Feasibility study of using statistical process control to customized quality assurance in proton therapy




To evaluate and improve the reliability of proton quality assurance (QA) processes and, to provide an optimal customized tolerance level using the statistical process control (SPC) methodology.


The authors investigated the consistency check of dose per monitor unit (D/MU) and range in proton beams to see whether it was within the tolerance level of the daily QA process. This study analyzed the difference between the measured and calculated ranges along the central axis to improve the patient-specific QA process in proton beams by using process capability indices.


The authors established a customized tolerance level of ±2% for D/MU and ±0.5 mm for beam range in the daily proton QA process. In the authors’ analysis of the process capability indices, the patient-specific range measurements were capable of a specification limit of ±2% in clinical plans.


SPC methodology is a useful tool for customizing the optimal QA tolerance levels and improving the quality of proton machine maintenance, treatment delivery, and ultimately patient safety.