Experimental characterization of the low-dose envelope of spot scanning proton beams.
ABSTRACT In scanned proton beam radiotherapy, multiple pencil beams are used to deliver the total dose to the target volume. Because the number of such beams can be very large, an accurate dosimetric characterization of every single pencil beam is important to provide adequate input data for the configuration of the treatment planning system. In this work, we present a method to measure the low-dose envelope of single pencil beams, known to play a meaningful role in the dose computation for scanned proton beams. We measured the low-dose proton beam envelope, which extends several centimeters outwards from the center of each single pencil beam, by acquiring lateral dose profile data, down to relative dose levels that were a factor of 10(4) lower than the central axis dose. The overall effect of the low-dose envelope on the total dose delivered by multiple pencil beams was determined by measuring the dose output as a function of field size. We determined that the low-dose envelope can be influential even for fields as large as 20 cm x 20 cm.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose: To present our method and experience in commissioning dose models in water for spot scanning proton therapy in a commercial treatment planning system (TPS).Methods: The input data required by the TPS included in-air transverse profiles and integral depth doses (IDDs). All input data were obtained from Monte Carlo (MC) simulations that had been validated by measurements. MC-generated IDDs were converted to units of Gy mm(2)∕MU using the measured IDDs at a depth of 2 cm employing the largest commercially available parallel-plate ionization chamber. The sensitive area of the chamber was insufficient to fully encompass the entire lateral dose deposited at depth by a pencil beam (spot). To correct for the detector size, correction factors as a function of proton energy were defined and determined using MC. The fluence of individual spots was initially modeled as a single Gaussian (SG) function and later as a double Gaussian (DG) function. The DG fluence model was introduced to account for the spot fluence due to contributions of large angle scattering from the devices within the scanning nozzle, especially from the spot profile monitor. To validate the DG fluence model, we compared calculations and measurements, including doses at the center of spread out Bragg peaks (SOBPs) as a function of nominal field size, range, and SOBP width, lateral dose profiles, and depth doses for different widths of SOBP. Dose models were validated extensively with patient treatment field-specific measurements.Results: We demonstrated that the DG fluence model is necessary for predicting the field size dependence of dose distributions. With this model, the calculated doses at the center of SOBPs as a function of nominal field size, range, and SOBP width, lateral dose profiles and depth doses for rectangular target volumes agreed well with respective measured values. With the DG fluence model for our scanning proton beam line, we successfully treated more than 500 patients from March 2010 through June 2012 with acceptable agreement between TPS calculated and measured dose distributions. However, the current dose model still has limitations in predicting field size dependence of doses at some intermediate depths of proton beams with high energies.Conclusions: We have commissioned a DG fluence model for clinical use. It is demonstrated that the DG fluence model is significantly more accurate than the SG fluence model. However, some deficiencies in modeling the low-dose envelope in the current dose algorithm still exist. Further improvements to the current dose algorithm are needed. The method presented here should be useful for commissioning pencil beam dose algorithms in new versions of TPS in the future.Medical Physics 04/2013; 40(4):041723. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In spot-scanning intensity-modulated proton therapy, numerous unmodulated proton beam spots are delivered over a target volume to produce a prescribed dose distribution. To accurately model field size-dependent output factors for beam spots, the energy deposition at positions radial to the central axis of the beam must be characterized. In this study, we determined the difference in the central axis dose for spot-scanned fields that results from secondary particle doses by investigating energy deposition radial to the proton beam central axis resulting from primary protons and secondary particles for mathematical point source and distributed source models. The largest difference in the central axis dose from secondary particles resulting from the use of a mathematical point source and a distributed source model was approximately 0.43%. Thus, we conclude that the central axis dose for a spot-scanned field is effectively independent of the source model used to calculate the secondary particle dose.Physics in Medicine and Biology 05/2012; 57(12):3785-92. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is essential to consider large-angle scattered particles in dose calculation models for therapeutic carbon-ion beams. However, it is difficult to measure the small dose contribution from large-angle scattered particles. In this paper, the authors present a novel method to derive the parameters describing large-angle scattered particles from the measured results. The authors developed a new parallel-plate ionization chamber consisting of concentric electrodes. Since the sensitive volume of each channel is increased linearly with this type, it is possible to efficiently and easily detect small contributions from the large-angle scattered particles. The parameters describing the large-angle scattered particles were derived from pencil beam dose distribution in water measured with the new ionization chamber. To evaluate the validity of this method, the correction for the field-size dependence of the doses, "predicted-dose scaling factor," was calculated with the new parameters. The predicted-dose scaling factor calculated with the new parameters was compared with the existing one. The difference between the new correction factor and the existing one was 1.3%. For target volumes of different sizes, the calculated dose distribution with the new parameters was in good agreement with the measured one. Parameters describing the large-angle scattered particles can be efficiently and rapidly determined using the new ionization chamber. The authors confirmed that the field-size dependence of the doses could be compensated for by the new parameters. This method makes it possible to easily derive the parameters describing the large-angle scattered particles, while maintaining the dose calculation accuracy.Medical Physics 02/2014; 41(2):021706. · 2.91 Impact Factor