use in delivering low-levels of ~ub~lall~idlly constant or x-rays to a specified region.
Cu ~, l medical x-ray sources are large, fixed position machines.
10 Generally, the head of the x-ray tube is placed in one room and the control console in an adjoining area, with a protective wall, equipped with a viewing window, separating the two. The x-ray tube typically is d~ , 20 to 35 ~ (cm) long, and a~ / 15 cm in diameter. A high voltage power supply is housed within a contairler located in a corner of the room containing the x-ray tube. Patients are 15 brought to the machine for diagnostic, ~h,-r~rl-llri~, or palliative treatment.
Diagnostic x-ray machines are typically operated at voltages below 150 kilovolts (kV), and at currents from a~ y 25 to 1200 milliamps (mA). By contrast, the currents in therapeutic units typically do not exceed 20 mA at voltages 20 which may range above 150 kV. When an x-ray machine is operated at nominal voltages of 10 to 140 kV, the emitted x-rays provide limited p ~ of tissue, and are thus useful in treating skin lesions. At higher voltages (d~ / 250 kV), deep x-ray 1.. ~.~l;",. is achieved, which is useful in the treatment of major body tumors. Super voltage machines, operable in the 4 to 8 megavolt (MV) region, are used 25 to ablate or destroy all types of tumors, except superficial skin lesions.
A . ~ lldl x-ray tube includes an anode, grid, and cathode assembly.
The cathode assembly generates an electron beam which is directed to a target, by an electric field established by the anode and grid. The target in turn emits x-ray radiation 30 in response to the incident electron beam. The radiation absorbed by a patient generally is that which is 1 "., ~ d from the target in the x-ray tube through a window in the WO9S/20241 P~,1/IJ,,,~.,'~ I

2~8~ 2-tube, taking into account ~ ..,. losses. This window typically is a thin section of beryllium, or other suitable material. In a typical x-ray machine, the cathode assembly consists of a thoriated tungsten coil A~l..w~ dt, l~ 2 mm in diameter and 1 to 2 cm in length which, when resistively heated with a eurrent of 4 amps (A) or higher, !~.. ;.".;. Ally emits eleetrons. This coil is surrounded by a metal focusing cup which ~~ the beam of eleetrons to a small spot on an opposing anode whieh also funetions as the target. Tn models haYing a grid, it is the grid which both controls the path of the electron beam and foeuses the beam.
The i of an eleetron beam from eathode to anode is influenced by electron space eharge forces which tend to beeome signifieant in ~ull..uliul~l x-ray maehines at eurrents exeeeding 1 A. In sueh w...~ iu~l maehines, the beam is foeused on the anode to a spot diameter ranging anywhere from 0.3 to 2.5 ".ill;........
(mm). In many ~ ;., most of the energy from the eleetron beam is eonverted 15 into heat at the anode. To ' sueh heating, high power medieal x-ray sourees often utilii~e liquid cooling and a rapidly rotating anode, thereby ~ h . ~ an increased effective target area, permitting a small focal spot while .,.;.. ;,;"~ the effects of localized heatmg. To achieve good thermal, viLy and effective heat r~ ;r~tifln the anode typically is fabricated from copper. In addition, the area of the 20 anode onto whieh an eleetron beam is ineident re~uires a material of high atomie number for eff~eient x-ray generation. To meet the IC U,UiU.Ill...~ of thermal culldu~,LiviLy, effeetive heat rliccip~fi.~m and efficient x-ray generation, a tungsten alloy typieally is embedded in the eopper.
In use, the total exposure from an x-ray souree is directly ~lu~u~Liul~l to the time integral of the eleetron beam. During relatiYely long exposures (e.g. Iasting 1 to 3 seconds), the anode t~,..l~. ci may rise sufficiently to eause it to glow brightly, r~1 by loealized surfaee melting and pitting whieh degrades the radiation output. However, thermal Y~lUli~LiUII of the tube's eoiled eathode filament is most 30 frequently ~ ul~;blc for cu~ .,iul~l tube failure Wo 9~120241 r~~
218~799 While the efficiency of x-ray generation is ;...l. ~.. 1 .~l of the electron beam current, it is highly dependent on the ~ f ~ -, voltage. Below 60 kV, only a few tenths of one percent of the kinetic energy from an electron is converted to x-rays, whereas at 20 MV that conversion factor rises to 70 percent. An emitted x-ray 5 spectrum is composed m part of discrete energies ~1. - ,.. ;~l;~ of transitions between bound electron energy levels of the target element. The spectrum also mcludes an x-ray energy , known as IJl- ' ' ," which is caused by ~ .,-1;..., of the beam electrons as they pass near target nuclei. The maximum energy of an x-ray canmot exceed the peak energy of an electron m the beam. Further, the peak of the 10 b~c ' ' _ emission curve occurs at a~ one-third the electron energy.
Increasing the electron currerlt results in a directly l~lu~ul~iullal increase in x-ray emission ât all energies. However, a change m beam voltage results in a total x-ray output variation d,U~ / equal to the square of the voltage, with a 15 CUIIC~ shift in peak x-ray photon energy. The efficiency of 1,~
radiation production increases with the atomic number of the target element. The peak output m the l11C~ curve and the ~llr~a~ spectral lines shift to higher energies as the atomic r~umber of the target mcreases. Although tungsten (Z=74) is the most common target material used m modern tubes, gold (Z=79) and l~lol~bd~
20 (Z=42) are used m some specialty tubes.
X-rays interact in several ways with matter. For biological samples, the following two types of; - ,~ l;----~ are most important: Compton scattering of IlW~ y x-rays with outer shell electrons; and, ~ of 25 inner shell electrons. In these processes, the probability of atom ionization decreases with increasimg photon energy in both soft tissue and bone. For the l~l.. .l. .. l. . l . ;l effect, this l~laLiul~ J follows an inverse third-power law One disadvantage of present x-ray devices used for therapy is the high30 voltage required when directed to soft tissue within or beneath bone. One example is in directing x-rays to areas of the human brain, which is surrounded by bone. High energy x-rays are required to penetrate the bone, but often damage the skin and bram wo 95/20241 P~1/~
2~79g 4 tissue. Another example in radiation therapy is m directing the x-rays to soft tissue located within the body cavity, couched among other soft tissue, or within an internal calciferous structure. Present high-voltage machines are limited in their ability to selectively provide desired x-ray radiation to such areas.
s Another di~ La~ of the high voltage output of present x-ray sources is the damage caused to skin external to the affected orgam or tissue. Therefore, high voltage dev.ices of present systems often cause significant damage not only to the target region or tissue, but also to all ~ullu~ , tissue and surface skin, ~L~alli~ ul~llly when 10 used for human tumor therapy. However, since present devices apply x-ray radiation to target regions mternal to a patient from a source external to the target region, such incidental tissue damage is practically ~uill~lc.
Specifically as to brain tissue, which lacks any substantial ~ Liv~
15 ability, the treatment of bram tumors requires precise techniques to brmg about specific tissue destruction. The use of cul~ lLiullal x-ray devices in brain tumor therapy often lacks the precision needed in volumetric irradiation, resulting in the damage of non-cancerous tissue of the brain and associated glandular structures.
An alternative forEn of tumor theraw, called b~ ,hy~ involves implanting; . ' ~ .; in or near the tumor to be treated. While such use of "~ may be effective in treating certain types of tumors, illLIudu~.Liull of the isotopes requires mvasive prooedures which have potential s;d~-c~b~ snch as the possibility of infection. Moreover, brain swelling may occur m some ~ ;....s 25 because the emission from the isotope cammot be controlled. Further, there is no ability to provide selective control of time dosage or radiation mtensity. Handlmg and disposal of such l.ldio;~uLu~ imvolves hazards to both the individual handler and the ~11 V il ullUI~llL .
Invasive techniqnes of the brain require precise control of irradiation through the choioe and ~ of isotopes used. TnrE~ ni~l penetration poses a significant risk as is well known m the art.

WO95/20241 r~ n.,~.~ 4 21817~9 In view of the above ICIIUil~ and limitations to the use of x-rays from present machines in thP~rr--tir, diagnostic, palliative, or evaluative ~IlVilUl~ there remains a need for a relatively small, easily . r ' ' 1~ controllable, low-energy, x-ray device where the x-ray source can be positioned in proximity to the ~llVilUl..ll.llL to 5 be irradiated. Such a device operating at low energy and power will be suitable for many of the ~ "~ described herein.
Thus, it is an object of the present mvention to provide an easily r ' i~ low-power x-ray device.
It is another object of the invention to provide a relatively small, low-power x-ray device having a controllable, or l,.u~, ' ', power supply.
It is another object of the invention to provide a relatively small, low-15 power x-ray device which is , ' ' ' into a patient for directly irradiating a desired region of tissue with x-rays.
It is another object of the invention tO provide a low-power X-My device for irradiating a volume to establish am absorption profile deflned by ~.c~.
20 isûdose contours in order to reduce tissue damage ûutside tbe desired irradiation region.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a relatively small, surface-mr~lmt ~hlt 7 low-power x-ray device for affecting a desired surface region with x-rays.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a relatively small, low-power x-ray device which is insertable into a patient for directly irradiating a specified region with x-rays.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a small, low-power x-ray device for use with a reference frame assembly for controllably pU li~iUIf~ , an x-ray WO 951202~1 P~ ,S,'~

source adjacent to or witbin a tumor in a patient in order to irradiate and therefore treat that tumo}.
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a small, low power x-ray 5 device which can be threaded through existing, irregularly shaped ~ W~
It is yet another object of the invention to provide a small, low power x-ray device which includes an improved rnPrh-~nicm for directing an electron beam at a target element.
SUMMARY OF I~F INVENTION
Briefly, the invention is an easily , ' ' apparatus having a low-power, electron beam (e-beam) activated x-ray source of preselected, or adjustable, 15 duration, effective energy and intensity. In medical ,~ ;....c the apparatus (or "probe") may be fully or removably inserted into, implanted into, or surface-mounted onto a desired area of a patient to irradiate a region with x-rays. Additionally, the apparatus can be assembled with a variable-thickness x-ray shield to allow irradiation of, and ~nnePr~ ~Pnt absorption in, a preselected volume, defined by a set of isodose 20 corltours, so as to reduce the destructive effects of x-rays outside thie desired irradiation region. The apparatus can be assembled in ' with a reference frame, for example, a ~ U~Li~ frame, and an associated coupler for use in thie treatment ofbrain tumors. The apparatus is also useful for treating other tumors, such as may be found in the breast or liver or other places; also, the apparatus may be used to treat 25 cancer cells on the surface of body cavities, such as the bladder.
The apparatus operates at a relatively low voltage, for example, in the range of ~ ,., 1y 10 kV to 90 kV, with small electron currents, for example, in the range of from h~ y 1 nA to 100 ~A. To achieve a desired radiation 30 paKern over a desired region, while minimally irradiating other regions, x-rays are emiKed from a nominal, or effective "point" source located within or adjacent to the desired region-to-be-irradiated. Preferably, the point source is used together with a Wo 95~202~1 r~lm ~18(1799 mask, or shield, tocontrol the s_ape of the emitted x-radiation. In some alJ,uli~ Livl~, a low dose rate of x-rays irradiates any part of the desired region, either contmually or periodically, over extended periods of time. For use with a reference frarne fortreatment of bMm tumors, a high dose rate for single dose irradiation is generally S preferred. With the use of a "repeat localizer," the single dose can be replaced, if desired, by a series of high dose rate, i.e., r"~ treatments.
The apparatus includes a controllable, or plV~I~'I -I'l,IF, power supply located outside the desired region-to-be-irradiated to enable variations in voltage, 10 current, and timing of an electron beam. The electron beam is controlled to pass along a desired beam axis and to be incident on a target which is preferably located in the patient's body, although for irradiation of surface of the body, the beam axis and target are extra-corporeal. The axis may be straight, or curved. The ~ ,. amd/or geometry of the target, or x-ray emitting, material is selected trv provide a ~ mi~P~I
15 pattern of x-rays. Shielding at the target, or around the target, further enables control of the energy and spatial profile of the x-ray emission to closely match the desired tlictrihllti-)n of radiation throughout the desired region. A stable and l~l,lvdu.,ilJlF~ source of x-rays can be created with the electron spot either larger or smaller than the target, although the for~ner results m an mefficient use of electrons and the latter may20 I,'VllllJlU....~ the spherical isotropy of the emitted radiation.
The present invention further provides a method of treating malignant cells, such as found in tumors, in vivo, utilizing the apparatus described above. Generally, the method involves identifying and locating malignant cells with a device generally 25 available in the art, such as by computed Lulllo~ (CT) scannmg or magnetic resonmce imagmg (MRI). A needle-type biopsy of the tumor may be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Then the region of treatment is selected and the radiation dosage ~iFf~ rmin~i Such radiation treatment plamling involves defining the size and shape of the turQor ~ , ....;";.,~ precisely its location in the body, identifying radiation-sensitive 30 critical biological structures ~UIIUUIIvillg the tumor, deciding on the proper radiation dose ~lictrjhllfi~n im the tumor and :~UllUU~UliUl~ tissue and the entry path in to the tumor of the implanted portions of the apparatus. For spherical tumors, treatment planning WO 951202~1 r~~
2i8179~ - 8-can be performed manually using CT or MRI data. However, for more complex .r,mP~riPc close-by critical structures, or higher precision procedures, computer-based "3-D" imagery is preferred. In that case, tumors and critical structures are, for example, manually or "~/ segmented on a series of digitized CT scans, 5 and a 3-D composite is rendered, which allows viewing the tumor from any direction.
Various software systems have been developed for "..~ 1 procedures, such as those using the linac and gamma knife, and some are . 'ly available. For example, Radionics Software .Arrlir~firn~ of Arlington, 1l~ ' offers for sale software which images the CRW and BRW stereotactic frame affixed to a graphically 10 L~ .. skull. Isodose profiles are overlaid on the tumor and other brain tissue.
Similar software may be used with the invention disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 955,494 which effects imaging witb respect to a ~ Uh~Lil, frame, for use with the x-ray-radiating electron beam target imbedded in the tumor. Isodose contours around the target are ~ on the tumor and adjacent tissue. The absolute 15 radiation dosage delivered along each contour is ~' ' by ~ IAI dosimetry performed to calibrate the probe. In these tests, the dose is measured at multiple locations around the target immersed in a water tank. Soft tissue is adequately simulated by water. The dose is measured by an ionization chamber, such as is "..,..r,. ll c;d by PTW of Freiburg, Germany, wherein x-ray generated ions create a 20 small current which is detected by an ~ ,LI~ , such as is ;~n~ lly availablefrom Keithley Radiation r~f_ai~ul~,ul~ Division in Cleveland, Ohio. Alternatively, the target can be immersed in a biological tissue ~ in~ phantom. Such plastic, "solid water," phantoms are ~:ull"ll~ lly available (RMI, Middleton, WI) and simulate various body tissues, e.g., soft tissue of the brain. Either i' ' detectors 25 (TLD) or calibrated x-ray sensitive film (e.g., ~.r~,lu.~lll;l, film from Far West T ' ' g Goleta, CA) can be positioned in the solid water to measure the dose directly. Usmg the imaging and dosimetry results from the radiation treatment planning, a low-power e~ectron beam source and a selectively shaped x-ray radiation pattern generating target and shield assembly are positioned within or proximal to a 30 region containing the cells to-be-irradiated, generally tumor cells, for example, in l.l~.j.. li-.. with a stereotactic frame assembly, such as disclosed in U.S. Patent WO 95120241 P~ 4 2~1 ~ 1 7 9 9 Application Serial No. 955,49~. Other positioning assemblies, or methods, may beused.
Pursuant to the present invention, the target and shield assembly geometry 5 and materials are shaped and selected in accordance with the ~ ;, of the desired region-to-be-irradiated. A ~1l 0 ''~ power supply is proYided, which maybe used to vary the voltage, current, and duMtion of the electron beam source toestablish, in a~.u,~l~e with dosimetry i~llllriiull, a desired electron beam which is directed to the target. Finally, x-radiation emitted from the target, as modified by the 10 shield assembly, is ~ , _ ' through the desired region-to-be-irradiated for destruction of the cells m that region. By use of a metbod of signal feed-back, in which the ~:-rays emitted from the target in an backward direction along the path ûf the electron beam are monitored by a detector positioned behind tbe electron emitter, ~,~j .... -t` in the deflection of the electron beam can be made to ~ f~ ir:llly control and optimally 15 position the electron beam region of incidence, or spot, on the target.
In particular, the treatment of a brain tumor can be carried out utilizing an apparatus of the present invention crlmr i~i ~g the ~ l - of a low-power x-ray source for generation of a controllable irradiation pattern, with a device for accurately 20 F _ the x-ray source m the brain. The x-ray iource can thus be precisely located near or in the tumor.
The x-ray source, together with the target and shield assembly, of the present invention may be used in various body locations to generate custom-designed 25 irradiation fields for treatment of a variety of types of tumors. Also, irradiation fields can be c lcr~mi7~ i for each tumor treated. However, 6~ I similarities for many tumors will allow this treatment with a standard set of shields.
Accordmg to a further r~ of the invention, the probe can be 30 flexible in nature to allow it to be threaded down existing p~ .6~ i or around obstacles. According one such ~ o~ llL, a ~ u ...,~;v~ element (i.e. a pl,..l... ~1,...11~) is located, along with a target element, in the target assembly.

wo95/20241 1~~
799 lo Additionally, a flexible fiber optical cable, which couples light from a laser source to the ~ f7 can form the basis for the flexible probe.
One terminal of a high voltage power supply is coupled to the S r~ Af via an electrical conductor embedded in the fiber optical cable. The other terminal of the power supply is coupled to the target element, via an electrically conductive, flexible, outer sheath formed around on the fiber optical cable. In this way, an electrical field is established which acts to accelerate electrons emitted from the pl~Jlu~ f toward the target element. As in previously discussed elllbo~ , the lû target element emits x-rays in response to incident electrons from the ~

WO 95120241 P~~ "C 4 21g~93 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
The foregoing and other objects of this invention, the various features thereof, as well as the invention itself, may be more fully understood from the followmg 5 tlPcrrirtit~n when read together with the r ~ ,~i~ drawings in which:
FIGIJRE 1 is a ~ DIJ~live view of a low power x-ray source ~ I,odyi the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a schematic l~l~ of a sheath adapted for use with the apparatus of FIGURE 1;
FIGURES 3A and 3B are a ~,ID~ , view and sectional view, ICD~,_,Li~.ly, of a surface-moumtable apparatus ~ the present invention;
FIGURE 4 is a schematic block diagram of the ~ .. .l.o~ of FIGURE 1;
FIGURES 5A and 5B are graphical I~ICD~ JIID of the x-ray emission spectrum of tungsten- and 1IIOI~ r~ptc, CD
FIGURE 6 is a detailed block diagram of a lc~,lcD~ ., power supply of the ~l~odilll~l.. of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 7 is a detailed schematic diagram of power supply of FIGURE 6;
FIGURE 8 is a l).,lD~ ,livc view of a beam steering assembly cll~bo~y~
the present invention;
FIGURE 8A is a cross-section view of the assembly of FIGURE 8, taken along lines 8a;

WO 95/20241 P~
17 9 ~

FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a brain tumo} x-ray treatment system ;Zl~ul~ul~ g a s~CICUk~C~i-, frame fûr positioning the x-ray source;
FIGURE 10 is an explûded perspective view of an x-ray source and the S coupling assembly of the system of FIGURE 9;
FIGURE 11 is a schematic diagram of a lc,ulL,.~,.lld~iVt: high voltage power supply ûf the x-ray source of FIGURE 10;
FIGURE 12 is a cross-sectiûnal view of the end ûf a probe having an alternate target assembly which includes an x-ray shield and x-ray target for producing a stable and ~.u.luc;l,l~ source of x-rays;
FIGURE 13 is a cross-sectional r ..~ . y view of one geometric form of 15 an x-ray target;
FIGURE 14 is a block diagram of a laser milling system for generating variable thickness x-ray shields;
2û FIGURES 15A and 15B are pc~ ., views of a probe and target assembly for accurate amgular aligrlment of an x-ray shield;
FIGUR~S 16 is a cross-sectional view of a low power x-ray source having an intemal beam steering assembly which includes a feedback loop for electron beam FIGURE 17 is a cross-sectional view of a low power x-ray source having an external beam steering assembly which includes a feedback loop for electron bcam Fn~ J~
FIGURE 18 is a cross-section view of the assembly of FIGURE 17, taken along lines 16C;
... .. . _ . . . .. _ _ . . . . .

~ wo 9sl2024 ~ c ~ 1 2~ 17~9g FIGURE 19 is a cross-section view of a mrrh~lnir~l probe positioner for broad-area irradiation;
FIGURES 20A and B are cross-sectional views of a flexible probe which 5 hl~,o.~ , a l,l..)t . ..,;l~. . Iocated within the target assembly;
FIGURES 21A-21F show examples of various isodose contours that can be achieved with the invention; and FIGURE 22 shows a schematic l~l. in section, of a probe tip having a shield positioned adjacent to the r,~ u~ lf of the source of FIGURE 20A.
Like rlumbered elements in each FIGURE represent the same or similar elements.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
The present invention is a relatively small, electron-beam activated, low power x-ray apparatus. The apparatus may be used for medical purposes, for example, 20 Ih~ , or palliative radiation treatment of tnmors, or for other purposes.
With particular regard to medical uses, the apparatus may be fully implanted or partially inserted into a preselected internal region of a patient to provide x-ray radiation over selected exposure times. Alternately, the apparatus may be 25 mounted on a surface of a patient external to a region to be irradiated. Also disclosed is a method for treating tumors in a patient, using the apparatus of the invention.
Generally, the apparatus of the present invention includes an electron-beam (e-beam) activated x-ray source which operates at relatively low voltages, i.e. in the 30 range of ~l~ 'y 10 kV to g0 kV, and relatively small electron beam currents, i.e. in the range of ~)ll 1~/ 1 nA to 100 ~A. At those operating voltages and currents, the x-ray output is relatively low, and the apparatus may be made quite small WO951202.~1 P~l/u,. ~
23~1 799 and be adapted for ;"~ in medical therapeutic :'rPI In view of the ~ow level x-ray output, adequate tissue penetraîion and cumulative dosage may be attamed by locating the x-ray source adjacent to or within the region to be irradiated. Thus, the x-rays are emitted from a well-defined, small source located within or adjacent to the S region to be irradiated. In one _L ~ ' t, a low dose rate of x-rays may be applied to any part of a tumor, either continually or periodically, over extended periods of time, e.g., up to one month. In use with a stereotactic frame for the treatment of brain tumors, a higher dose raoe may be applied to a tumor for shorter periods of time (i.e., on the order of S minutes to 3 hours~.
The present invention provides inoerstitial ,~..1;.,11,. ' 'I'Y similar to that achieved with implanoed capsules, needles, tubes, and threads containmg natural or artificial radioactive isotopes, known as L~ldl,;lyiL~,ld~y. However, a l!JIU~l'' 1''l'l`' power supply may be mcluded in the x-ray source of the present apparatus to vary15 energy, intensity, and duration of the radiation. This differs from Llld.,lly~ ,la~y in that the intensity amd u . ~l,';r~., depth of the x-rays may be ch~mged without surgically or invasively replacmg the isotopes. rulLh~,llllul~ the present mvention is not limited by the half-life of a particular isotope, and does not pose a radiation ha~ard when turned off.
FIGURE 1 shows an x-ray apparatus 10 embodymg the present invention.
Apparatus 10 includes a housing 12 and am elongated cylmdrical probe 14 exoending from housing 12 along a reference axis 16. The housing 12 encloses a high voltage power supply 12A (illustrated in electrical schematic form in FIGURES 6 and 7). The 25 probe 14 is a hollow tube having an electron beam generator (cathode) 22 adjacent to the high voltage power supply 12A. Cathode 22 is located in close proximity to an amnular focusing electrode 23 typically at nearly the same pooential as the cathode 22.
An annular anode 24 is positioned d~ / 0.5 cm or more from the annular focusing electrode 23. A hollow, tubular probe 14 exoends along the same axis as the 30 cathode, grid, and the hole in the anode. Probe 14 is inoegral with the housing 12 and extends toward a target assembly 26. In various c . ,.l .u.i;.. ,.. ~l~, parts of the probe 14 may be selectively shielded to control the spatial riic~ihlltinn of x-rays. In addition, the ~ WO 95120241 Y~ . 4 2..~i~8~17'9 9 probe 14 may be m~n~tir~lly shielded to prevent external magnetic fields from deflecting the beam away from the target.
The electron beam geneMtor 22 may rnclude a thermionic emitter (driven S by a floating low voltage power supply) or a l' '- (irradiated by an LED or laser source). The high voltage power supply establishes an ~ .,. potential difference between the cathode of generator 22 and the groumded anode 24 so that an electron beam is established along the reference axis 16, through the center hole of the anode and to the target assembly 26, with the region between anode 24 and the target 10 assembly 26 berng ! ' ' " 'I.y field free. The beam generation and ~
c...,.~ are adapted to establish a thin (e.g. I mm or less in diameter) electronbeam within the probe 14 along a nominally straight axis 16.
In a preferred, ' " t, the probe 14 is a hollow, evacuated cylinder 15 made of a beryllium (Be) cap and a ~ ud~ rhenium, (Mo-Re), l..~ I,d~,llul.. (Mo) or mu-metal body and a stainless-steel base extension. The cylinder is 16 cm long, with an interior diameter of 2 mm, and an exterior diameter of 3 mm. The target assembly 26 includes an emission element consisting of a small beryllium (Be) target element 26A
coated on the side exposed to the incident electron beam with a thin film or layer 26B of 20 a high-Z element, such as tungsten (W), uranium (U) or gold (Au). By way of example, with electrons ---' ' to 30 keV-, a 2.2 micron thick tungsten film absorbs ' 'ly all the incident electrons, while i ~ , 95% of any 30 keV-, 88% of any 20 keV-, and 83% of any 10 keV- x-rays generated m that layer. In the preferred, ' . ' ~, the beryllium target element 26a is 0.5 mm thick 25 with the result that 95% of these x-rays generated in directions normal and toward the substrate, and having passed through the tungsten target, are then i ' through the bervllium substrate and outward at the distal end of probe 14. While the target element 26A shown in FIGURE 3B is m the form of a disc, other shaped elements may be used, such as those having l..., .: .,.h . ;~ ,.l or conical outer surfaces.
In some forms of the target, the window element 26A may include a multiple layer film (or alloy) 26B, where the differing layers may have different wo ~5~20241 r~
~ 6~17~ - 16-emission ..I.~".. ~ By way of example, the first layer may have an emission (vs.energy) peak at a relatively low energy, and the second (uud.lly _) layer may have an emission (vs. energy) peak at a relatively high energy. With this form of the invention, a low energy electron beam may be used to generate x-rays in the first layer (to achieve 5 a first radiation I I - r- t. . ;~ ) and high energy electrons may be used to penetrate through to the underlying layer (to achieve a second radiation . I- -- ,.. ;~l ;. ). As an example, a 0.5 mm wide electron beam is emitted at the cathode and ' ' to 30 keV- througll the anode, with 0.1 eV transverse electron energies, and arrives at the target assembly 26 sixteen f' ''`--- ~ du..~ Ga~l~ from the anode, with a beam 10 diameter of less than 1 rnm at the target element 26A. X-rays are generated in the target assembly 26 in accordance with preselected beam voltage, current, and target element 26A ~ , The x-rays thus generated pass through the beryllium target element 26A in the probe with minimized loss in energy. As am alternative to beryllium, the target dement 26A may be made of carbon or other suitable material 15 which permits x-rays to pass with a minimum loss of energy. An optimal material for target element 26A is carbon in its diamond form, since that material is an excellent heat conductor. Using these p~ rf ~ tt r~, the resultant x-rays have sufficient energy to penetrate into soft tissues to a depth of a centimeter or more, the exact depth dependent upon the x-ray energy .l:.t,il,..li....
The apparatus of FIGURE 1 is particularly adapted for full i".l.l,." -l;....
into a patient, where the housing 12 has a ~;..c..,.,l.- ;l.lf outer surface and encloses both a high voltage power supply circuit 12A for . ' ' ' _ a drive voltage for the beam generator æ, amd an associated battery 12B for driving that circuit 12A. In this case, 25 an associated controller 12C establishes control of the output voltage of the high power supply circuit 12A, in the manner described below.
The apparatus of FIGURE 1 may also be used in a mamner where only the probe 14 is inserted into a patient while the housing remains outside the patient, i.e.. a 30 L, fl"`' "; "l V"` form. In the latter form, some or all of the various elements shown within housing 12 may alt.l,~,i~ be remotely located.

~ WO 95/20241 P~ C ~ 4 ~2181`~9 In the ~ .. u~l~ form, the apparatus 10 may be used with an elongated closed end (or cup-shaped) sheath 34, as shown in FIGURE 2, havmg a l,;. c~ ;l,lc outer surface, for example, fabricated of medical grade aliphatic polyu.~Ll~.~, as ,..,... ~ i under the trademark Tecoflex~; by Thermedics, Inc.,5 Woburn, ~ ' With tbis c~ fic,.lrl;ll~. the probe 14 is first inserted into thesheath 34. The sheath 34 and probe 14 are then inserted into the patient through the skin. Alt~ ly, a port may be inserted through the skin and attached to it, as for example a Dermaport~ port, -- .r., ~ by ThPrmPflirc Inc., Woburn, r~
The probe 14 is then inserted into the port.
The lining of the sheath or port can be configured as an x-ray shield by i~lLlU~,'ul~ barium sulfate or bismuth trioxide, or other x-ray shielding materials, into the sheath. If necessary, the probe 14 and housing 12 can be secured to the patient's body to prevent any relative motion during the extended time of treatment. An 15 exemplary sheath 34 is shown in FIGURE 2.
In one ~ ~ - ' of the apparatus as shown in FIGURE 1, the main body of the probe 14 can be made of a m~Ptir~lly shielding material such as a mu-metal.
Alt~ ly, the probe 14 can be made of a ~ metal, preferably having 20 relatively high values for Young's modulus and elastic limit. Examples of such material include ll.ol~; ' rhenium or alloys of these materials. The inner or outer surface of probe 14 can then be coated with a high p~ ';ly magnetic alloy such as permalloy (~JIu~.illla.~ly 80% nickel and 20% iron), to provide magnetic shielding.
Alt~ ly, a thin sleeve of mu-metal can be fitted over, or inside of, the probe 14.
25 The x-ray apparatus 10 can then be used in CllVil~ ' in which there are dc and ac magnetic fields due to electrical power, the field of the earth, or other bodies nominally capable of deflecting the electron beam from the probe axis.
In i~ hlr ~-"-ri~,.-"~ , the power supply 12A and target assembly 30 26 are preferably enclosed in a metal capsule to prevent current flow from the x-ray source to the patient. The closed housing 12 and probe 14 are, thus, Pnr~r~ t~ in a WO95/202.11 I~,l/o~
';2~8~9g continuous oute} shell of a~lU~JI shielding material such as those mentioned previously.
The high voltage power supply 12A in each of the illustrated ..,.h.~.l;......
5 preferably satisfies three criteria: 1) small rn size; 2) high efficiency to enable the use of battery power; and 3) i l. ~ ly variable x-ray tube voltage and current to enable the unit to be ~IIU~I~III....,~ for specific ,.~ . A highfrequency, switch-mode power converter is used to meet these l~ . The most a~ U~) topology for generating low power and high voltage is a flyback voltage converter working in 10 . ~ with a high voltage, Cockroft-Walton-type multiplier. Low-power ~irrip~ n~ switch-mode power-supply controller-integrated circuits (IC) are currently available for controlling such topologies with few ancillary In order to provide active control of the x-rays, a preferred ~...l.o.l;....l of15 the present invention establishes ;~ control of cathode voltage and current without the use of a grid electrode. In that form of the invention, an radio frequency ohmic heating current is provided to a thermionic cathode æ, preferably using a Llal~rullll~l-coupled 0.6 volt, û-300 mA filament power supply floating at the cathode potential of 40 kV.
FIGURES 3A and 3B show an alternative ~...l..~.l;.. 1 10' of the invention adapted for superficial usage, that is for direct placement on the skin of a patient. This form of the invention is ~ J useful for x-ray treatment of skin lesions or tumors, or other ,~1.. .l.,~;. ~1 .. l~l~li. -l;.. : In FIGURES 3A amd 3B, elements that 25 correspond to elements in the ~ .o.l;.. l of FIGI~RE 1 are denoted with the same reference 1 -;r..~ Apparatus 10' generates am electron beam in a channel 40 enclosed within housing 12, where that channel 40 I;UllC~)UlldS to probe 14. In the present ~ ~ ' t, of FIGURES 3A and 3B, the target assembly 26 (elements 26A
and 26B) functions as the anode as well as an x-ray emitter. Otherwise, the apparatus 10' is similar to apparatus 10. As with the C.. ~L,. ,-li.. of FIGURES 3A and 3B, low power x-rays may be directed to a desired skin region of a patient.

~ Wossl2o24l r~ a..,~ 4 7~

In all of the above-described ~ I.odill~ , the x-ray emission element of the target assembly is adapted to be adjacent to or within the region to be irradiated.
The proximity of the emission element to tne targeted region, e.g. the tumor, eliminates the need for the high voltages of presently used machmes, to achieve ~aiiara~UIy x-ray 5 ~ ;., through the body wall to the tumor site. The low voltage also the radiation im the targeted tumor, and limits the damage to ~ulluull.li~, tissue and surface skin at the point of rPnPtr~tinn For example, the delivery of 4ûO0 rads, as is required after a ll.a~...,~UIlly, with a 40 kV, 20 ~LA electron beam, may require ~ , 1 to 3 hours of radiation. However, since the x-ray source is, in this 10 preferred ~ t, insertable proximate to, or imto, the region-to-be-irradiated risk of mcidental radiation exposure to other parts of the patient's body is ~ ly reduced.
Fur~er, specificity in treating tumors may be achieved by tailormg the15 target and shield geometry and material at the emission site. This tailoring facilitates the control of energy and the spatial profile of the x-ray emission to ensure more .."hc. ". .~ ;.... of the radiation throughout the targeted tumor.
FIGURE 4 is a schematic l~ a~iuA. of the x-ray source apparatus 10 20 shown in FIGURE 1. In that preferred ,....1;~;,..,.l;..." the housing 12 is divided into a first portion 12' and a second portion 12". Enclosed within the first housing portion 12' is a .~ al,l~ battery 12B, a recharge network 12D for the battery 12B, which is adapted for use with an external charger 5û, and a telemetry network 12E, adapted to be responsive to an external telemetry device 52 to function in the mammer described below.
25 That po~tion 12' is coupled by cables to the second housimg portion 12". The second housing portion 12" includes the high voltage power supply 12A, controller 12C and the probe 14, as well as the electron beam generating element 22. In one .. ,.l.-.. l;.. ~ the electron beam generator includes a thermionic emitter 22 driven by the power supply 12A. In operation, power supply 12A heats the thermionic emitter 22, which in turn 3û generates electrons which are then accelerated toward the anode 24. The anode 24 attracts the electrons, but passes them through its central aperture toward the target assembly 26. The controller 12C controls the power supply 12A to dynamically adjust WO95/202~il r~l~u.,C~ ~ ~
2i8~ ~9~ 20 -the cathode voltage, the electron beam current, and temporal r:~r~ t~rs~ o} to provide pre-selected voltage, beam current, and temporal p~r~mP~r~
Also illustrated, is an alternative electron beam generator which includes a S ~ . . Z2 irradiated by a light source 56, such as a diode laser or LED, powered by a driver SS. The light is focused on the ~ u~ r 22 by a focusing lens 58.
In the illustrated, ,ll)o~l;..l l, device 52 and network 12E cooperate to permit external control (dynamic or l"c.l. l.. ;.. i) control over the power supply 12A
10 and temporal parameters. In ~ when the housing 12~ is not implanted, but where oniy probe 14 extends into a patient's body, the controller 12C may directly be used to control operation; in that case there is no need for network 12E.
In an important aspect of the invention, the target assembly 26 may be lS shaped to emit x-rays in a radiation pattern rn a ~u.c' ' ' spectral range, and having a ~ 1 spatial 11;~l.il.. 1;--~ This spectral target shaping may be achieved in part by selecting target materials of known . ~ For example, as shown in FIGURES 5A and SB, the emission spectra for tungsten targets (FIGURE SA) and ~l.cil~b~ .,... targets (FIGURE SB) are distmct. FIGURE SA shows the x-ray 20 emission spectrum from a tungsten target tube operating at 30 and S0 kV. Note that the IJII ' ' ,, spectrur~,u., ' , and that x-rays are supplied in a wide energy range. FIGURE SB shows the emission spectrum from a lllol,~l,d~ u.ll target tube, also operating at 30 and 50 kV. Note the near absence of IJ,. . - ".i.l.",~ x-rays. Note also that the change in tube potential from 30 to 50 kV results in a minor change im the 25 shape of the emission spectrum from a ...ol,yl,d~,l..l..~ target x-ray tube. Thus, the x-ray spectral emission from target assembly 26 may eFfectively be shaped by selecting the target material to provide the desired radiative penetration of tissue, e.g., the tumor.
The x-ray spatial .l;~l, ;l.,.li,.., may be also shaped by altering the geometric c- .,.1;~,. 1 ,.l ;-1.. oF target element 26A. By way of example, the target element 26A may be shaped such that the electrons directed from the anode will be incident at a 1 angle or may be selectively directed to different areas of the region from ~ wo 95/20241 P~ .. c -i 2~ 99 which emission is to occur. By way of fur~fher example, the target element 26A can be fabricated to be thick enough to be ~ Y opaque to electrorls but thin enough to be cllh~t~lntiAlly L._.~U_.~l.L to X-MyS. More specifically, if a spherical gold target element having a thickness of .S ~Lm and a 40 kV electron beam is employed, 5 cl~hcf,AntiAlly all of the electrons are stopped by the target element and ~ "l; ~y all of the X-Mys geneMted in the target element can escape.
The x-ray spatial ~l;~l.il. :i.,.. can also be shaped by ;~ an X-My Lla~lll;~ " shield, havmg a variable thickness profile, mto the target assembly 26.
FIGURE 12 shows a probe 14 havmg an alternate target assembly 126, for use with the X-My appaMtUS 10 shown m FIGllRE 1, which ~u.u, ' such a shield. In the illustMtive, b~d---..,.-~, the probe 14 is r~hctAnfiAlly srmilar to the probe 14 shown in FIGURE 1, except for the target assembly 126. Target assembly 126 includes a probe tip 126A made of a material (e.g. Be) which is nearly L.~ to X-MyS, and an x-lS My target 126B for geneMting a source of X-Mys upon rrMdiation with an electron beam, attached to the probe 14 along a probe axis 16 at the end distal to the cathode 22 and anode 24 (shown in FIGURE 1). In the preferred form, the outer surface of the probe tip 126A is convex, and prefeMbly l,. .., l,l.. . i. _l as in the illustrated although other convex shapes can be used. The target assembly 126 is 20 fabricated such that the outer diameter of the probe tip 126A is less than the outer diamete~ of the probe 14. A variable thickness x-ray shield (or shadow mask) 128 and an underlying shield carrier 128A are positioned over the probe tip 126A of the target assembly 126. At the junction of the target assembly 126 and probe 14, the outerdiameter of Lhe target assembly 126 5 lhr~ ti "y matches that of probe 14.
The X-My shield 128 is made from a material which has a high attf n~ On factor, and is supported by the shield carrier 128A. The X-My flux from any pomt of the target assembly 126 is dependent m part upon the thickness of the x-ray shield 128 along an axis exteriding from the target 126B and passing through that point. Thus. in 30 a~.,uld~ with the mvention, a selective restriction m tluckness of the x-ray shield 128 is used to geneMte spatially-variable x-My dose .l;~l.;l.,.l;.."~

wo 95/2024~
~ J ~
2~'1817g5 In a preferred; ' ~, the probe 14 has an outer diameter of 3 mm and an inner diameter of 2 mm, and is typically 10 to 16 cm long. The target carrier 126C is made of beryllium and has a l~ tip 126C' with a radius 0.8 mm, the probe tip 126A is made of beryllium and has a thickness 0.5 mm. The shield carrier 5 128A is made of a light element, such as beryllium, ~ , aluminum, or carbon and has a thickness 0.2 inm, arld the shield 128 ~ias a thickness in the range 0 to 0.1 mm if made of gold.
The x-ray target 126B is a small disk (e.g., 0.1 mm diameter) of an x-ray 10 emissive material (e.g., a metal with a high atomic rlumber such as gold~ deposited in the center of the target carrier 126C As will be discussed in further detail below, the size of the x-ray target 126B may be small relative to the diameter of the electron beain established along the probe axis 16, so that the source of x-rays produced is defined by the position of the small target and not by the position or size of the electron beam.
15 This feature permits " of the x-ray shield 128 with a lc~ ibl~ and stable source of x-rays. However, for an electron beam whose spot on the target 126B islarger than the target 126B, there is a loss of efficiency in generating x-rays. Such a loss can be avoided by focusing the beam to a small spot ~ to the size of the target 126B, and controlling its position on the target 126B by suitable means.
The spatial resolution of the preselected irradiation volume which can be obtained by using the shield 128 is limited by several factors, including the penumbra due to the finite size of the x-ray source; the instability of the size and position of the x-ray source due to ~,..c ~ ' ~ instability in the x-ray generating electron spot; the scattering of the x-ray deposited energy in the irradiated volume; and the probe-to-probe u-L.~,;bilily of the x-ray source and its position relative to the sbield 128.
The penumbra is deterrrlined by the ratio of the size of the x-ray source to its distance from the shield 128. For a uniform source, a preferable range for this ratio is on the order of 1/20 to 1/3, depending on the scatteriilg behavior. The stability of the size of the x-ray source and its position is preferably a small fraction of the optimum source to distance ratio.

WO 95/202~1 F~l/~J~. c 21,~1~399.

One method of ~ an acceptable penumbra and ~ iDLIaLiull of the shield x-ray source is to control the position and size of the x-ray source by controllmg the focus and deflection of the incident electron beam along axis 16. For instance, the electron beam can be focused to a spot on the x-ray emissive surface of target 126B, the 5 diameter of the focal spot thus being the size of the x-ray source. This method requires not only that the spot size be correct, but that the position of the spot relative to the x-ray shield 128 be accurately known and In this ~ ,.l.o~l:... .l the target can theoretically be as large as fabrication., dictates. However, in a preferred . ' ~ " t, the x-ray target 126B is cllhctol~r~ y the same size or only slightly larger than the electron beam.
In order to ensure that the electron spot position, relative to the shield, is both temporally stable for any given miniatnre x-ray system and spatially IG~JlUdU~ in 15 all other systems that are in use, accurately placed fiducial marks can be used together with electron beam deflectors to locate the electron spot relative to the sbield. Such a fiducial mark consists of an edge, deflning a boundary between two regions which have very different behavior in an electron beam. For example, in the present instance, a boundary between the target material 126B, such as Au, and the target carrier material 20 126C, such as Be, can serve as a flducial edge. The relevant difference m behavior is that Au is a ~:, ,.;r~ y more efficient x-ray source than Be, when exposed to a high energy electron beam. As the beam passes across the fudiciary mark, an x-ray detector can sense the drfference of x-ray intensity and generate a CUIICDI)O~ control signal for arrlir~tirn to the beam deflectors.
The x-ray detector can be embedded in a feedback control loop to servo the beam onto the target and preferably, the center of the target, as viewed from the electron source. In one such ru..ri~ .." where the target position is generally known with respect to the beam path, but it is desired to center the beam path on the target, the 30 beam may first be swept across the target in a first (x) direction which is orthogonal to the beam path. As the beam passes the fiducial edges of the target (for example, as the beam encounters the target during the sweep, and then as the beam leaves the target), WO 951202.11 I ~ u., ~
21g179~ 24-the controller identifies the position of the fiducial edges and determines an x-component of a control signal lc~lcD~,ntdLive of the mid-point between the two fiducial edges in the x-direction sweep. Then the beam is positioned in accordance with that control signal component (i.e. mid-way between the detected x-sweep fiducial edges), and swept in a 5 second (y) direction orthogonal to the x-direction and the beam path. During the y-direction sweep, fiducial edges are detected and a y-component of a control signal is inPcl which is lC~ of the mid-point between the two fiducial edges detected during the y-direction sweep. The x- and y-c~ are then used to control the beam to be centered in the target.
In a case where the target position is not initially Icnown with respect to the beam path, the relative position may be quickly established by raster scanning the beam until the target is ~ c~ in an x-direction sweep, or scan. Then, in response to the detection of fiducial edges in that sweep, a mid-point is determined and the beam is 15 positioned to that mid-point position and then swept in the y-direction, i.e. along the p.,~.,~li~,ul~l bisector of a Ime connecting the fiducial edges of the identified sweep. In response to detection of f~ducial edges in that y-sweep, a y-direction mid-pomt is dPtPrnlinp~l and control signals lc~ Ld~ive of the x- and y-direction mid-points are used to center the beam on the target.
20 Although described above for ' ~ the center of a target, other desired reference points on the target may be determined and the beam deflected to be incident on those points.
Another way to establish proper source position, and hence ensure the 25 spatial resolution of a shielded radiation field for all systems, is to use a small x-ray target 126B which is the size of the desired x-ray source. Although, in principle any size electron spot can be used without degrading the spatial resolution of the shielded radiation field, it is desirable to make the spot the same size or smaller than the target 126B in order to maximize the energy conversion for electrons to x-rays and hence 30 reduce the time to treat patients or to perform any other desired task using the shielded x-ray source. In this context, if the spot size is defined such that 90% of the electrons in the spot are contained in the so-defined spot size, then malcing such a spot equal to WO 95120241 r~ s~
2181~99 - 2~ - ~ r~
the small target size would be optimum in the sense that a smaller spot would not ~;L";~ ly improve the system efficiency. In such a case it may not be desirable to make the spot as small as the target. In any event, the use of a small target ensures that all x-ray probes using a shield to define a radiation field will have C,llhct v~f~ y the same 5 spatial resolution and position relative to tne probe tip.
As shown in FIGURE 12, the target carrier 126C fits snugly into the end of the probe tip 126A. In the illustrated F ' ~ , the x-ray target 126B is deposited on the target carrier 126C before being inserted into the probe tip 126A. In instances where the probe tip 126A has been attached to the body of the probe 14 prior to placement of the x-ray target 126B and target carrier 126C, the target carrier 126C can be fabricated such that inner diameter of the probe 14 is slightly greater than the outer diameter of the target carrier 126C in order to make insertion down the body of the probe 14 easier.
It is generally desirable that the target carrier 126C fit tightly into the probe tip 126A in order to ensure ' ' integrity of the structure. This can be achieved, for instance, by making the parts to "press fit" or by utilizing thermal expansion to clamp the two parts together. In the latter case a cold target carrier 126C
20 (e.g., cooled by liquid nitrogen) is inserted into a relatively hotter (e.g., room ~ Lu.c) probe tip 126A. As the parts reach thermal Fl~ ;l.. 11 they firmly clamptogether.
In an alternative ~ oli...~ , the probe tip 126A can be fabricated to 2~ mclude an integral target carrier. The probe tip 126A is attached to the probe 14 s ~l~cPqllP~t to the placement of the x-ray target 126B.
The x-ray target 126B should be deposited on the target carrier 126C
normal to the probe axis 16, and at the center of the concentric 1~ surfaces 30 which define the end of the probe tip 126A. This ~. ",. ~ ~:, ;, ;iy of placement of the x-ray target 126B greatly simplifies the calculation required to design the variable thickness x-ray shield 128 to give desired x-ray isodose contours. As used herem, the WO 95/20241 r~

~81~9g 26-terrn isodose contour refers to a surface of a three-riimr-neir~n:ll volume on which every point ~ the same x-ray absorption per unit mass of tissue.
Since the x-ray target 126B can be deposited on the target carrier 126C
5 before insertion into the probe 14, any of several methods can be used to form an x-ray target 126B at the oenter of the target carrier 126C. One method of fabricating such an x-ray target 126B is to evaporate a high-atomic-number metal through a shield which is inserted into the cavity in the target carrier. The shield can consist of a disk with a central aperture ~ UI.~,D~ ' ~ to the x-ray target 126B and through which the metal is 10 deposited on the target carrier 126C.
In addition to ~.,.. l. .,.~i..,.~ of x-ray source size and position relative tothe x-ray shield 128, it is also necessary to account for x-ray absorption in the x-ray target 126B itself in a direction tangential to the plane of the x-ray target 126B. Such 15 absorption can be reduced by making the x-ray target 126B a curved surface instead of a flat surface. For example, FIGURE 13 shows a ~- ,' c depression in the target carrier 126C which serves to deflne the form of the x-ray target 126B. The curvature of the x-ray target 126B serves both to reduce the absorption of x-rays in the target and also to spread out any remaining angular ~ of x-rays emitted from the x-ray 20 target 126B. The net result can be a much more isotropic ernission of x-rays from the x-ray target 126B which illuminates the x-ray shield 128 located on the shield carrier 128A. The curved target shape shown in FIGURE 13 is only one ~...1,.~.1;.... 1, other effective shapes may also be used, such as a l ,' or a spherical section in c, ' with a truncated cone.
When the target 126B is deposited m a depression, it can be fabricated with the target carrier 126C in situ within the probe tip 126A, or as an integral part of the probe tip 126A. An (,v~ Vl~l~iVC deposition can coat the depression and ~UllUUlllillg surfaces 126D. The high-atomic-weight metal deposited on surfaces 126D can, 30 ,l~l,,r.l....,lly be removed by scraping the surface with a flat scraper, which does not contact the depression.

wo ssno24~ ,r.~ 1 21~1799 - 27 ~
There are A~ ;.,... for the x-ray probe of the present invention which requrre a broad-area source instead of a point source of x-rays. For exarnple, the resection of a small breast tumor may remove tissue for many ~ aulluull~ling the focal point of the tumor. Following resection it may be desired to irradiate the 5 "tumor-bed" in order to kill any remaining tumor cells at the periphery of the reâection.
In a preferred i ' ~" t, in order to reduce tissue damage beyond the desired irradiation volume, the broad-area irradiation is carried out with an x-ray apparatus utilizing an x-ray shield 128 ' 'ly similar to that shown in FIGURE 12.
Broad-area radiation can be easily obtamed by placimg the target assembly 126 of the probe 14 at a distance from the surface to be irradiated. The solid angle of forward radiation from the target assembly 126 can be controlled with an x-ray shield 128. The thickness of the shield 128 at each point is rl~t,onnin~od so that a cllbctl~nti~lly uniform radiation pattern is obtamed. The target assembly 26 can be employed in a similar fashion.
FIGURE 19 shows a . ' I positioner 300 for use with an x-ray apparatus of the present invention to achieve the precision required between the target assembly 26 or 126 and the irradiated surface (tissue). The . ' l positioner 300comprises an interface plate 302 which contacts the tissue, and is made of some material which is 1.~ . to x-rays, such as Be, C, or plastic. The interface plate 302 is attached to the probe 14 by means of an x-ray opaque back plate 304. To further pattern a specific radiation field, the surface of the normally x-ray i . ~ mterface plate 302 can be rendered partially x-ray opaque by way of an x-ray shield in a manner sirnilar to the x-ray shield 128 described above.
Another application for such a broad-area x-ray source is intercavity radiation within the body, such as the inside of the bladder. In such a case the interface plate 302 between the tissue and the broad-area x-ray source can be an inflatable balloon, extending down the probe 14 so that the target assembly 126 is at the center of the balloon. In this case, there would be no opaque backplate 304.

WO 95120241 r~ u~
L' g FIGURES 21A-21F depict examples of various isodose contours that can be achieved wilh the present invention. Specifically, FIGURE 21A shows the probe 14adapted to deliver isodose contours which form a sphere of radiation 300 centered about the probe tip 126. FIGURE 21B shows the probe 14 adapted to deliver a sphere of radiation 302, wherem the probe tip 126 is offset from the center of the sphere 302.
FIGURE 21C shows the probe 14 having a tip 126 adapted to deliver a radiation field in the shape of an oblate ellipsoid (i.e., a "pancake" shape), as shown m ~ live at304A and looking along axis 305 at 304B. FIGURE 21D depicts the probe 14 having a tip 126 adapted for delivering a radiation field in the shape of a prolate ellipsoid (i.e., a "cigar" shape), as shown in ~ .livc at 306A and along axis 307 at 306B. As shownin FIGURE 21D, the probe 14 erlters the ellipsoid 306A along its minor axis. FIGURE
21E shows the tip 126 also adapted for delivermg a radiation field m the shape of a prolate ellipsoid. The ellipsoid is shown in p~ ,Liv~ at 308A and along axis 309 at 308B. As can be seen, the probe 14 enters the ellipsoid 308A along its major axis.
FIGURE 21F depicts the probe tip 126 adapted for delivering an ~y iu radiation field shown in ~ ",Live at 310A and along axis 311 at 310B.
The design of a variable-thickness x-ray shield 128 for generating x-radiation principally within ~ l isodose contours will generally begin with digital data describing the size and shape of the desired irradiation volume (such as a tumor) which has been obtained by some method of imaging such as CT scan or Magnetic Resonance Irnaging. From such data, and a knowledge of the x-ray absorption properties of the probe mateAals and of the shielding material used, the details of the thickrless profile of the shield can be calculated. In general the isodose contours can assume many shapes and sizes and need not be ~yuull~.L~
Various methods can be used to translate the design data into a physical shield. One method would be to use laser milling techniques. For instance, a l-....;~l,l... ;~l shield carrier 128A is coated with a layer of a metal with a high atomic 30 number (e.g., Au) about 100 ~m thick, the thickness of the shielding material deposited on the shield carrier 128A being well controlled in order to know how much material to ... . _ . .. _ _ .. _ _ _ . , . . , ., ., .. , .. , .. , . , . ,, ., . , . ,, , _, . . ...

WO 95120241 r~ c ~

, I . I .;

remove in a subsequent milling process. One method of achievimg a high degree ofthickness control is to deposit the x-ray absorptive material by cl~tlu~,L.~
FIGURE 14 shows a laser millmg system 200 for generating an ~,u~lul 5 variable thickness x-ray shield 128 for delivery of ,u~ 1 x-ray isodose contours.
It is well known that mtense laser pulses can remove surfaoe layers of metal. The laser milling system 200 of FIGURE 14 comprises a IllPrh-'''i~ r ~ apparatus, shown generally as position controller 202, which a,~ / presents all of the surface points of the shield carrier 128A to a laser beam 204. For instance, the x-ray shield 128 and shield carrier 128A cam be rot~ted about the probe axis 16 or an axis 212 which is normal to the probe axis 16. In a preferred ~ _~ " t, a U~UIU~,eaaVI 210 has direct control over the motions of the position controller 202, and ;..r~ ;"., as to the current position of the surface of the x-ray shield 128 is i ' back to the IIPI~,lU,UIUI,C~ I 210 to verify the specified position.
The ~ ;r; ~ of the x-ray shield, i.e. the thickness profile, are calculated prior to the milling process, and from this data, the IlliUlU,UlU~ aaUI 210 issues commands to a laser controller 208, which drives a laser 214, as to how much power is required to remove the correct amount of the shielding material at a particular 20 irradiated surface pomt on the x-ray shield 128.
If the shielding material is entirely metallic, a powerful and expensive laser may be required in order to complete the milling process in an acceptable length of time. The preferred laser for these conditions is an excimer laser. However, when the 25 shielding material consists of metal particles suspended in an organic material such as polyimide, then a much lower power laser, such as a nitrogen laser, may be used.
In another . ..l.o~ the variable thickness x-ray shield 128 can be generated by controlled vapor deposition of the shielding material. This technique is 30 also amenable to and the pattern of deposition can be controlled by a IlliL.lUUlUC~,a~Ul driven system.

wo 95120241 ~ ~ l /u~,5, .

In another r~ .;, the sbield material is first plated onto the carrier to the required maximum thickness of about 100 ~m for gold, and then machined with a high accuracy CNC machine tool. This ~ odill..l.. has the advantage of using a simple n~orh~ r:~l process and eliminates the need for an on-line gauging system as 5 required for laser milling.
FIGURES lSA and l5B show one ' - ' of a probe design which allows accurate amgular alignment of the shield carrier 128A and thus, the x-ray shield 128 with the probe 14. A rn~r~ key, shown in the form of a tab 140 in the probe 14 and a CU~ - _ groove 142 in the target assembly 126, can be provided between tbe two, to ensure accurate pv~;~iv~.D of the x-ray shield 128 and the probe 14 in order to orient the x-ray emission pattern with the geometry of the desired irradiation volume.
As one skilled in the art will appreciate, the keying: _ of FIGURES 15A and 15B can also be used in bi witn the target assembly 26 of FIGURE 1.
As a further feature of the invention, steering may be used to direct the emitted electron beam to selected surfaces on the emission element, for example, where tbe target has different emission ~ m different spatial regions. Control of the electron beam may be achieved under the control of telemetry, or by pre-20 ,v.u~ the power source prior to .' of all or part of the apparatus 10.
FIGURE 8 shows an exemplary Cl~,LIu~LdLi~, beam steering assembly 29.In the illustrated P.. ~ol: -- ll, the cathode 22 generates electrons in a mamner consistent with the above-described .."h.J.l;.... ~ The electrons are accderated through a focusimg elcctrode 23 toward the anode 24, amd pass through an aperture 24A toward the target assembly 26. Enroute to target assembly 26, the electrons pass through an ~I~.,LIu~LdLi~ deflection assembly 30, shown in cross-section at FIGURE 8A. The assembly includes four deflectors 32. By varying the voltages applied to the opposing pairs of the deflectors 32, the electrons of the beam entering the assembly along axis 16A are deflected, or "steered" as they travel toward the target assembly 26 along axis 16B. Thus, the beam axis may be controlled to be straight or curved, as desired. As described below, el.,.,LIu~ D~ , techniques may ~ ~Li~ be used to establish beam WO 95120241 1 ~,1/11.,,~ 1 2~81~93 steering. In the latter case, the el~ u~7ldLiu deflective plates 32 may be replaced with magnetic deflector coils which are driven by currents to establish magnetic fields necessary to achieve a featured beam deflection.
In another form of the IJ~ ' t, rather than pass through an ~ u~.dli~ deflection assembly 30, the electron beam passes through a set of magnetic field g~ li g coils. The coils can be arranged in a ~ similar to the ~ u~Lli~ deflection plates of the assembly 30. By varying the current through the coils, the resultant magnetic field is produced in a ~ t ' ' ' manner so as to influence the path of the electron beam.
In such a fashion, the electron beam may be steered to hit certain physical locatiorls on a CUII~ 1 target assembly (FIG~lRE 8), or a target of any other specific geometric ~v..l ;~ By way of example, in the illustrated bVdilll..ll~, a 15 beam hitting the angled side of target assembly 26 will result in x-rays emitted off to that side, with little or no incidental radiation i ' tbrough to the opposite side of the target assembly.
In another form of the b~ 7 ~. ~ '' t, the x-ray emission 2û . l .~. ,.. l. . ;~l ;. c may be controlled by spatially varymg the emission parameters (such as radiation peak vs. energy) of the target assembly. By changing the emission peak (as a function of energy) at various points in tbe target assembly 26, for example, with a "bullseye" spatial pattem, the beam may be steered to regions of relatively high energy x-ray emission, or to regions of relatively low energy x-ray emission. Thus, the beam 25 may be selectively directed to regions of the target assembly to achieve the required x-ray emission, ~ i and direction.
As one slcilled in the art will appreciate, the beam steering assembly 29 of FIGURE 8, can also be used m .-~ with the target assembly 126 of FIGURE
30 12.

WO95120241 I~
2t 81~99 -32-FIGURES 16, 17 and 18 show an alternate beam steering assembly 29' which rncludes a feedback loop system 31 to accurately position the electron beam on the x-ray target 126B. Tn the illustrative ~II.b~d..l..,.l~, the deflection assembly 30 is cllhcr~nrilllly similar to that shown in FIGURE 8, (except that it is a magnetic deflection 5 system located outside of the probe) and an x-ray detector 142 is a~ranged to monitor x-rays emitted from the x-ray target 126B. The x-ray detector 142 can be positioned off axis with the electron beam, as shown, or placed on axis behind the cathode 22.
Changes in the trajectory of the electron beam can be measured when there are c.. ..... ,~ changes in the x-ray emission from the target 126B. A deflection controller 144, which is preferably driven by a l~Pi~,lu~ l, can utilize the data from the x-ray detector 142 and, by controlling the voltages applied to the deflectors 32 of the deflection assembly 30, can ~ , position the electron beam.
For instance, the feedback loop system 31 can be used to center the electron beam on a small x-ray target 126B. However, while a change in the monitor signal does indicate that the center of the beam has moved from the center of the target, there is no immediate ' as to which direction the movement has taken place.
Hence it may be necessary to periodically deflect the beam in a known direction and observe the behavior of the monitor signal m order to recenter the beam.
The monitor signal required to keep the bearA positioned on the x-ray target 126B can be obtained by placing an x-ray detector 142 behind the electron optics 138 to monitor x-rays which are emitted back along the axis 16 of the probe 14. In FIGURES
16 and 17, the monitored x-rays 140 are shown to pass to one side of the electron optics 138. However, if the cathode is thin enough to be transparent to x-rays, it is possible to design the system such that the x-rays 140 pass through the electron optics 138 and the cathode 22. The detector 142 can be placed either within or outside of the housing 12 as shown in FIGURES 16 and 17, I~ .,ly. As illustrated in FIGURE 17, if the detector 142 is located outside of the housing 12, an x-ray ~ ., window 148 should be located in the wall of the housing to provide optical coupling of the detector 142 and x-ray target 126B.

WO95/20241 P~,IIIJ.,,_.. 4 21~1733 , ` ~ ~ ,..

After the beam has been accurately centered on the x-ray target 126B, the feedback system of FIGURES 16 and 17 can be used to optimi~e the electron-beam focus for maximum output of x-rays. For instance, this can be ~ by ., -~;..,;,;.,~ the signal monitored by the feedback system by using the deflection controller 144 to adjust the voltages on the focus elements (such as focusing electrode 23) of the electron optics 138.
The feedback system illustrated in FMURES 16 and 17 can also be used with the target assembly 26 shown in FIGURES 1 or 8. By way of example, the feedback systems can be used to position the electron beam so as to be incident upon a particular point of an emission element havmg regions of different emission (such as the bullseye spatial pattern described above). Additionally, the feedback system cam be employed to control the -~ ' voltage of the electron optics.
As shown in the above-described .~.l.o~ , the apparatus 10 of FIGURE 1 includes a power supply 12A. FIGURE 6 is a block diagram of a II,~llC ' "VC SUpply 12A. FIGURE 7 shows a more detailed schematic of the supplyof FIGURE 7. . As shown in FIGURES 6 and 7, that . includes a flyback switching converter and regulator 280, a 30:1 Yoltage j r 282 coupled to a control voltage (or high voltage multiplier input) terminal 282A and a 10 stage voltage multiplier 284 coupled to a high voltage terminal 22A, and adapted to drive the filament of a thennionic emitter 22. A filament radio frequency power driver and voltage-to-frequency (V/F) converter 290 and an associated radio frequency filament driver 292 are coupled through current control terminal 292a and capacitor CO by way of a filament drive circuit 286 to the filament of emitter 22.
A difference amplifier 294 establishes a current feedback loop by driving the radio frequency power driver and V/F converter 290 in response to the detected difference between a current feedback signal on line 295 and an applied emission control signal on line 296. The latter signal may be selectively controlled to establish a desired WO 95/202d,I r~ M,5.
2 1~

temporal variation in the x-ray tube cathode current in filament of emitter (thermionic cathode) 22.
A high voltage amplitude feedback loop is established by the switching 5 converter and regulator 280 in response to the detected difference between a voltage feedback signal on line 297 and an applied high voltage control signal on line 298. The latter signal may be selectively controlled to establish a desired amplitude variation of the potential at the filament of emi~ter (i cathode) 22.
A more detailed description of the power supply shown m FIGURES 6 and 7 is provided in U.S. Patent No. 5,153,900 and also m parent application U.S. Ser. No.
955,494.
FIGURE 9 shows an exemplary system 300 adapted for x-ray treatment of brain tumors. System 300 includes a stereotactic frame 302 in ~ ~- with a low-power x-ray device lOA coupled thereto. In that l~l...r;~ .,.,, x-ray device lOA is generally similar to the x-ray device 10 shown m FIGURE 1, but has a cylindricalgeometry. C.. ~l,.. l;,.~ elements of the two x-ray devices 10 and lOA are identified with the same reference ~ - In general, cul~ , frarnes provide a fixed 20 reference structure relative to the cranium of a patient. While the preferred . .h~ll;....
described above is ~ Lil,ulo~ly adapted for use with this stereotactic frame, other .... 1.".1;..... ~ of the invention might be similarly adapted for use with this or other frames or with general reference frames, for example, one ~ an opeMting fixture fixedly referenced to a part of the body other than the head. In the illustrated .l.o.l;.. ~ of FIGURE 9, the ~ ~lc~J~c~ fMme 302 is substantially similar to the Cosman-Roberts-Wells system ...~....r~ ...c~ by Radionics Inc., Bllrlin~inn r~ ~
In the illustrated ~.. '.oll;.. - ,l the frame 302 establishes a reference XYZ
30 coordinate system disposed about a desired origm point O The frame 30~ includes a generally U-shaped support element 304 defining a reference plane. Four arms 306A, 306B 306C an~ 306D (not shown) extend out from support fMme 304. Each arm has a WO 95/202-~1 r~ 4 218i7~9 positionmg pin 308. The pins 308 extend generally towards each other from the respective distal tips of arms 306A, 306Bl~306C and 306D. In use, the four pins 308 are positioned against a patient's skull to establish a fixed positional l~L~liu~h;~
bet~veen the frame 302 and the patient's cranium. Thus, the frame 302 defines the 5 reference XYZ coordinate system with respect to the patient's cranium.
An x-ray device support member 310 is coupled to the support element 304 by way of a pair of rotational couplmg assemblies 312 and a pair of Imear couplmg assemblies 314. The x-ray device support member 310 includes an arcuate support track 310A. An x-ray device 10 is coupled to support track 310A by a couplmg assembly 316. Coupling assembly 316 provides controlled movement of the x-ray device 10 on a circular path along track 310A and between an inner limit point and am outer limit point along axes (~ by axis 316') extending radially inward from the circular path of arcuate t~ack 310A toward the origin point O.
In addition, rotation about the hubs of rotational couplmg assemblies 312 allows the x-ray device support member 310 to be rotatably moved about the X axis.
The x-ray device support member 310 is i ' ' ' in a drrection normal to the plane defuned by the X and Y axes (the X-Y plane) by movement along tracks 314A, of 20 the linear coupling assemblies 314. In the illustrative . ' - ' t, a T-groove in tracks 314A mates with a tenon of block 314B which is affixed to member 304, permittinglinear motion m the direction ~ " ' to the X-Y plane. Set screws 332 in block 314B may be adjusted to lock the x-ray device support member 310 at a set heightrelative to the support frame 304.
X-ray support member 310 may be moved in the direction of the Z axis by movement of the tenons extending from member 310 in tracks 304A of support element 304. A controlled position of the member 310 along the tracks 304A can be established using locking screws 334.
In addition, support element 304 can be adjustably positioned in the direction of the X axis by sliding member 304 relative to its support member 305, and WO 95/20241 P~ 4 2 ~

may be adjustably positioned with three degrees of freedom to establish a desired location of origin point O within the skull of a patient.
The coupling assembly 316 is shown together with an x-ray device lOA, in 5 exploded form, in FIGURE 10. As shown, the coupling assembly 316 includes a receiver block 316A, a bushing element 316B, toge*er with ~ y shaped portions of the x-ray device lOA. As shown, the central axis 16 of probe 14 of x-ray device lOA is coaxial with axis 316'. The electron beam of probe 14 is nominallycoaxially with axis 316', but may be adjustably varied as described above in with FIGURlES 8, 8A, 16, 17, arld 18 and below in with FIGURE 10.
The cylrndrical bushmg element 316B is positioned partially within and coaxially with the receiver block 316A. The bushing element 316B is slidable (in the direction of radial axis 316') and may be selectively locked in place relative to block 316A using a set screw 318A. The bushing element 316B includes a central bore (with diameter D) extending along its central axis.
As noted above, tbe x-ray device lOA is similar to the x-ray device 10 shown in FIGURE 1, but has a generally ~ylil~ lly shaped housmg 12; the probe 1420 includes a cylindrical shoulder portion 14A (having a diameter slightly less tban D) :.. 'y adjacent to housing 12, with a mam portion with a small diameter (3.0 mm in the preferred bo~ l.,ll.). With tbis ~ ,...., the x-ray device lOA may be positioned with its axis 16 coaxial with axis 316' and tbe shoulder portion 14A slidingly positioned withm the bore of bushing element 316B. The relative position of x-ray device lOA may be fixed along axis 316' using set screws 320 of element 316B.
X-ray device lOA may include a magnetic deflection subsystem for its electron beam. The deflection subsystem includes magnetic deflection coils 32 as shown in FIGURE 18 positioned about axis 16 within shoulder portion 14A. These coils are 30 driven to adjustably control the position of the beam axis so that the beam is incident on the target of assembly 126 (shown, for example in FIGURES 16 and 17) in a desired malmer. In the preferred form, radiation generated by device lOA is monitored (for WO 95/202~1 P~
21817~9 example, by x-ray detector 142 shown in FIGU~ES 16 and 17, and/or am x-ray detector positioned outside the patient) and the deflector coils are driven accul.lill~ly by steering control currents on deflection Xl, X2, Y1 and Y2 Imes applied to the deflection coils, shown in FIGURE 11.
s As shown in FIGURE 9, the l";~,lu~ulu~,.,OO~,l-based controller may not be disposed within the housing 12, but located external to the housing 12 m a control unit 342. Corltrol unit 342 is coupled to x-ray device lOA by way of cable 342'. The elongated probe 14 of x-ray device 10 is configured so as to allow the probe 14 to pass 10 tbrough the track left by a biopsy needle, thereby perlnitting easy insertion of the probe 14 mto the bram of a patient. For tumors composed of hard tissue, and where a biopsy needle smaller in width th~m the probe 14 is used, proper ~ mto the tumor may recluire first widening the track left by the biopsy needle with ' sized needles.
With this C....I~L,~,.,.~;.-,. the tip of probe 14 contains the x-ray emittmg target and cam be moved in and out relative to the cranial insertion site by movement along the axis 316'. The x-ray device IOA can be secured at a given position along by set screws 318A and 320. The length of probe 14 of x-ray device IOA is chosen such 20 that the center of curvature ûf the tip of probe 14, when fully inserted down to the lower limit position along the axis 316' of 316A, is positioned exactly at the origin point O; when the x-ray apparatus 10 is fully withdrawn to the upper limit pomt along axis 316', the distal tip of the probe 14 is intended to be outside the patient's skull. The cc" - of the arcuate support track 310A cam be set such that the origin point O is 25 located at the desired isocenter of irradiation. Thus, by the rotation of x-ray device lOA
support member 310 and the i ~ of the x-ray device lOA along the ~i1-~1 r .,IILi.ll track of the arcuate support track 310A and along axis 316', a user can choose the a~ ul path (preferably of least ~i. CtTurrion) for insertion of probe 14 into a patient's brain, the tip of probe 14 always positioned the origin point O upon full 30 insertion of the probe 14 to the lower limit point.

wo gsl202~l r~
t~

FIGURE 11 shows a schematic diagram of a preferred high voltage power supply 12A for use with the x-ray device 10A of FIGURES 9 and 10. In that power supply, the HV drive signal is a 0 to 9 Volt drive signal. This signal drives tbe Flyback Switching Field Effect Transistor (FET) Q1, which in tum drives the HV Flyback 5 Lldll~UII~I. The HV Flyback ~ r", .,... steps up the + 12 Volts to several thousand volts. The HV multiplier, D1 to D28, in turn steps up the voltage to the desired output voltage of 15 to 40 kV. The voltage feedback line provides feedback ;I.lVllll~liiUII to controller 12C, so that the output voltage of the HV multiplier can be held at a constant value.

The Filament + and - ~ines provide cr ~' y 9 Volt 250 kHz square wave drive signals to FET's Q2 and Q3. These FET's chop the variable Filament DCvoltage into an AC voltage, and drive the Filament/HV Isolation T ~ T2.
Using a high frequency signal to drive this l., r"", . permits a single turn secondar~v 15 to drive the x-ray tube filament. This in turn permits . ~ ¢ the l,....~ r.., ....
while ~ the necessary high voltage isolation. The current FB line allows controller 12C to sense the beam current, and the controller then adjusts the Filament DC Voltage for the desired beam current, by providing the ..I,~,,u~ heating current to the thermionic emitter 22. The Deflection X1, X2, Y1, Y2 lines provide current 20 drive signals to the magnetic beam deflection coils.
As discussed above with respect to FI~URE 1, the apparatus 10 includes beam generation and ~ ." ~ to generate and accelerate electrons, prior to those electrons entering the probe 14. The generated electron beam then flows25 through probe 14, impacts the target 26b, and thereby produces x-rays. In the absence of magnetic fields, the electrons flowing through the probe 14 follow a straight-line trajectory. l~ ly, the probe 14 is typically rigid without any bends.
However, in certain medical ~ .."~ it is beneflcial to use a flexible 30 probe. One such application involves threading the x-ray source down an existing pathway, such as the trachea. Another such application involves ~ .llg the x-raysource around critical structures, such as a ner~es or blood vessels.

WO 9S1202 i l 1 ~
2-1;8 1~ ~;9 FIGURE 20A shows a diagram of apparatns 200 including a flexible probe 214. The apparatus 200 includes a high voltage network 218, a laser source 220, a probe assembly 214, and a target assembly 226. According to one aspect of the invention, the apparatus 200 provides the required flexibility, without using strong S magnetic fields, by locating electron generating and ~ t~ in the target assembly 226. The probe assembly 214 couples both the laser source 220 and the high voltage network 218 to the target assembly 226. The probe assembly includesflexible flber optical cable 202 enclosed in a small-diameter flexible metallic tube 20~.
The target assembly 226, which can be for example 1- to 2- cm in length, extends from the end of the probe assembly 214 and includes a shell which encloses the target 228. According to one; b~ " ~, the target assembly æ6 is rigid im nature and generally cylindrical im shape. In this, b~ ' the cylindrical shell enclosing the target assembly can be considered to provide a housing for the electron beam source 15 as well as a tubular probe extending from the housing along the electron beam path.
The inner surface 226A of the assembly 226 is lined with an electrical insulator, while the external surfaoe 226b of the assembly 226 is electrically conductive. According to a preferred ~ ..,l.o,l;.. .,1, the target assembly is ~ sealed to the end of the probe assembly 214, and evacuated. According to another ~l~O~illl~,ll~, the entire probe 20 assembly 214 is evacuated.
The terminal end 202A of the flber optical cable 202 is preferably coated, over at least part of its area, with a ~ , , r~t~ 'lI;``;t~ substance such as, Ag-O-Cs, thus forlning a l.l...~... ,:l.-` i~ 216. A high voltage conductor 208, embedded in the fiber optical cable 202, conducts electrons to the cathode 216 from the high voltage network 218. Similarly, the flexible tube 204 couples a ground return from the target æ8 to the high voltage network 218, thereby . ~ v a high voltage field between the cathode 216 and the target 228. The fiber optical cable 202 acts as an insulating dielectric between the high voltage conductor 208 and the grounded flexible tube 204.

WO 95/202`11 ; " ~ U~; 1 `

In one r~ rl;",. ..; to eliminate absorption and scattering of the light out of the fiber optic cable 202 by the high voltage wire 208, the flber optic cable 202 can have an annular ~ r~ , as shown in cross-section in FIGIIRE 20B. The light from the laser 220 travels down the annular core 250 of the fiber optic cable 202.
Cladding 260 on each side of the core 250 has an index of refraction so as to refract the light bearn incident on the interface back into the core 250. A grounded flexible metal tube 204 surrounds the outer cladding 260.
As in previously described ~ ' . the target 228 can be for example, beryllium, ~Be~, coated on one side with a thin film or layer 228A of a high atomic number element, such as tungsten (W) or gold (Au).
In operation, the small s~ l laser æo shining down the fiber optical cable 202 activates the L~ h ,~ I-n~. 216 which generates free electrons 222. The high voltage field between the cathode 216 amd target 228 accelerates these electrons, thereby forcing them to strike the surface 228A of target 228 and produce x-rays. In order to generate, for example, 20 ~LA of cu~rent from an Ag-O-Cs l.l..,r... ~ 216 with a laser 220 emitting light at a ~va~ 611 of 0.8 ~Lm, the 0.4% quantum efficiency of this l' ' 216 for this ~rl~h,ll611l requires that the laser 220 emits 7.5 mW optical power. Such diode lasers are readily c~. - -. L~ -lly available. According to the invention, the l' ~. surface which forms cathode 216 can, in fact, be quite small. For exafnple, for a current density at the cathode 216 of 1 A/cm~, the ~ .. .,;llr~'s diameter need only be ~ 'y 50 ~m.
~r c~ lr~rs.tir)n of the free electrons 222 in a high voltage field of 30 to 50 kV may cause positive ions to be impact generated in the then fihm 228A of the target 228.
These ions will accelerate toward the l.ll..ll.l_~l.r~.1r 216 striking and possibly damaging its surface. As shown ~. l.. i. ~lly in FIGURE 22, in one .. 1.. ,.1;.. ,.. 1 to minifnize ion bull-brlL~llll~llL of the l.h~.l,.r-.l,f~rlr 216, a high electrical impedance (toroidal shell) 30 shield 217 is positioned in close proximity, and electrically coupled along its outer edge to the 1~ ;I.. -rl~ A small hole 217A in this shield 217 focusses the free electrons Wo 95/20241 ~ r.~
2~81793 æ2 and disperses then over the target æs. The returning ions impinge on the shield 217 instead of the l,t, ~ n-l~ 216.
One difficult fabrication aspect of tbis invention is the fabrication of tbe 5 1 ' : '- 216, which for practical substances, with reasonable quantum ~ Ti, ;.... ;.
above 10-3, should be performed in a vacuum. This procedure can be carried out with the fiber optical cable 202 positioned in a bell jar, where for example, an Ag-O-Cs 1,1...,..~ .. r~, ~ is fabricated in the ~:u~ ..iu~l manner. S~ ly, without exposure to air, the optical cable 202 can be inserted mto the tube 204 and the l,~. .lu~ lr 216 placed in contact with the shield 217. The end 202B can be vacuum sealed to the flexible tube 204.
In the above; ' ' , the probe 14 or 214, along with its associated target assembly 26, 126, or 226, can be coated with a 1, . ' outer layer, such as 15 titanium nitride on a sublayer of nickel. For additional 1,;..~ protection a sheath of, for example, pulyllletl~e can be fitted over the probe, such as that illustrated in FIGURE 2.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit 20 or essential . l --,.. t . ;`1;~ ` thereof. The present ....l.~,l -.,..,l~ are tberefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being irldicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing rl~s~rirtir~n and all changes which come within tbe meaning and range of ~4~iv_' y of the claims are tberefore intended to be embraced therein.

Claims (84)

1. An x-ray source comprising, A. a housing enclosing a beam generation means for generating an electron beam along a beam path, said beam generation means including an electron source;
B. an elongated tubular probe extending along a central axis from said housing and about said beam path;
C. a target assembly including a target element, wherein said target element being responsive to electronic incident thereon to emit x-rays, said target assembly including means for coupling said assembly to the end of said probe distal from said housing whereby said target assembly is positioned along said beam path; and D. a beam steering assembly, wherein said beam steering assembly includes:
i. deflection means for deflecting said beam from a nominal axis to an axis intersecting a selected surface region on said target element in response to a deflection control signal, ii. a feedback network including deflection sensing means for sensing said deflection of said beam and means for generating a feedback signal representative thereof, and iii. a deflection controller coupled to said deflection means and to said feedback network, and including means for generating said deflection control signal in response to said feedback signal.
2. An x-ray source according to claim 1 wherein said deflection sensing means includes x-ray sensing means for sensing x-ray emissions from said target element.
3. An x-ray source according to claim 2 wherein said x-ray sensing means is located proximate to said beam source.
4. An x-ray source according to claim 3 wherein at least a portion of said emitted x-rays propagate from said target assembly to said x-ray sensing means.
5. An x-ray source according to claim 3 wherein said electron beam source is positioned between said target element and said x-ray sensing means and at least a portion of said emitted x-rays propagate through said electron beam source to said x-ray sensing means.
6. An x-ray source according to claim 2 wherein said x-ray sensing means is located outside of said housing.
7. An x-ray source according to claim 2 wherein said feedback controller includes means for controlling said deflection for said beam, whereby said x-ray sensing means senses a maximum x-ray emission from said target element.
8. An x-ray source according to claim 1 wherein said beam steering assembly includes calibration means for periodically deflecting said beam along at least one predetermined directional axis to calibrate said deflection sensing means.
9. An x-ray source according to claim 8 wherein one of said boundaries is formed.
10. An x-ray source according to claim 1 wherein beam steering assembly includes means for deflecting said beam along at least one predetermined directional axis, and wherein said target assembly includes carrier means for supporting said target element, and wherein one or more boundaries are formed between said carrier means and said target element such that each of said boundaries define corresponding fiducial edges transverse to an associated one of said directional axes.
11. An x-ray source according to claim 10 wherein two of said boundaries are formed and said associated predetermined directional axes are mutually perpendicular.
12. An x-ray source according to claim 11, wherein said deflection means includes positioning means for controlling said beam to be incident on the center of said target, and includes:
i. means for sweeping said beam across said target in a first (x) direction orthogonal to said beam path and detecting fiducial edges in said sweep and in response thereto determining the x-direction reference point on said target between said detected fiducial edges, ii. means for sweeping said beam across said target in a second (y) direction, wherein said y direction is orthogonal to said x direction and said beam path and detecting fiducial edges in said sweep and in response thereto determining the y-direction reference point on said target between said detected fiducial edges, iii. means for generating said control signal to be representative of said x-direction mid-point and said y-direction reference point, and iv. means for applying said control signal to said deflection means whereby said beam is incident on a desired point on said target as viewed from said source.
13. An x-ray source according to claim 12 wherein said x-direction reference point is the mid-point along a line connecting said detected fiducial edges along said x-direction sweep, and said y-direction reference point is the mid-point along a line connecting said detected fiducial edges along said y-direction sweep.
14. An x-ray source according to claim 11 wherein said deflection means includes target acquisition means including:
i. means for controlling said beam to sweep in a raster scan pattern at said end of said probe distal from said housing, ii. identifying a scan in which said beam traverses said target element and detecting fiducial edges along said scan and in response thereto determining a first reference point along said identified scan.
15. An x-ray source according to claim 14 wherein said first reference point is the mid-point between two fiducial edges detected along said identified scan.
16. An x-ray source according to claim 15 further comprising:
i. means for generating said control signal to be representative of said first reference point, ii. means for applying said control signal to said deflecting means whereby said beam is positioned along a perpendicular bisector of a line connecting said fiducial edges of said identified scan, iii. means for sweeping said beam along a directional axis perpendicular to said line and detecting fiducial edges along said directional axis and in response thereto determining a second reference point along said directional axis between said detected fiducial edges, said second reference point being the mid-point along said directional axis between said detected fiducial edges, iv. means for generating said control signal to be representative of said first and second reference points, and v. means for applying said control signal to said deflection means whereby said beam is incident on the center of said target as viewed from said source.
17. An x-ray source according to claim 1 wherein said deflection controller is located in said housing.
18. An x-ray source according to claim 1 wherein said deflection controller is located outside of said housing.
19. An x-ray source according to claim 1 wherein said electron beam is characterized by a beam current and said electron beam source further includes controller means responsive to said x-ray sensing means for adjusting said beam current in response to sensed x-ray emissions from said target element.
20. An x-ray source comprising, A. a housing, enclosing a beam generation means for generating an electron beam along a beam path disposed along a beam axis, said beam generationmeans including an electron source;
B. an elongated tubular probe, extending along a central axis from said housing about said beam path; and C. a target assembly extending along said central axis and including means for coupling said target assembly to the end of said probe distal from said housing, said target assembly including:
(i) a target element having a first surface and being positioned in said beam path, wherein said target element being responsive to electrons incident on said first surface from said beam to emit x-rays, (ii) a probe tip assembly, including means for maintaining said first surface of said target element in said beam path, said probe tip assembly being substantially x-ray transparent and establishing an outer surface at a distal end of said probe; and (iii) a shield characterized by a selected transmission profile and positioned on said convex outer surface of said probe tip assembly for controlling the spatial distribution of isodose contours of said x-rays emitted from said source and passing through said probe tip assembly.
21. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein, said target assembly is removable from said elongated tubular probe.
22. An x-ray source according to claim 21 wherein said tubular probe and said target assembly includes an interfitting alignment means for aligning said target assembly with respect said tubular probe about their respective central axes.
23. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein, said probe tip assembly includes:
A. a target carrier element, having a first side adapted to support said target element, and having a second side opposite said first side, said second side being said outer surface.
B. a probe tip element positioned coaxially with and coupled to said target carrier element.
24. An x-ray source according to claim 23 wherein said target carrier element is substantially hemispherical, and said target carrier element is adapted to be positioned concentrically about said target element.
25. An x-ray source according to claim 23 wherein said target carrier element ismade from beryllium.
26. An x-ray source according to claim 23 wherein said target carrier and said probe tip element are press fit together.
27. An x-ray source according to claim 23 wherein said target carrier is cooled relative to said probe tip element, prior to said probe tip element being concentrically coupled over said target carrier element, and wherein said probe tip element and said target carrier element become clamped together due to thermal expansion of said target carrier element as said target carrier element and said probe tip element approach thermal equilibrium.
28. An x-ray source according to claim 23 wherein, said target carrier element and said probe tip element are integrally formed together.
29. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein, said target assembly includes a shield carrier element interposed between said outer surface of said probe tip assembly and said shield.
30. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein, said shield has a predetermined thickness profile.
31. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said first surface of said target element is concave in nature.
32. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said first surface of said target element is convex.
33. An x-ray source according to claim 32 wherein said target element is substantially hemispherical.
34. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said first surface of said target element is substantially flat and said target element is positioned such that said first surface is normal to said central axis.
35. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said target element is constructed from a high-atomic-number metal.
36. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said electron beam has a substantially circular transverse cross-section with a diameter d1 at said target element, and said target element has a maximum dimension d2 transverse to and measured through said beam axis at said target element, and wherein d2 is less than or equal to d1.
37. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said electron beam has a substantially circular transverse cross-section with a diameter d1 at said target element, and said target element has a minimum dimension d2 transverse to and measured through said beam axis at said target element, and wherein d2 is greater than or equal to d1.
38. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said shield has a substantially hemispherical surface facing said target element and wherein said target element has a maximum dimension d2 transverse to said beam axis at said target element and wherein the intersection of said beam axis with said target element is positioned a minimum distance d3 from said hemispherical surface of said shield, and d2/d3 is in the approximate range of 1/3 to 1/20.
39. An x-ray source according to claim 38 wherein said electron beam has a substantially circular cross-section with diameter d1 at said target element, and d1/d3 is in the approximate range of 1/3 to 1/20.
40. An x-ray source according to claim 39 wherein said first surface is concave.
41. An x-ray source according to claim 39 wherein said first surface is convex.
42. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said shield is electroplated onto said outer surface of said probe tip assembly and then laser milled to have a predetermined thickness profile to effect selected isodose contours of said x-rays emitted from said probe tip assembly.
43. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said shield is vapor deposited with a predetermined thickness profile onto said outer surface of said probe tip assembly.
44. An x-ray source according to claim 20 wherein said shield is electroplated onto said outer surface of said probe tip assembly and then machined to have a predetermined thickness profile.
45. A method for making a target assembly capable of operating in combination with an electron beam source to generate x-rays with a spatial distribution defined by predetermined isodose contours, said method comprising the steps of, A. forming a target element adapted to emit x-rays in response to incident electrons;
B. forming a probe tip assembly including means for maintaining said electron beam path so as to intersect said target element, wherein said probe tip assembly is substantially x-ray transparent and has an outer surface; and C. forming a shield characterized by a selected transmission profile and positioned on said outer surface of said probe tip assembly, wherein said shield is effective to establish at least in part said isodose contours.
46. A method according to claim 45 wherein step C comprises the further steps of electroplating the metal for fabricating said shield onto said outer surface of said probe tip assembly.
47. A method according to claim 46 including the further step of laser milling said shield to have a predetermined thickness profile to effect selected isodose contours.
48. A method according to claim 46 including the further step of machining said shield to have a predetermined thickness profile to effect selected isodose contours.
49. A method according to claim 45 wherein step C includes the further step of depositing said shield onto said convex outer surface of said probe tip assembly wherein said shield is deposited with a predetermined thickness profile and said thickness profile defines at least in part said isodose contours.
50. A method according to claim 45 wherein step C includes the further step of depositing said shield onto said convex outer surface of said probe tip assembly.
51. A method for making a target assembly according to claim 50 wherein said method includes the further step of laser milling said shield to have a predetermined thickness profile to effect selected isodose contours.
52. A method for making a target assembly according to claim 45 including the further step of determining said transmission profile using a computer determined model.
53. An x-ray source comprising:
A. a power supply, including a first terminal and a second terminal, and a drivemeans for establishing an output voltage between said first terminal and said second terminal, said output voltage having a peak value in the approximate range of 10 kv to 90 kv;
B. a flexible fiber optical cable assembly having an originating end and a terminating end, and including a fiber optical element extending from said originating end to said terminating end, and adapted for transmitting light incident on saidoriginating end to said terminating end;

C. a light source, including means for generating a beam of light at and directed to said originating end of said fiber optical assembly; and D. a target assembly, affixed to said terminating end of said fiber optical cable assembly, and electrically coupled to said power supply, by way of said first terminal and said second terminal and including means for emitting x-rays, in a predetermined spectral range, in response to light transmitted to said terminating end.
54. An x-ray source according to claim 53 wherein said light beam is substantially monochromatic.
55. An x-ray source according to claim 54 where said light source is a laser andwherein said beam is coherent.
56. An x-ray source according to claim 53, wherein said target assembly includes a photocathode having a photoemissive surface, said photocathode being positioned adjacent to said terminating end of said fiber optical element and being responsive to portions of said light beam incident thereon from said terminating end to emit electrons from said photoemissive surface.
57. An x-ray source according to claim 56, wherein said target assembly includes a target element spaced apart from and opposite said photoemissive surface, and including means for emitting x-rays in response to electrons incident on said target element from said photoemissive surface.
58. An x-ray source according to claim 57, wherein said first terminal of said power supply is electrically coupled to said photoemissive element and said second terminal of said power supply is electrically coupled to said target element, thereby establishing an electric field which acts to accelerate electrons emitted from said photoemissive surface toward said target element.
59. An x-ray source according to claim 58, wherein said second terminal is at ground potential.
60. An x-ray source according to claim 58, wherein said fiber optical cable assembly includes an electrical conductor located internal to said fiber optical element, and adapted for electrically coupling said first terminal of said power supply to said photocathode.
61. An x-ray source according to claim 60, wherein said fiber optical cable assembly includes an electrically conductive, flexible, outer sheath, said sheath being adapted for electrically coupling said second terminal of said power supply to said target assembly.
62. An x-ray source according to claim 61, wherein said target assembly includes an electrically conductive outer surface which couples between said sheath and said target element.
63. An x-ray source according to claim 61, wherein said target assembly is substantially rigid in nature and generally cylindrical in shape, and includes an electrically insulating inner surface, a first base end, and a second base end, wherein said first base end opposes said second base end along a longitudinal axis, and wherein said photocathode is positioned proximate to said first base end and said target element is positioned proximate to said second base end.
64. An x-ray source according to claim 63, wherein said target assembly includes means for sealing said target assembly to form a closed chamber defined by said inner surface, said first base end and said second base end.
65. An x-ray source according to claim 64, wherein said closed chamber is evacuated.
66. An x-ray source according to claim 56, wherein said photocathode is formed on said terminating end of said fiber optical element.
67. An x-ray source according to claim 66 wherein said target assembly includes a target element, spaced apart from said photocathode, and including means for emitting x-rays in response to incident electrons.
68. An x-ray source according to claim 67, wherein said first terminal of said power supply is electrically coupled to said photocathode and said second terminal of said power supply is electrically coupled to said target element, thereby establishing an electric field which acts to accelerate electrons emitted from said photoemissive surface toward said target element.
69. An x-ray source according to claim 68, wherein said second terminal is at ground potential.
70. An x-ray source according to claim 68, wherein said fiber optical cable assembly includes an electrical conductor located internal to said fiber optical element and adapted for coupling said first terminal of said power supply to said photocathode.
71. An x-ray source according to claim 70, wherein said fiber optical cable assembly includes an electrically conductive, flexible, outer sheath, said sheath being adapted for coupling said second terminal of said power supply to said target assembly.
72. An x-ray source according to claim 71, wherein said target assembly includes and electrically conductive outer surface which couples said sheath to said target element.
73. An x-ray source according to claim 72, wherein said target assembly is substantially rigid in nature and generally cylindrical in shape, and includes an electrically insulating inner surface, a first base end, and a second base end, wherein said first base end opposes said second base end along a longitudinal axis, and wherein said photocathode is positioned proximate to said first base end, and said target element is positioned proximate to said second base end.
74. An x-ray source according to claim 53, wherein said power supply further includes selectively operable control means for selectively controlling the amplitude of said output voltage.
75. An x-ray source according to claim 57, wherein said electrons incident on said target element from said photoemissive element form a beam characterized by a current in the approximate range of 1 nA to 100 A.
76. An x-ray source according to claim 58, wherein said electrons incident on said target element from said photoemissive surface are accelerated by said electric field to energies in the approximate range of 10 keV to 90 keV.
77. An x-ray source according to claim 53, wherein said fiber optical cable assembly further comprises:
A. an electrically conductive cable, wherein said fiber optical element is concentrically disposed around said electrically conductive cable; and B. an electrically conductive outer shell, concentrically disposed around said fiber optical element.
78. An x-ray source according to claim 57 wherein said fiber optical cable assembly further comprises a first cladding shell, said first cladding shell having an index of refraction less than the index of refraction of said optically transmissive core and being concentrically disposed between said electrically conductive cable and said fiber optical element.
79. An x-ray source according to claim 78 wherein said fiber optical cable assembly further comprises a second cladding shell, said second cladding shell having an index of refraction less than the index of refraction of said optically transmissive core and being concentrically disposed between said fiber optical element and said electrically conductive outer shell.
80. An x-ray source according to claim 57 further comprising a toroidal shell shield element adjacent to said photocathode, said shield element defining a central aperture permitting the passage therethrough of certain of said emitted electrons to said target element and blocking certain of the remainder of said emitted electrons.
81. An x-ray source according to claim 80 wherein said shield element is an electrical high impedance material.
82. A fiber optic cable assembly comprising:
A. an electrically conductive cable;
B. an optically transmissive core, said core being concentrically disposed around said electrically conductive cable; and C. an electrically conductive outer shell, concentrically disposed around said optically transmissive core.
83. A fiber optic cable assembly according to claim 82 wherein said assembly further comprises a first cladding shell, said first cladding shell having an index of refraction less than the index of refraction of said optically transmissive core and being concentrically disposed between said electrically conductive cable and said optically transmissive core.
84. A fiber optic cable assembly according to claim 83 wherein said assembly further comprises a second cladding shell, said second cladding shell having an index of refraction less than the index of refraction of said optically transmissive core and being concentrically disposed between said optically transmissive core and said electrically conductive outer shell.
CA 2181799 1990-09-05 1995-01-19 X-ray source with shaped radiation pattern Abandoned CA2181799A1 (en)

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US08/184,271 1994-01-21
US08184271 US5422926A (en) 1990-09-05 1994-01-21 X-ray source with shaped radiation pattern
US08/184,021 1994-01-21
US08184296 US5428658A (en) 1994-01-21 1994-01-21 X-ray source with flexible probe
US08/184,296 1994-01-21
US08184021 US5442678A (en) 1990-09-05 1994-01-21 X-ray source with improved beam steering

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JP (1) JP3110463B2 (en)
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DE (2) DE69531855T2 (en)
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US5428658A (en) 1995-06-27 grant
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EP0869534A2 (en) 1998-10-07 application
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EP0871198A2 (en) 1998-10-14 application
US5422926A (en) 1995-06-06 grant
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EP0740847B1 (en) 2003-10-01 grant
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CN1144015A (en) 1997-02-26 application
EP0740847A1 (en) 1996-11-06 application
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RU2155413C2 (en) 2000-08-27 grant

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