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: In this paper we present the pencil beam dose model used for treatment planning at the PSI proton gantry, the only system presently applying proton therapy with a beam scanning technique. The scope of the paper is to give a general overview on the various components of the dose model, on the related measurements and on the practical parametrization of the results. The physical model estimates from first physical principles absolute dose normalized to the number of incident protons. The proton beam flux is measured in practice by plane-parallel ionization chambers (ICs) normalized to protons via Faraday-cup measurements. It is therefore possible to predict and deliver absolute dose directly from this model without other means. The dose predicted in this way agrees very well with the results obtained with ICs calibrated in a cobalt beam. Emphasis is given in this paper to the characterization of nuclear interaction effects, which play a significant role in the model and are the major source of uncertainty in the direct estimation of the absolute dose. Nuclear interactions attenuate the primary proton flux, they modify the shape of the depth-dose curve and produce a faint beam halo of secondary dose around the primary proton pencil beam in water. A very simple beam halo model has been developed and used at PSI to eliminate the systematic dependences of the dose observed as a function of the size of the target volume. We show typical results for the relative (using a CCD system) and absolute (using calibrated ICs) dosimetry, routinely applied for the verification of patient plans. With the dose model including the nuclear beam halo we can predict quite precisely the dose directly from treatment planning without renormalization measurements, independently of the dose, shape and size of the dose fields. This applies also to the complex non-homogeneous dose distributions required for the delivery of range-intensity-modulated proton therapy, a novel therapy technique developed at PSI.Physics in Medicine and Biology 03/2005; 50(3):541-61. · 2.70 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To estimate the physical dose at the center of spread-out Bragg peaks (SOBP) for various conditions of the irradiation system, a semiempirical approach was applied. The dose at the center of the SOBP depends on the field size because of large-angle scattering particles in the water phantom. For a small field of 5 x 5 cm2, the dose was reduced to 99.2%, 97.5%, and 96.5% of the dose used for the open field in the case of 290, 350, and 400 MeV/n carbon beams, respectively. Based on the three-Gaussian form of the lateral dose distributions of the carbon pencil beam, which has previously been shown to be effective for describing scattered carbon beams, we reconstructed the dose distributions of the SOBP beam. The reconstructed lateral dose distribution reproduced the measured lateral dose distributions very well. The field-size dependencies calculated using the reconstructed lateral dose distribution of the therapeutic carbon beam agreed with the measured dose dependency very well. The reconstructed beam was also used for irregularly shaped fields. The resultant dose distribution agreed with the measured dose distribution. The reconstructed beams were found to be applicable to the treatment-planning system.Medical Physics 11/2007; 34(10):4016-22. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The measured radiation beam profiles need to be corrected for the detector size effect to derive the real profiles. This paper describes two new semi-empirical procedures to determine the real profiles of high-energy x-ray beams by removing the detector size effect from the measured profiles. Measured profiles are corrected by shifting the position of each measurement point by a specific amount determined from available theoretical and experimental knowledge in the literature. The authors developed two procedures to determine the amount of shift. In the first procedure, which employs the published analytical deconvolution procedure of other investigators, the shift is determined from the comparison of the analytical fit of the measured profile and the corresponding analytical real profile derived from the deconvolution of the fitted measured profile and the Gaussian detector response function. In the second procedure, the amount of shift at any measurement point is considered to be proportional to the value of an analytical function related to the second derivative of the real profile at that point. The constant of proportionality and a parameter in the function are obtained from the values of the shifts at the 90%, 80%, 20%, and 10% dose levels, which are experimentally known from the published results of other investigators to be approximately equal to half of the radius of the detector. These procedures were tested by correcting the profiles of 6 and 18 MV x-ray beams measured by three different ionization chambers and a stereotactic field diode detector with 2.75, 2, 1, and 0.3 mm radii of their respective active cylindrical volumes. The corrected profiles measured by different detectors are found to be in close agreement. The detector size corrected penumbra widths also agree with the expected values based on the results of an earlier investigation. Thus, the authors concluded that the proposed procedures are accurate and can be used to derive the real profiles of clinical high-energy x-ray beams.Medical Physics 12/2008; 35(11):5124-33. · 2.91 Impact Factor