This work reports the results of the application of a practical method to determine the in vivo dose at the isocenter point, Diso, of brain thorax and pelvic treatments using a transit signal St. The use of a stable detector for the measurement of the signal St (obtained by the x-ray beam transmitted through the patient) reduces many of the disadvantages associated with the use of solid-state detectors positioned on the patient as their periodic recalibration, and their positioning is time consuming. The method makes use of a set of correlation functions, obtained by the ratio between St and the mid-plane dose value, Dm, in standard water-equivalent phantoms, both determined along the beam central axis. The in vivo measurement of Diso required the determination of the water-equivalent thickness of the patient along the beam central axis by the treatment planning system that uses the electron densities supplied by calibrated Hounsfield numbers of the computed tomography scanner. This way it is, therefore, possible to compare Diso with the stated doses, D iso,TPS, generally used by the treatment planning system for the determination of the monitor units. The method was applied in five Italian centers that used beams of 6 MV, 10 MV, 15 MV x-rays and 60Co γ-rays. In particular, in four centers small ion-chambers were positioned below the patient and used for the St measurement. In only one center, the St signals were obtained directly by the central pixels of an EPID (electronic portal imaging device) equipped with commercial software that enabled its use as a stable detector. In the four centers where an ion-chamber was positioned on the EPID, 60 pelvic treatments were followed for two fields, an anterior-posterior or a posterior-anterior irradiation and a lateral-lateral irradiation. Moreover, ten brain tumors were checked for a lateral-lateral irradiation, and five lung tumors carried out with three irradiations with different gantry angles were followed. One center used the EPID as a detector for the St measurement and five pelvic treatments with six fields (many with oblique incidence) were followed. These last results are reported together with those obtained in the same center during a pilot study on ten pelvic treatments carried out by four orthogonal fields. The tolerance/action levels for every radiotherapy fraction were 4% and 5% for the brain (symmetric inhomogeneities) and thorax/pelvic (asymmetric inhomogeneities) irradiations, respectively. This way the variations between the total measured and prescribed doses at the isocenter point in five fractions were well within 2% for the brain treatment, and 4% for thorax/pelvic treatments. Only 4 out of 90 patients needed new replanning, 2 patients of which needed a new CT scan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology