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Nelms B.E.,Canis Lupus LLC | Chan M.F.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Jarry G.,HOpital Maisonneuve Rosemont | Lemire M.,HOpital Maisonneuve Rosemont | And 3 more authors.
Medical Physics | Year: 2013

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. 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. © 2013 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Source


Opp D.,Moffitt Cancer Center | Nelms B.E.,Canis Lupus LLC | Zhang G.,Moffitt Cancer Center | Stevens C.,Moffitt Cancer Center | Feygelman V.,Moffitt Cancer Center
Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics | Year: 2013

3DVH software (Sun Nuclear Corp., Melbourne, FL) is capable of generating a volumetric patient VMAT dose by applying a volumetric perturbation algorithm based on comparing measurement-guided dose reconstruction and TPS-calculated dose to a cylindrical phantom. The primary purpose of this paper is to validate this dose reconstruction on an anthropomorphic heterogeneous thoracic phantom by direct comparison to independent measurements. The dosimetric insert to the phantom is novel, and thus the secondary goal is to demonstrate how it can be used for the hidden target end-to-end testing of VMAT treatments in lung. A dosimetric insert contains a 4 cm diameter unit-density spherical target located inside the right lung (0.21 g/cm3 density). It has 26 slots arranged in two orthogonal directions, milled to hold optically stimulated luminescent dosimeters (OSLDs). Dose profiles in three cardinal orthogonal directions were obtained for five VMAT plans with varying degrees of modulation. After appropriate OSLD corrections were applied, 3DVH measurement-guided VMAT dose reconstruction agreed 100% with the measurements in the unit density target sphere at 3%/3 mm level (composite analysis) for all profile points for the four less-modulated VMAT plans, and for 96% of the points in the highly modulated C-shape plan (from TG-119). For this latter plan, while 3DVH shows acceptable agreement with independent measurements in the unit density target, in the lung disagreement with experiment is relatively high for both the TPS calculation and 3DVH reconstruction. For the four plans excluding the C-shape, 3%/3 mm overall composite analysis passing rates for 3DVH against independent measurement ranged from 93% to 100%. The C-shape plan was deliberately chosen as a stress test of the algorithm. The dosimetric spatial alignment hidden target test demonstrated the average distance to agreement between the measured and TPS profiles in the steep dose gradient area at the edge of the 2 cm target to be 1.0 ± 0.7, 0.3 ± 0.3, and 0.3 ± 0.3 mm for the IEC X, Y, and Z directions, respectively. Source


Kozelka J.,Sun Nuclear Corporation | Robinson J.,University of South Florida | Nelms B.,Canis Lupus LLC | Zhang G.,Moffitt Cancer Center | And 3 more authors.
Medical Physics | Year: 2011

Purpose: The goal of any dosimeter is to be as accurate as possible when measuring absolute dose to compare with calculated dose. This limits the uncertainties associated with the dosimeter itself and allows the task of dose QA to focus on detecting errors in the treatment planning (TPS) and/or delivery systems. This work introduces enhancements to the measurement accuracy of a 3D dosimeter comprised of a helical plane of diodes in a volumetric phantom. Methods: We describe the methods and derivations of new corrections that account for repetition rate dependence, intrinsic relative sensitivity per diode, field size dependence based on the dynamic field size determination, and positional correction. Required and described is an accurate virtual inclinometer algorithm. The system allows for calibrating the array directly against an ion chamber signal collected with high angular resolution. These enhancements are quantitatively validated using several strategies including ion chamber measurements taken using a blank plastic shell mimicking the actual phantom, and comparison to high resolution dose calculations for a variety of fields: static, simple arcs, and VMAT. A number of sophisticated treatment planning algorithms were benchmarked against ion chamber measurements for their ability to handle a large air cavity in the phantom. Results: Each calibration correction is quantified and presented vs its independent variable(s). The virtual inclinometer is validated by direct comparison to the gantry angle vs time data from machine log files. The effects of the calibration are quantified and improvements are seen in the dose agreement with the ion chamber reference measurements and with the TPS calculations. These improved agreements are a result of removing prior limitations and assumptions in the calibration methodology. Average gamma analysis passing rates for VMAT plans based on the AAPM TG-119 report are 98.4% and 93.3% for the 3%/3 mm and 2%/2 mm dose-error/distance to agreement threshold criteria, respectively, with the global dose-error normalization. With the local dose-error normalization, the average passing rates are reduced to 94.6 and 85.7% for the 3%/3 mm and 2%/2 mm criteria, respectively. Some algorithms in the convolution/superposition family are not sufficiently accurate in predicting the exit dose in the presence of a 15 cm diameter air cavity. Conclusions: Introduction of the improved calibration methodology, enabled by a robust virtual inclinometer algorithm, improves the accuracy of the dosimeter's absolute dose measurements. With our treatment planning and delivery chain, gamma analysis passing rates for the VMAT plans based on the AAPM TG-119 report are expected to be above 91% and average at about 95% level for γ(3%/3 mm) with the local dose-error normalization. This stringent comparison methodology is more indicative of the true VMAT system commissioning accuracy compared to the often quoted dose-error normalization to a single high value. © 2011 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Source


Feygelman V.,Moffitt Cancer Center | Stambaugh C.,University of South Florida | Zhang G.,Moffitt Cancer Center | Hunt D.,Moffitt Cancer Center | And 3 more authors.
Medical Physics | Year: 2013

Purpose: To present a framework for measurement-guided VMAT dose reconstruction to moving patient voxels from a known motion kernel and the static phantom data, and to validate this perturbation-based approach with the proof-of-principle experiments. Methods: As described previously, the VMAT 3D dose to a static patient can be estimated by applying a phantom measurement-guided perturbation to the treatment planning system (TPS)-calculated dose grid. The fraction dose to any voxel in the presence of motion, assuming the motion kernel is known, can be derived in a similar fashion by applying a measurement-guided motion perturbation. The dose to the diodes in a helical phantom is recorded at 50 ms intervals and is transformed into a series of time-resolved high-density volumetric dose grids. A moving voxel is propagated through this 4D dose space and the fraction dose to that voxel in the phantom is accumulated. The ratio of this motion-perturbed, reconstructed dose to the TPS dose in the phantom serves as a perturbation factor, applied to the TPS fraction dose to the similarly situated voxel in the patient. This approach was validated by the ion chamber and film measurements on four phantoms of different shape and structure: homogeneous and inhomogeneous cylinders, a homogeneous cube, and an anthropomorphic thoracic phantom. A 2D motion stage was used to simulate the motion. The stage position was synchronized with the beam start time with the respiratory gating simulator. The motion patterns were designed such that the motion speed was in the upper range of the expected tumor motion (1-1.4 cm/s) and the range exceeded the normally observed limits (up to 5.7 cm). The conformal arc plans for X or Y motion (in the IEC 61217 coordinate system) consisted of manually created narrow (3 cm) rectangular strips moving in-phase (tracking) or phase-shifted by 90° (crossing) with respect to the phantom motion. The XY motion was tested with the computer-derived VMAT MLC sequences. For all phantoms and plans, time-resolved (10 Hz) ion chamber dose was collected. In addition, coronal (XY) films were exposed in the cube phantom to a VMAT beam with two different starting phases, and compared to the reconstructed motion-perturbed dose planes. Results: For the X or Y motions with the moving strip and geometrical phantoms, the maximum difference between perturbation-reconstructed and ion chamber doses did not exceed 1.9%, and the average for any motion pattern/starting phase did not exceed 1.3%. For the VMAT plans on the cubic and thoracic phantoms, one point exhibited a 3.5% error, while the remaining five were all within 1.1%. Across all the measurements (N = 22), the average disagreement was 0.5 ± 1.3% (1 SD). The films exhibited γ(3%/3 mm) passing rates ≥90%. Conclusions: The dose to an arbitrary moving voxel in a patient can be estimated with acceptable accuracy for a VMAT delivery, by performing a single QA measurement with a cylindrical phantom and applying two consecutive perturbations to the TPS-calculated patient dose. The first one accounts for the differences between the planned and delivered static doses, while the second one corrects for the motion. © 2013 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Source


Nelms B.E.,Canis Lupus LLC | Opp D.,Moffitt Cancer Center | Robinson J.,University of South Florida | Wolf T.K.,Oak Technologies | And 3 more authors.
Medical Physics | Year: 2012

Purpose: To develop and validate a volume-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) quality assurance (QA) tool that takes as input a time-resolved, low-density (∼10 mm) cylindrical surface dose map from a commercial helical diode array, and outputs a high density, volumetric, time-resolved dose matrix on an arbitrary patient dataset. This first validation study is limited to a homogeneous patient. Methods: A VMAT treatment is delivered to a diode array phantom (ARCCHECK, Sun Nuclear Corp., Melbourne, FL). 3DVH software (Sun Nuclear) derives the high-density volumetric dose using measurement-guided dose reconstruction (MGDR). MGDR cylindrical phantom results are then used to perturb the three-dimensional (3D) treatment planning dose on the patient dataset, producing a semiempirical volumetric dose grid. Four-dimensional (4D) dose reconstruction on the patient is also possible by morphing individual sub-beam doses instead of the composite. For conventional (3D) dose comparison two methods were developed, using the four plans (Multi-Target, C-shape, Mock Prostate, and Head and Neck), including their structures and objectives, from the AAPM TG-119 report. First, 3DVH and treatment planning system (TPS) cumulative point doses were compared to ion chamber in a cube water-equivalent phantom (patient). The shape of the phantom is different from the ARCCHECK and furthermore the targets were placed asymmetrically. Second, coronal and sagittal absolute film dose distributions in the cube were compared with 3DVH and TPS. For time-resolved (4D) comparisons, three tests were performed. First, volumetric dose differences were calculated between the 3D MGDR and cumulative time-resolved patient (4D MGDR) dose at the end of delivery, where they ideally should be identical. Second, time-resolved (10 Hz sampling rate) ion chamber doses were compared to cumulative point dose vs time curves from 4D MGDR. Finally, accelerator output was varied to assess the linearity of the 4D MGDR with global fluence change. Results: Across four TG-119 plans, the average PTV point dose difference in the cube between 3DVH and ion chamber is 0.1 ± 1.0. Average film vs TPS γ-analysis passing rates are 83.0, 91.1, and 98.4 for 12 mm, 22 mm, and 33 mm threshold combinations, respectively, while average film vs 3DVH γ-analysis passing rates are 88.6, 96.1, and 99.5 for the same respective criteria. 4D MGDR was also sufficiently accurate. First, for 99.5 voxels in each case, the doses from 3D and 4D MGDR at the end of delivery agree within 0.5 local dose-error1 mm distance. Moreover, all failing voxels are confined to the edge of the cylindrical reconstruction volume. Second, dose vs time curves track between the ion chamber and 4D MGDR within 1. Finally, 4D MGDR dose changes linearly with the accelerator output: the difference between cumulative ion chamber and MGDR dose changed by no more than 1 (randomly) with the output variation range of 10. Conclusions: Even for a well-commissioned TPS, comparison metrics show better agreement on average to MGDR than to TPS on the arbitrary-shaped measurable patient. The method requires no more accelerator time than standard QA, while producing more clinically relevant information. Validation in a heterogeneous thoracic phantom is under way, as is the ultimate application of 4D MGDR to virtual motion studies. © 2012 American Association of Physicists in Medicine. Source

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