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Title: Quantitative assessment of the accuracy of dose calculation using pencil beam and Monte Carlo algorithms and requirements for clinical quality assurance

To compare the doses calculated using the BrainLAB pencil beam (PB) and Monte Carlo (MC) algorithms for tumors located in various sites including the lung and evaluate quality assurance procedures required for the verification of the accuracy of dose calculation. The dose-calculation accuracy of PB and MC was also assessed quantitatively with measurement using ionization chamber and Gafchromic films placed in solid water and heterogeneous phantoms. The dose was calculated using PB convolution and MC algorithms in the iPlan treatment planning system from BrainLAB. The dose calculation was performed on the patient's computed tomography images with lesions in various treatment sites including 5 lungs, 5 prostates, 4 brains, 2 head and necks, and 2 paraspinal tissues. A combination of conventional, conformal, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy plans was used in dose calculation. The leaf sequence from intensity-modulated radiation therapy plans or beam shapes from conformal plans and monitor units and other planning parameters calculated by the PB were identical for calculating dose with MC. Heterogeneity correction was considered in both PB and MC dose calculations. Dose-volume parameters such as V95 (volume covered by 95% of prescription dose), dose distributions, and gamma analysis were used to evaluate the calculated dose by PBmore » and MC. The measured doses by ionization chamber and EBT GAFCHROMIC film in solid water and heterogeneous phantoms were used to quantitatively asses the accuracy of dose calculated by PB and MC. The dose-volume histograms and dose distributions calculated by PB and MC in the brain, prostate, paraspinal, and head and neck were in good agreement with one another (within 5%) and provided acceptable planning target volume coverage. However, dose distributions of the patients with lung cancer had large discrepancies. For a plan optimized with PB, the dose coverage was shown as clinically acceptable, whereas in reality, the MC showed a systematic lack of dose coverage. The dose calculated by PB for lung tumors was overestimated by up to 40%. An interesting feature that was observed is that despite large discrepancies in dose-volume histogram coverage of the planning target volume between PB and MC, the point doses at the isocenter (center of the lesions) calculated by both algorithms were within 7% even for lung cases. The dose distributions measured with EBT GAFCHROMIC films in heterogeneous phantoms showed large discrepancies of nearly 15% lower than PB at interfaces between heterogeneous media, where these lower doses measured by the film were in agreement with those by MC. The doses (V95) calculated by MC and PB agreed within 5% for treatment sites with small tissue heterogeneities such as the prostate, brain, head and neck, and paraspinal tumors. Considerable discrepancies, up to 40%, were observed in the dose-volume coverage between MC and PB in lung tumors, which may affect clinical outcomes. The discrepancies between MC and PB increased for 15 MV compared with 6 MV indicating the importance of implementation of accurate clinical treatment planning such as MC. The comparison of point doses is not representative of the discrepancies in dose coverage and might be misleading in evaluating the accuracy of dose calculation between PB and MC. Thus, the clinical quality assurance procedures required to verify the accuracy of dose calculation using PB and MC need to consider measurements of 2- and 3-dimensional dose distributions rather than a single point measurement using heterogeneous phantoms instead of homogenous water-equivalent phantoms.« less
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Dosimetry; Journal Volume: 38; Journal Issue: 3; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States