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

Title: TU-FG-201-01: 18-Month Clinical Experience of a Linac Daily Quality Assurance (QA) Solution Using Only EPID and OBI

Abstract

Purpose: To describe the clinical use of a Linear Accelerator (Linac) DailyQA system with only EPID and OBI. To assess the reliability over an 18-month period and improve the robustness of this system based on QA failure analysis. Methods: A DailyQA solution utilizing an in-house designed phantom, combined EPID and OBI image acquisitions, and a web-based data analysis and reporting system was commissioned and used in our clinic to measure geometric, dosimetry and imaging components of a Varian Truebeam Linac. During an 18-month period (335 working days), the Daily QA results, including the output constancy, beam flatness and symmetry, uniformity, TPR20/10, MV and KV imaging quality, were collected and analyzed. For output constancy measurement, an independent monthly QA system with an ionization chamber (IC) and annual/incidental TG51 measurements with ADCL IC were performed and cross-compared to Daily QA system. Thorough analyses were performed on the recorded QA failures to evaluate the machine performance, optimize the data analysis algorithm, adjust the tolerance setting and improve the training procedure to prevent future failures. Results: A clinical workflow including beam delivery, data analysis, QA report generation and physics approval was established and optimized to suit daily clinical operation. The output tests over themore » 335 working day period cross-correlated with the monthly QA system within 1.3% and TG51 results within 1%. QA passed with one attempt on 236 days out of 335 days. Based on the QA failures analysis, the Gamma criteria is revised from (1%, 1mm) to (2%, 1mm) considering both QA accuracy and efficiency. Data analysis algorithm is improved to handle multiple entries for a repeating test. Conclusion: We described our 18-month clinical experience on a novel DailyQA system using only EPID and OBI. The long term data presented demonstrated the system is suitable and reliable for Linac daily QA.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22653984
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:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; BIOMEDICAL RADIOGRAPHY; DATA ANALYSIS; IMAGES; IONIZATION CHAMBERS; LINEAR ACCELERATORS; PERFORMANCE; QUALITY ASSURANCE

Citation Formats

Cai, B, Sun, B, Yaddanapudi, S, Goddu, S, Li, H, Caruthers, D, Kavanaugh, J, and Mutic, S. TU-FG-201-01: 18-Month Clinical Experience of a Linac Daily Quality Assurance (QA) Solution Using Only EPID and OBI. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4957524.
Cai, B, Sun, B, Yaddanapudi, S, Goddu, S, Li, H, Caruthers, D, Kavanaugh, J, & Mutic, S. TU-FG-201-01: 18-Month Clinical Experience of a Linac Daily Quality Assurance (QA) Solution Using Only EPID and OBI. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4957524.
Cai, B, Sun, B, Yaddanapudi, S, Goddu, S, Li, H, Caruthers, D, Kavanaugh, J, and Mutic, S. 2016. "TU-FG-201-01: 18-Month Clinical Experience of a Linac Daily Quality Assurance (QA) Solution Using Only EPID and OBI". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4957524.
@article{osti_22653984,
title = {TU-FG-201-01: 18-Month Clinical Experience of a Linac Daily Quality Assurance (QA) Solution Using Only EPID and OBI},
author = {Cai, B and Sun, B and Yaddanapudi, S and Goddu, S and Li, H and Caruthers, D and Kavanaugh, J and Mutic, S},
abstractNote = {Purpose: To describe the clinical use of a Linear Accelerator (Linac) DailyQA system with only EPID and OBI. To assess the reliability over an 18-month period and improve the robustness of this system based on QA failure analysis. Methods: A DailyQA solution utilizing an in-house designed phantom, combined EPID and OBI image acquisitions, and a web-based data analysis and reporting system was commissioned and used in our clinic to measure geometric, dosimetry and imaging components of a Varian Truebeam Linac. During an 18-month period (335 working days), the Daily QA results, including the output constancy, beam flatness and symmetry, uniformity, TPR20/10, MV and KV imaging quality, were collected and analyzed. For output constancy measurement, an independent monthly QA system with an ionization chamber (IC) and annual/incidental TG51 measurements with ADCL IC were performed and cross-compared to Daily QA system. Thorough analyses were performed on the recorded QA failures to evaluate the machine performance, optimize the data analysis algorithm, adjust the tolerance setting and improve the training procedure to prevent future failures. Results: A clinical workflow including beam delivery, data analysis, QA report generation and physics approval was established and optimized to suit daily clinical operation. The output tests over the 335 working day period cross-correlated with the monthly QA system within 1.3% and TG51 results within 1%. QA passed with one attempt on 236 days out of 335 days. Based on the QA failures analysis, the Gamma criteria is revised from (1%, 1mm) to (2%, 1mm) considering both QA accuracy and efficiency. Data analysis algorithm is improved to handle multiple entries for a repeating test. Conclusion: We described our 18-month clinical experience on a novel DailyQA system using only EPID and OBI. The long term data presented demonstrated the system is suitable and reliable for Linac daily QA.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4957524},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 43,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 6
}
  • Purpose: As treatment delivery becomes more complex, there is a pressing need for robust quality assurance (QA) tools to improve efficiency and comprehensiveness while simultaneously maintaining high accuracy and sensitivity. This work aims to present the hardware and software tools developed for comprehensive QA of linear accelerator (LINAC) using only electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) and kV flat panel detectors. Methods: A daily QA phantom, which includes two orthogonally positioned phantoms for QA of MV-beams and kV onboard imaging (OBI) is suspended from the gantry accessory holder to test both geometric and dosimetric components of a LINAC and an OBI.more » The MV component consists of a 0.5 cm water-equivalent plastic sheet incorporating 11 circular steel plugs for transmission measurements through multiple thicknesses and one resolution plug for MV-image quality testing. The kV-phantom consists of a Leeds phantom (TOR-18 FG phantom supplied by Varian) for testing low and high contrast resolutions. In the developed process, the existing LINAC tools were used to automate daily acquisition of MV and kV images and software tools were developed for simultaneous analysis of these images. A method was developed to derive and evaluate traditional QA parameters from these images [output, flatness, symmetry, uniformity, TPR{sub 20/10}, and positional accuracy of the jaws and multileaf collimators (MLCs)]. The EPID-based daily QA tools were validated by performing measurements on a detuned 6 MV beam to test its effectiveness in detecting errors in output, symmetry, energy, and MLC positions. The developed QA process was clinically commissioned, implemented, and evaluated on a Varian TrueBeam LINAC (Varian Medical System, Palo Alto, CA) over a period of three months. Results: Machine output constancy measured with an EPID (as compared against a calibrated ion-chamber) is shown to be within ±0.5%. Beam symmetry and flatness deviations measured using an EPID and a 2D ion-chamber array agree within ±0.5% and ±1.2% for crossline and inline profiles, respectively. MLC position errors of 0.5 mm can be detected using a picket fence test. The field size and phantom positioning accuracy can be determined within 0.5 mm. The entire daily QA process takes ∼15 min to perform tests for 5 photon beams, MLC tests, and imaging checks. Conclusions: The exclusive use of EPID-based QA tools, including a QA phantom and simultaneous analysis software tools, has been demonstrated as a viable, efficient, and comprehensive process for daily evaluation of LINAC performance.« less
  • Purpose: To investigate the use of EPID transit dosimetry for monitoring daily dose variations in radiation treatment delivery. Methods: A patient with head and neck cancer treated using nine field IMRT beams was used in this study. The prescription was 45 Gy in 25 fractions. A KV CBCT was acquired before each treatment on a Varian NTX linear accelerator. Integrated images using MV EPID were acquired for each treatment beam. Planning CT images, treatment plan, and daily integrated images were imported into a commercial QA software Dosimetry Check (v4r4 Math Resolutions, LLC, Columbia, MD) to calculate 3D dose of themore » day assuming 25 fractions treatment. Planning CT images were deformed and registered to each daily CBCT using Varian SmartAdapt (v11.MR2). ROIs were then propagated from planning CT to daily CBCT. The correlation between maximum, average dose of ROIs and ROI volume, center of mass shift, Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) were investigated. Results: Not all parameters investigated showed strong correlations. For PTV and CTV, the average dose has inverse correlation with their volume change (correlation coefficient −0.52, −0.50, respectively) and DSC (−0.59, −0.59, respectively). The average dose of right parotid has correlation with its volume change (0.56). The maximum dose of spinal cord has correlation with the center of mass superior-inferior shift (0.52) and inverse correlation with the center of mass anterior-posterior shift (−0.73). Conclusion: Transit dosimetry using EPID images collected during treatment delivery offers great potential to monitor daily dose variations due to patient anatomy change, motion, and setup errors in radiation treatment delivery. It can provide a patient-specific QA tool valuable for adaptive radiation therapy. Further work is needed to validate the technique.« less
  • Amorphous silicon based electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) have been shown to be a good alternative to radiographic film for routine quality assurance (QA) of multileaf collimator (MLC) positioning accuracy. In this work, we present a method of acquiring an EPID image of a traditional strip-test image using analytical fits of the interleaf and leaf abutment image signatures. After exposure, the EPID image pixel values are divided by an open field image to remove EPID response and radiation field variations. Profiles acquired in the direction orthogonal to the leaf motion exhibit small peaks caused by interleaf leakage. Gaussian profiles aremore » fitted to the interleaf leakage peaks, the results of which are, using multiobjective optimization, used to calculate the image rotational angle with respect to the collimator axis of rotation. The relative angle is used to rotate the image to align the MLC leaf travel to the image pixel axes. The leaf abutments also present peaks that are fitted by heuristic functions, in this case modified Lorentzian functions. The parameters of the Lorentzian functions are used to parameterize the leaf gap width and positions. By imaging a set of MLC fields with varying gaps forming symmetric and asymmetric abutments, calibration curves with regard to relative peak height (RPH) versus nominal gap width are obtained. Based on this calibration data, the individual leaf positions are calculated to compare with the nominal programmed positions. The results demonstrate that the collimator rotation angle can be determined as accurate as 0.01 deg. . A change in MLC gap width of 0.2 mm leads to a change in RPH of about 10%. For asymmetrically produced gaps, a 0.2 mm MLC leaf gap width change causes 0.2 pixel peak position change. Subpixel resolution is obtained by using a parameterized fit of the relatively large abutment peaks. By contrast, for symmetrical gap changes, the peak position remains unchanged with a standard deviation of 0.05 pixels, or 0.026 mm. A trial run of 36 test images, each with gap widths varying from 0.4 to 1.4 mm, were used to analyze 8640 abutments. The leaf position variations were detected with a precision of 0.1 mm at a 95% confidence level, with a mean of 0.04 mm and a standard deviation of 0.03 mm. The proposed method is robust and minimizes the effect of image noise and pixel size and may help physicists to establish reliable and reasonable action levels in routine MLC QA.« less
  • Purpose: A patient-specific quality assurance (QA) method was developed to verify gantry-specific individual multileaf collimator (MLC) apertures (control points) in volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans using an electronic portal imaging device (EPID). Methods: VMAT treatment plans were generated in an Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS). DICOM images from a Varian EPID (aS1000) acquired in continuous acquisition mode were used for pretreatment QA. Each cine image file contains the grayscale image of the MLC aperture related to its specific control point and the corresponding gantry angle information. The TPS MLC file of this RapidArc plan contains the leaf positions formore » all 177 control points (gantry angles). In-house software was developed that interpolates the measured images based on the gantry angle and overlays them with the MLC pattern for all control points. The 38% isointensity line was used to define the edge of the MLC leaves on the portal images. The software generates graphs and tables that provide analysis for the number of mismatched leaf positions for a chosen distance to agreement at each control point and the frequency in which each particular leaf mismatches for the entire arc. Results: Seven patients plans were analyzed using this method. The leaves with the highest mismatched rate were found to be treatment plan dependent. Conclusions: This in-house software can be used to automatically verify the MLC leaf positions for all control points of VMAT plans using cine images acquired by an EPID.« less
  • Purpose: This work uses repeat images of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) fields to quantify fluence anomalies (i.e., delivery errors) that can be reliably detected in electronic portal images used for IMRT pretreatment quality assurance. Methods: Repeat images of 11 clinical IMRT fields are acquired on a Varian Trilogy linear accelerator at energies of 6 MV and 18 MV. Acquired images are corrected for output variations and registered to minimize the impact of linear accelerator and electronic portal imaging device (EPID) positioning deviations. Detection studies are performed in which rectangular anomalies of various sizes are inserted into the images. Themore » performance of detection strategies based on pixel intensity deviations (PIDs) and gamma indices is evaluated using receiver operating characteristic analysis. Results: Residual differences between registered images are due to interfraction positional deviations of jaws and multileaf collimator leaves, plus imager noise. Positional deviations produce large intensity differences that degrade anomaly detection. Gradient effects are suppressed in PIDs using gradient scaling. Background noise is suppressed using median filtering. In the majority of images, PID-based detection strategies can reliably detect fluence anomalies of {>=}5% in {approx}1 mm{sup 2} areas and {>=}2% in {approx}20 mm{sup 2} areas. Conclusions: The ability to detect small dose differences ({<=}2%) depends strongly on the level of background noise. This in turn depends on the accuracy of image registration, the quality of the reference image, and field properties. The longer term aim of this work is to develop accurate and reliable methods of detecting IMRT delivery errors and variations. The ability to resolve small anomalies will allow the accuracy of advanced treatment techniques, such as image guided, adaptive, and arc therapies, to be quantified.« less