Linear energy transfer (LET) of clinical proton beams is an important parameter influencing the biological effects of radiation. This work demonstrates LET-induced response enhance_ment in novel formulations of polymer gel dosimeters, potentially useful for LET mapping of clinical proton beams. A series of four polymer gel dosimeters (labeled A through D), prepared based on the BANG3-Pro2 formulation, but with varying concentrations of polymerization modifiers, were irradiated by a clinical proton beam with a spread out Bragg peak modulation (SOBP) and read out using the OCTOPUS-IQ optical CT scanner. The evaluation of optical density profiles in the SOBP (constant physical dose) revealed response deviations at the distal end consistent with variations in gel composition. Maximum response deviations were as follows: 23% (under-response) for gel A, and over-response of 2%, 12%, and 17% for gels B, C, and D, respectively, relative to the mean dose in the center of the SOBP. This enhancement in optical response was correlated to LET by analytical calculations. Gels A and B showed no measurable dependence on LET. Gel C responded linearly in the limited range from 1.5 to 3.5 keV/μm. LET response of gel D was linear up to at least 5.5 keV/μm, with the threshold at about 1.3 keV/μm. These results suggest that it may be possible to develop a polymer gel system with direct optical response to LET for mapping of LET distributions for particle therapy beams.
"Polymer gel dosimeters have been proposed to verify various photon delivery techniques, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) , , RapidArc radiation therapy , stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) , , and brachytherapy , . In addition, the potential applications of polymer gels for the proton therapy , , boron-neutron capture therapy (BNCT) , , and targeted radionuclide therapy  are promising because of the tissue-equivalent characteristics regarding the effective atomic number, electron density, and stopping power ratio of gel to water. A dose conversion system for the irradiated gels should offer high accuracy and reliability for the demanding applications. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymer gels are regarded as a potential dosimeter for independent validation of absorbed doses in clinical radiotherapy. Several imaging modalities have been used to convert radiation-induced polymerization to absorbed doses from a macro-scale viewpoint. This study developed a novel dose conversion mechanism by texture analysis of scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. The modified N-isopropyl-acrylamide (NIPAM) gels were prepared under normoxic conditions, and were administered radiation doses from 5 to 20 Gy. After freeze drying, the gel samples were sliced for SEM scanning with 50×, 500×, and 3500× magnifications. Four texture indices were calculated based on the gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM). The results showed that entropy and homogeneity were more suitable than contrast and energy as dose indices for higher linearity and sensitivity of the dose response curves. After parameter optimization, an R (2) value of 0.993 can be achieved for homogeneity using 500× magnified SEM images with 27 pixel offsets and no outlier exclusion. For dose verification, the percentage errors between the prescribed dose and the measured dose for 5, 10, 15, and 20 Gy were -7.60%, 5.80%, 2.53%, and -0.95%, respectively. We conclude that texture analysis can be applied to the SEM images of gel dosimeters to accurately convert micro-scale structural features to absorbed doses. The proposed method may extend the feasibility of applying gel dosimeters in the fields of diagnostic radiology and radiation protection.
PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e67281. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0067281 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A treatment-planning case study has been performed on a patient with a medium-sized, convex brain tumour. The study involved the application of advanced treatment-plan optimization techniques to improve on the dose distribution of the 'standard plan' used to treat the patient. The standard plan was created according to conventional protocol at the Royal Marsden NHS Trust, and consisted of a three-field (one open and two wedged) non-coplanar arrangement, with field shaping to the beam's-eye view of the planning target volume (PTV). Three optimized treatment plans were created corresponding to (i) the optimization of the beam weights and wedge angles of the standard plan, (ii) the optimization of the beam orientations, beam weights and wedge angles of the standard plan, and (iii) a full fluence tomotherapy optimization of 1 cm wide (at isocentre), 270 degree arcs. (i) and (ii) were created on the VOXELPLAN research 3D treatment-planning system, using in-house developed optimization algorithms, and (iii) was created on the PEACOCK tomotherapy planning system. The downhill-simplex optimization algorithm is used, in conjunction with 'threshold-dose' cost-function terms enabling the algorithm to optimize specific regions of the dose-volume histogram (DVH) curve. The 'beam-cost plot' tool is presented as a visual aid to the selection of beneficial beam directions. The methods and pitfalls in the transfer of plans and patient data between the two planning systems are discussed. Each optimization approach was evaluated, relative to the standard plan, on the basis of DVH and dose statistics in the PTV and organs at risk (OARs). All three optimization approaches were able to improve on the dose distribution of the standard plan. The magnitude of the improvement was greater for the optimized beam-orientation and tomotherapy plans (up to 15% and 30% for the maximum and mean OAR doses). A smaller improvement was observed in the beam-weight and wedge-angle optimized plan (up to 5% and 10% in the maximum and mean OAR doses). In the tomotherapy plan, difficulty was encountered achieving an acceptable homogeneity of dose in the PTV. This was improved by treating the gross tumour volume (GTV) and (PTV - GTV) regions as separate targets in the inverse planning, with the latter region prescribed a slightly higher dose to reduce edge under-dosing. In conclusion, for the medium-sized convex tumour studied, the tomotherapy dose distribution showed a significant improvement on the standard plan, but no significant improvement over a conventional three-field plan where the beam orientations, beam weights and wedge angles had been optimized.
Physics in Medicine and Biology 09/1998; 43(8):2123-46. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/43/8/010 · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) detectors (OSLDs) have shown potential for measurements of linear energy transfer (LET) in proton therapy beams. However, the technique lacks the efficiency needed for clinical implementation, and a faster, simpler approach to LET measurements is desirable. The goal of this work was to demonstrate and evaluate the potential of calibrating Al2O3:C OSLDs for LET measurements using new methods. We exposed batches of OSLDs to unmodulated proton beams of varying LET and calibrated three parameters of the resulting OSL signals as functions of fluence-averaged LET (-LET) and dose-averaged LET (D-LET). These three parameters included the OSL curve shape evaluated under continuous wave stimulation (CW-OSL), the OSL curve shape evaluated under pulsed stimulation (P-OSL), and the intensity ratio of the two main emission bands in the Al2O3:C OSL emission spectrum (ultraviolet [UV]/blue ratio). To test the calibration, we then irradiated new batches of OSLDs in modulated proton beams of varying LET, and used the OSL signal parameters to calculate -LET and D-LET under these new test conditions. Using the P-OSL curve shape, D-LET was measured within 5.7% of the expected value. We conclude that from a single 10 s readout (following initial calibration), both the absorbed dose and LET in proton therapy beams can be measured using OSLDs. This has potential future applications in the quality assurance of proton therapy treatment plans, particularly for those that may account for LET or relative biological effectiveness in their optimization. The methods demonstrated in this work may also be applicable to other particle therapy beams, including carbon ion beams.
Physics in Medicine and Biology 07/2014; 59(15):4295. DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/59/15/4295 · 2.76 Impact Factor
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