Development and characterization of a three-dimensional radiochromic film stack dosimeter for megavoltage photon beam dosimetry

Authors


Abstract

Purpose:

Three-dimensional (3D) dosimeters are particularly useful for verifying the commissioning of treatment planning and delivery systems, especially with the ever-increasing implementation of complex and conformal radiotherapy techniques such as volumetric modulated arc therapy. However, currently available 3D dosimeters require extensive experience to prepare and analyze, and are subject to large measurement uncertainties. This work aims to provide a more readily implementable 3D dosimeter with the development and characterization of a radiochromic film stack dosimeter for megavoltage photon beam dosimetry.

Methods:

A film stack dosimeter was developed using Gafchromic® EBT2 films. The dosimeter consists of 22 films separated by 1 mm-thick spacers. A Virtual Water™ phantom was created that maintains the radial film alignment within a maximum uncertainty of 0.3 mm. The film stack dosimeter was characterized using simulations and measurements of 6 MV fields. The absorbed-dose energy dependence and orientation dependence of the film stack dosimeter were investigated using Monte Carlo simulations. The water equivalence of the dosimeter was determined by comparing percentage-depth-dose (PDD) profiles measured with the film stack dosimeter and simulated using Monte Carlo methods. Film stack dosimeter measurements were verified with thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) microcube measurements. The film stack dosimeter was also used to verify the delivery of an intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) procedure.

Results:

The absorbed-dose energy response of EBT2 film differs less than 1.5% between the calibration and film stack dosimeter geometries for a 6 MV spectrum. Over a series of beam angles ranging from normal incidence to parallel incidence, the overall variation in the response of the film stack dosimeter is within a range of 2.5%. Relative to the response to a normally incident beam, the film stack dosimeter exhibits a 1% under-response when the beam axis is parallel to the film planes. Measured and simulated PDD profiles agree within a root-mean-square difference of 1.3%. In-field film stack dosimeter and TLD measurements agree within 5%, and measurements in the field penumbra agree within 0.5 mm. Film stack dosimeter and TLD measurements have expanded (k = 2) overall measurement uncertainties of 6.2% and 5.8%, respectively. Film stack dosimeter measurements of an IMRT dose distribution have 98% agreement with the treatment planning system dose calculation, using gamma criteria of 3% and 2 mm.

Conclusions:

The film stack dosimeter is capable of high-resolution, low-uncertainty 3D dose measurements, and can be readily incorporated into an existing film dosimetry program.

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