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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Verification of intensity modulated radiation therapy beams using a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator dosimetry system Petric, Martin Peter


This thesis describes the development and implementation of a novel method for the dosimetric verification of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) fields with several advantages over current techniques. Through the use of a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator sheet viewed by a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, this method provides a truly tissue equivalent dosimetry system capable of efficiently and accurately performing field-by-field verification of IMRT plans. This work was motivated by an initial study comparing two IMRT treatment planning systems. The clinical functionality of BrainLAB’s BrainSCAN and Varian’s Helios IMRT treatment planning systems were compared in terms of implementation and commissioning, dose optimization, and plan assessment. Implementation and commissioning revealed differences in the beam data required to characterize the beam prior to use with the BrainSCAN system requiring higher resolution data compared to Helios. This difference was found to impact on the ability of the systems to accurately calculate dose for highly modulated fields, with BrainSCAN being more successful than Helios. The dose optimization and plan assessment comparisons revealed that while both systems use considerably different optimization algorithms and user-control interfaces, they are both capable of producing substantially equivalent dose plans. The extensive use of dosimetric verification techniques in the IMRT treatment planning comparison study motivated the development and implementation of a novel IMRT dosimetric verification system. The system consists of a water-filled phantom with a tissue equivalent plastic scintillator sheet built into the top surface. Scintillation light is reflected by a plastic mirror within the phantom towards a viewing window where it is captured using a CCD camera. Optical photon spread is removed using a micro-louvre optical collimator and by deconvolving a glare kernel from the raw images. Characterization of this new dosimetric verification system indicates excellent dose response and spatial linearity, high spatial resolution, and good signal uniformity and reproducibility. Dosimetric results from square fields, dynamic wedged fields, and a 7-field head and neck IMRT treatment plan indicate good agreement with film dosimetry distributions. Efficiency analysis of the system reveals a 50% reduction in time requirements for field-by-field verification of a 7-field IMRT treatment plan compared to film dosimetry.

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