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Kairn T.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Kakakhel M.B.,Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences | Johnston H.,University of Victoria | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2015

The signal-to-noise ratio achievable in x-ray computed tomography (CT) images of polymer gels can be increased by averaging over multiple scans of each sample. However, repeated scanning delivers a small additional dose to the gel which may compromise the accuracy of the dose measurement. In this study, a NIPAM-based polymer gel was irradiated and then CT scanned 25 times, with the resulting data used to derive an averaged image and a "zero-scan" image of the gel. Comparison between these two results and the first scan of the gel showed that the averaged and zero-scan images provided better contrast, higher contrast-to- noise and higher signal-to-noise than the initial scan. The pixel values (Hounsfield units, HU) in the averaged image were not noticeably elevated, compared to the zero-scan result and the gradients used in the linear extrapolation of the zero-scan images were small and symmetrically distributed around zero. These results indicate that the averaged image was not artificially lightened by the small, additional dose delivered during CT scanning. This work demonstrates the broader usefulness of the zero-scan method as a means to verify the dosimetric accuracy of gel images derived from averaged x-ray CT data. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Kairn T.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Crowe S.B.,Queensland University of Technology | Langton C.M.,Queensland University of Technology | Trapp J.V.,Queensland University of Technology
Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine | Year: 2016

This study provides a bulk, retrospective analysis of 151 breast and chest wall radiotherapy treatment plans, as a small-scale demonstration of the potential breadth and value of the information that may be obtained from clinical data mining. The treatments were planned at three centres belonging to one organisation over a period of 3 months. All 151 plans were used to evaluate inter-centre consistency and compliance with a local planning protocol. A subset of 79 plans, from one centre, were used in a more detailed evaluation of the effects of anatomical asymmetry on heart and lung dose, the effects of a metallic temporary tissue expander port on dose homogeneity and the overall conformity and homogeneity achieved in routine breast treatment planning. Differences in anatomical structure contouring and nomenclature were identified between the three centres, with all centres showing some non-compliance with the local planning protocol. When evaluated against standard conformity indices, these breast plans performed relatively poorly. However, when evaluated against recommended organ-at-risk tolerances, all evaluated plans performed sufficiently well that tighter planning tolerances could be recommended for future planning. Heart doses calculated in left breast and chest wall treatments were significantly higher than heart doses calculated in right sided breast and chest wall treatments (p < 0.001). In the treatment involving a temporary tissue expander, the inflated implant effectively pushed the targeted breast tissue away from the healthy tissues, leading to a dose distribution that was relatively conformal, although attenuation through the tissue expander’s metallic port may have been underestimated by the treatment planning system. The results of this study exemplify the use of bulk treatment planning data to evaluate clinical workloads and inform ongoing treatment planning. © 2016 Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine


Kairn T.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Charles P.,Queensland University of Technology | Crowe S.B.,Queensland University of Technology | Trapp J.V.,Queensland University of Technology
Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine | Year: 2016

Given the difficulty and potential time- or financial-costs associated with accurate small field dosimetry, this study aimed to establish the clinical necessity of obtaining accurate small field output factor measurements and to evaluate the effects on planned doses that could arise if accurate measurements are not used in treatment planning dose calculations. Isocentre doses, in heterogeneous patient anatomy, were calculated and compared for 571 beams from 48 clinical radiotherapy treatments, using a clinical radiotherapy treatment planning system, with reference to two different sets of beam configuration data. One set of beam configuration data included field output factors (total scatter factors) from precisely positioned and response-corrected diode measurements and the other included field output factors measured using a conventional technique that would have been better suited to larger field measurements. Differences between the field output factor measurements made with the two different techniques equated to 14.2 % for the 6 (Formula presented.) 6 mm(Formula presented.) field, 1.8 % for the 12 (Formula presented.) 12 mm(Formula presented.) field, and less than 0.5 % for the larger fields. This led to isocentre dose differences of up to 3.3 % in routine clinical fields smaller than 9 mm across and and up to 11 % in convoluted fields smaller than 15 mm across. If field widths smaller than 15 mm are used clinically, then accurate measurement (or-remeasurement) of small field output factors in the treatment planning system’s beam data is required in order to achieve dose calculation accuracy within 3 %. If such measurements are not completed, then errors in excess of 10 % may occur if very small, narrow, concave or convoluted treatment fields are used. © 2016 Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine


Kairn T.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Crowe S.B.,Queensland University of Technology | Mitchell J.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | And 2 more authors.
IFMBE Proceedings | Year: 2015

This study aimed to take existing anatomical models of pregnant women, currently used for radiation protection and nuclear medicine dose calculations, and adapt them for use in the calculation of fetal dose from external beam radiotherapy (EBRT). The models investigated were ‘KATJA’, which was provided as an MCNPX geometry file, and ‘RPI-P6’, which was provided in a simple, voxelized binary format. In-house code was developed, to convert both models into an `egsphant’ format, suitable for use with DOSXYZnrc. The geometries and densities of the resulting phantoms were evaluated and found to accurately represent the source data. As an example of the use of the phantoms, the delivery of a cranial EBRT treatment was simulated using the BEAMnrc and DOSXYZnrc Monte Carlo codes and the likely out-of-field doses to the fetus in each model was calculated. The results of these calculations showed good agreement (within one standard deviation) between the doses calculated in KATJA and PRI-P6, despite substantial anatomical differences between the two models. For a 36 Gy prescription dose to a 233.2 cm3 target in the right brain, the mean doses calculated in a region of interest covering the entire uterus were 1.0 +/- 0.6 mSv for KATJA and 1.3 +/- 0.9 mSv for RPI-P 6. This work is expected to lead to more comprehensive studies of EBRT treatment plan design and its effects on fetal dose in the future. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


Kairn T.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | Kairn T.,Queensland University of Technology | Aland T.,Genesis Cancer Care Queensland | Aland T.,Queensland University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine | Year: 2015

This study aims to help broaden the use of electronic portal imaging devices (EPIDs) for pre-treatment patient positioning verification, from photon-beam radiotherapy to photon- and electron-beam radiotherapy, by proposing and testing a method for acquiring clinically-useful EPID images of patient anatomy using electron beams, with a view to enabling and encouraging further research in this area. EPID images used in this study were acquired using all available beams from a linac configured to deliver electron beams with nominal energies of 6, 9, 12, 16 and 20 MeV, as well as photon beams with nominal energies of 6 and 10 MV. A widely-available heterogeneous, approximately-humanoid, thorax phantom was used, to provide an indication of the contrast and noise produced when imaging different types of tissue with comparatively realistic thicknesses. The acquired images were automatically calibrated, corrected for the effects of variations in the sensitivity of individual photodiodes, using a flood field image. For electron beam imaging, flood field EPID calibration images were acquired with and without the placement of blocks of water-equivalent plastic (with thicknesses approximately equal to the practical range of electrons in the plastic) placed upstream of the EPID, to filter out the primary electron beam, leaving only the bremsstrahlung photon signal. While the electron beam images acquired using a standard (unfiltered) flood field calibration were observed to be noisy and difficult to interpret, the electron beam images acquired using the filtered flood field calibration showed tissues and bony anatomy with levels of contrast and noise that were similar to the contrast and noise levels seen in the clinically acceptable photon beam EPID images. The best electron beam imaging results (highest contrast, signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratios) were achieved when the images were acquired using the higher energy electron beams (16 and 20 MeV) when the EPID was calibrated using an intermediate (12 MeV) electron beam energy. These results demonstrate the feasibility of acquiring clinically-useful EPID images of patient anatomy using electron beams and suggest important avenues for future investigation, thus enabling and encouraging further research in this area. There is manifest potential for the EPID imaging method proposed in this work to lead to the clinical use of electron beam imaging for geometric verification of electron treatments in the future. © 2015 Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine

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