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Portal scatter to primary dose ratio of 4 to 18 MV photon spectra incident on heterogeneous phantoms Ozard, Siobhan R.

Abstract

Electronic portal imagers designed and used to verify the positioning of a cancer patient undergoing radiation treatment can also be employed to measure the in vivo dose received by the patient. This thesis investigates the ratio of the dose from patient-scattered particles to the dose from primary (unscattered) photons at the imaging plane, called the scatter to primary dose ratio (SPR). The composition of the SPR according to the origin of scatter is analyzed more thoroughly than in previous studies. A new analytical method for calculating the SPR is developed and experimentally verified for heterogeneous phantoms. A novel technique that applies the analytical SPR method for in vivo dosimetry with a portal imager is evaluated. Monte Carlo simulation was used to determine the imager dose from patient-generated electrons and photons that scatter one or more times within the object. The database of SPRs reported from this investigation is new since the contribution from patientgenerated electrons was neglected by previous Monte Carlo studies. The SPR from patient-generated electrons was found here to be as large as 0.03. The analytical SPR method relies on the established result that the scatter dose is uniform for an air gap between the patient and the imager that is greater than 50 cm. This method also applies the hypothesis that first-order Compton scatter only, is sufficient for scatter estimation. A comparison of analytical and measured SPRs for neck, thorax, and pelvis phantoms showed that the maximum difference was within ±0.03, and the mean difference was less than ±0.01 for most cases. This accuracy was comparable to similar analytical approaches that are limited to homogeneous phantoms. The analytical SPR method could replace lookup tables of measured scatter doses that can require significant time to measure. In vivo doses were calculated by combining our analytical SPR method and the convolution/ superposition algorithm. Our calculated in vivo doses agreed within ± 3% with the doses measured in the phantom. The present in vivo method was faster compared to other techniques that use convolution/superposition. Our method is a feasible and satisfactory approach that contributes to on-line patient dose monitoring.

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