SU-E-T-491: Importance of Energy Dependent Protons Per MU Calibration Factors in IMPT Dose Calculations Using Monte Carlo Technique




In intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT), energy dependent, protons per monitor unit (MU) calibration factors are important parameters that determine absolute dose values from energy deposition data obtained from Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. Purpose of this study was to assess the sensitivity of MC-computed absolute dose distributions to the protons/MU calibration factors in IMPT.


A “verification plan” (i.e., treatment beams applied individually to water phantom) of a head and neck patient plan was calculated using MC technique. The patient plan had three beams; one posterior-anterior (PA); two anterior oblique. Dose prescription was 66 Gy in 30 fractions. Of the total MUs, 58% was delivered in PA beam, 25% and 17% in other two. Energy deposition data obtained from the MC simulation were converted to Gy using energy dependent protons/MU calibrations factors obtained from two methods. First method is based on experimental measurements and MC simulations. Second is based on hand calculations, based on how many ion pairs were produced per proton in the dose monitor and how many ion pairs is equal to 1 MU (vendor recommended method). Dose distributions obtained from method one was compared with those from method two.


Average difference of 8% in protons/MU calibration factors between method one and two converted into 27 % difference in absolute dose values for PA beam; although dose distributions preserved the shape of 3D dose distribution qualitatively, they were different quantitatively. For two oblique beams, significant difference in absolute dose was not observed.


Results demonstrate that protons/MU calibration factors can have a significant impact on absolute dose values in IMPT depending on the fraction of MUs delivered. When number of MUs increases the effect due to the calibration factors amplify. In determining protons/MU calibration factors, experimental method should be preferred in MC dose calculations.

Research supported by National Cancer Institute grant P01CA021239