Characterization of a fiber-coupled Al2O3:C luminescence dosimetry system for online in vivo dose verification during I192r brachytherapy

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Abstract

A prototype of a new dose-verification system has been developed to facilitate prevention and identification of dose delivery errors in remotely afterloaded brachytherapy. The system allows for automatic online in vivo dosimetry directly in the tumor region using small passive detector probes that fit into applicators such as standard needles or catheters. The system measures the absorbed dose rate (0.1 s time resolution) and total absorbed dose on the basis of radioluminescence (RL) and optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) from aluminum oxide crystals attached to optical fiber cables (1 mm outer diameter). The system was tested in the range from 0 to 4 Gy using a solid-water phantom, a Varian GammaMed Plus I192r PDR afterloader, and dosimetry probes inserted into stainless-steel brachytherapy needles. The calibrated system was found to be linear in the tested dose range. The reproducibility (one standard deviation) for RL and OSL measurements was 1.3%. The measured depth-dose profiles agreed well with the theoretical expectations computed with the EGSNRC Monte Carlo code, suggesting that the energy dependence for the dosimeter probes (relative to water) is less than 6% for source-to-probe distances in the range of 2–50 mm. Under certain conditions, the RL signal could be greatly disturbed by the so-called stem signal (i.e., unwanted light generated in the fiber cable upon irradiation). The OSL signal is not subject to this source of error. The tested system appears to be adequate for in vivo brachytherapy dosimetry.

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