skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: SU-F-T-310: Does a Head-Mounted Ionization Chamber Detect IMRT Errors?

Abstract

Purpose: The conventional plan verification strategy is delivering a plan to a QA-phantom before the first treatment. Monitoring each fraction of the patient treatment in real-time would improve patient safety. We evaluated how well a new detector, the IQM (iRT Systems, Germany), is capable of detecting errors we induced into IMRT plans of three different treatment regions. Results were compared to an established phantom. Methods: Clinical plans of a brain, prostate and head-and-neck patient were modified in the Pinnacle planning system, such that they resulted in either several percent lower prescribed doses to the target volume or several percent higher doses to relevant organs at risk. Unaltered plans were measured on three days, modified plans once, each with the IQM at an Elekta Synergy with an Agility MLC. All plans were also measured with the ArcCHECK with the cavity plug and a PTW semiflex 31010 ionization chamber inserted. Measurements were evaluated with SNC patient software. Results: Repeated IQM measurements of the original plans were reproducible, such that a 1% deviation from the mean as warning and 3% as action level as suggested by the manufacturer seemed reasonable. The IQM detected most of the simulated errors including wrong energy, a faultymore » leaf, wrong trial exported and a 2 mm shift of one leaf bank. Detection limits were reached for two plans - a 2 mm field position error and a leaf bank offset combined with an MU change. ArcCHECK evaluation according to our current standards also left undetected errors. Ionization chamber evaluation alone would leave most errors undetected. Conclusion: The IQM detected most errors and performed as well as currently established phantoms with the advantage that it can be used throughout the whole treatment. Drawback is that it does not indicate the source of the error.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22648917
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 43; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2016 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; 61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; COMPUTER CODES; ERRORS; IONIZATION CHAMBERS; PATIENTS; PLANNING; RADIOTHERAPY

Citation Formats

Wegener, S, Herzog, B, and Sauer, O. SU-F-T-310: Does a Head-Mounted Ionization Chamber Detect IMRT Errors?. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4956495.
Wegener, S, Herzog, B, & Sauer, O. SU-F-T-310: Does a Head-Mounted Ionization Chamber Detect IMRT Errors?. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4956495.
Wegener, S, Herzog, B, and Sauer, O. 2016. "SU-F-T-310: Does a Head-Mounted Ionization Chamber Detect IMRT Errors?". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4956495.
@article{osti_22648917,
title = {SU-F-T-310: Does a Head-Mounted Ionization Chamber Detect IMRT Errors?},
author = {Wegener, S and Herzog, B and Sauer, O},
abstractNote = {Purpose: The conventional plan verification strategy is delivering a plan to a QA-phantom before the first treatment. Monitoring each fraction of the patient treatment in real-time would improve patient safety. We evaluated how well a new detector, the IQM (iRT Systems, Germany), is capable of detecting errors we induced into IMRT plans of three different treatment regions. Results were compared to an established phantom. Methods: Clinical plans of a brain, prostate and head-and-neck patient were modified in the Pinnacle planning system, such that they resulted in either several percent lower prescribed doses to the target volume or several percent higher doses to relevant organs at risk. Unaltered plans were measured on three days, modified plans once, each with the IQM at an Elekta Synergy with an Agility MLC. All plans were also measured with the ArcCHECK with the cavity plug and a PTW semiflex 31010 ionization chamber inserted. Measurements were evaluated with SNC patient software. Results: Repeated IQM measurements of the original plans were reproducible, such that a 1% deviation from the mean as warning and 3% as action level as suggested by the manufacturer seemed reasonable. The IQM detected most of the simulated errors including wrong energy, a faulty leaf, wrong trial exported and a 2 mm shift of one leaf bank. Detection limits were reached for two plans - a 2 mm field position error and a leaf bank offset combined with an MU change. ArcCHECK evaluation according to our current standards also left undetected errors. Ionization chamber evaluation alone would leave most errors undetected. Conclusion: The IQM detected most errors and performed as well as currently established phantoms with the advantage that it can be used throughout the whole treatment. Drawback is that it does not indicate the source of the error.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4956495},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • The purpose of this study is to evaluate dose prediction errors (DPEs) and optimization convergence errors (OCEs) resulting from use of a superposition/convolution dose calculation algorithm in deliverable intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) optimization for head-and-neck (HN) patients. Thirteen HN IMRT patient plans were retrospectively reoptimized. The IMRT optimization was performed in three sequential steps: (1) fast optimization in which an initial nondeliverable IMRT solution was achieved and then converted to multileaf collimator (MLC) leaf sequences; (2) mixed deliverable optimization that used a Monte Carlo (MC) algorithm to account for the incident photon fluence modulation by the MLC, whereas a superposition/convolutionmore » (SC) dose calculation algorithm was utilized for the patient dose calculations; and (3) MC deliverable-based optimization in which both fluence and patient dose calculations were performed with a MC algorithm. DPEs of the mixed method were quantified by evaluating the differences between the mixed optimization SC dose result and a MC dose recalculation of the mixed optimization solution. OCEs of the mixed method were quantified by evaluating the differences between the MC recalculation of the mixed optimization solution and the final MC optimization solution. The results were analyzed through dose volume indices derived from the cumulative dose-volume histograms for selected anatomic structures. Statistical equivalence tests were used to determine the significance of the DPEs and the OCEs. Furthermore, a correlation analysis between DPEs and OCEs was performed. The evaluated DPEs were within {+-}2.8% while the OCEs were within 5.5%, indicating that OCEs can be clinically significant even when DPEs are clinically insignificant. The full MC-dose-based optimization reduced normal tissue dose by as much as 8.5% compared with the mixed-method optimization results. The DPEs and the OCEs in the targets had correlation coefficients greater than 0.71, and there was no correlation for the organs at risk. Because full MC-based optimization results in lower normal tissue doses, this method proves advantageous for HN IMRT optimization.« less
  • Purpose: This study (1) examines a variety of real-world cases where systematic errors were not detected by widely accepted methods for IMRT/VMAT dosimetric accuracy evaluation, and (2) drills-down to identify failure modes and their corresponding means for detection, diagnosis, and mitigation. The primary goal of detailing these case studies is to explore different, more sensitive methods and metrics that could be used more effectively for evaluating accuracy of dose algorithms, delivery systems, and QA devices.Methods: The authors present seven real-world case studies representing a variety of combinations of the treatment planning system (TPS), linac, delivery modality, and systematic error type.more » These case studies are typical to what might be used as part of an IMRT or VMAT commissioning test suite, varying in complexity. Each case study is analyzed according to TG-119 instructions for gamma passing rates and action levels for per-beam and/or composite plan dosimetric QA. Then, each case study is analyzed in-depth with advanced diagnostic methods (dose profile examination, EPID-based measurements, dose difference pattern analysis, 3D measurement-guided dose reconstruction, and dose grid inspection) and more sensitive metrics (2% local normalization/2 mm DTA and estimated DVH comparisons).Results: For these case studies, the conventional 3%/3 mm gamma passing rates exceeded 99% for IMRT per-beam analyses and ranged from 93.9% to 100% for composite plan dose analysis, well above the TG-119 action levels of 90% and 88%, respectively. However, all cases had systematic errors that were detected only by using advanced diagnostic techniques and more sensitive metrics. The systematic errors caused variable but noteworthy impact, including estimated target dose coverage loss of up to 5.5% and local dose deviations up to 31.5%. Types of errors included TPS model settings, algorithm limitations, and modeling and alignment of QA phantoms in the TPS. Most of the errors were correctable after detection and diagnosis, and the uncorrectable errors provided useful information about system limitations, which is another key element of system commissioning.Conclusions: Many forms of relevant systematic errors can go undetected when the currently prevalent metrics for IMRT/VMAT commissioning are used. If alternative methods and metrics are used instead of (or in addition to) the conventional metrics, these errors are more likely to be detected, and only once they are detected can they be properly diagnosed and rooted out of the system. Removing systematic errors should be a goal not only of commissioning by the end users but also product validation by the manufacturers. For any systematic errors that cannot be removed, detecting and quantifying them is important as it will help the physicist understand the limits of the system and work with the manufacturer on improvements. In summary, IMRT and VMAT commissioning, along with product validation, would benefit from the retirement of the 3%/3 mm passing rates as a primary metric of performance, and the adoption instead of tighter tolerances, more diligent diagnostics, and more thorough analysis.« less
  • Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine dose delivery errors that could result from random and systematic setup errors for head-and-neck patients treated using the simultaneous integrated boost (SIB)-intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) technique. Methods and Materials: Twenty-four patients who participated in an intramural Phase I/II parotid-sparing IMRT dose-escalation protocol using the SIB treatment technique had their dose distributions reevaluated to assess the impact of random and systematic setup errors. The dosimetric effect of random setup error was simulated by convolving the two-dimensional fluence distribution of each beam with the random setup error probability density distribution. Random setup errorsmore » of {sigma} = 1, 3, and 5 mm were simulated. Systematic setup errors were simulated by randomly shifting the patient isocenter along each of the three Cartesian axes, with each shift selected from a normal distribution. Systematic setup error distributions with {sigma} = 1.5 and 3.0 mm along each axis were simulated. Combined systematic and random setup errors were simulated for {sigma} = {sigma} = 1.5 and 3.0 mm along each axis. For each dose calculation, the gross tumor volume (GTV) received by 98% of the volume (D{sub 98}), clinical target volume (CTV) D{sub 90}, nodes D{sub 90}, cord D{sub 2}, and parotid D{sub 50} and parotid mean dose were evaluated with respect to the plan used for treatment for the structure dose and for an effective planning target volume (PTV) with a 3-mm margin. Results: Simultaneous integrated boost-IMRT head-and-neck treatment plans were found to be less sensitive to random setup errors than to systematic setup errors. For random-only errors, errors exceeded 3% only when the random setup error {sigma} exceeded 3 mm. Simulated systematic setup errors with {sigma} = 1.5 mm resulted in approximately 10% of plan having more than a 3% dose error, whereas a {sigma} = 3.0 mm resulted in half of the plans having more than a 3% dose error and 28% with a 5% dose error. Combined random and systematic dose errors with {sigma} = {sigma} = 3.0 mm resulted in more than 50% of plans having at least a 3% dose error and 38% of the plans having at least a 5% dose error. Evaluation with respect to a 3-mm expanded PTV reduced the observed dose deviations greater than 5% for the {sigma} = {sigma} = 3.0 mm simulations to 5.4% of the plans simulated. Conclusions: Head-and-neck SIB-IMRT dosimetric accuracy would benefit from methods to reduce patient systematic setup errors. When GTV, CTV, or nodal volumes are used for dose evaluation, plans simulated including the effects of random and systematic errors deviate substantially from the nominal plan. The use of PTVs for dose evaluation in the nominal plan improves agreement with evaluated GTV, CTV, and nodal dose values under simulated setup errors. PTV concepts should be used for SIB-IMRT head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma patients, although the size of the margins may be less than those used with three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy.« less
  • Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) irradiation technique uses steep dose gradients to protect organs at risk (OAR) during treatment course. Therefore even small mistakes in patient positioning during treatment course may lead to significant changes in dose distribution. The influence of small errors (order of millimeters) in patient's positioning on resulting dose absorbed in OARs and target volume (PTV, GTV) was simulated in this work.
  • Purpose: To assess residual setup errors during head and neck radiation therapy and the resulting consequences for the delivered dose for various patient alignment procedures. Methods and Materials: Megavoltage cone beam computed tomography (MVCBCT) scans from 11 head and neck patients who underwent intensity modulated radiation therapy were used to assess setup errors. Each MVCBCT scan was registered to its reference planning kVCT, with seven different alignment procedures: automatic alignment and manual registration to 6 separate bony landmarks (sphenoid, left/right maxillary sinuses, mandible, cervical 1 [C1]-C2, and C7-thoracic 1 [T1] vertebrae). Shifts in the different alignments were compared with eachmore » other to determine whether there were any statistically significant differences. Then, the dose distribution was recalculated on 3 MVCBCT images per patient for every alignment procedure. The resulting dose-volume histograms for targets and organs at risk (OARs) were compared to those from the planning kVCTs. Results: The registration procedures produced statistically significant global differences in patient alignment and actual dose distribution, calling for a need for standardization of patient positioning. Vertically, the automatic, sphenoid, and maxillary sinuses alignments mainly generated posterior shifts and resulted in mean increases in maximal dose to OARs of >3% of the planned dose. The suggested choice of C1-C2 as a reference landmark appears valid, combining both OAR sparing and target coverage. Assuming this choice, relevant margins to apply around volumes of interest at the time of planning to take into account for the relative mobility of other regions are discussed. Conclusions: Use of different alignment procedures for treating head and neck patients produced variations in patient setup and dose distribution. With concern for standardizing practice, C1-C2 reference alignment with relevant margins around planning volumes seems to be a valid option.« less