Poster — Thur Eve — 40: Automated Quality Assurance for Remote-Afterloading High Dose Rate Brachytherapy

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Abstract

High dose rate (HDR) remote afterloading brachytherapy involves sending a small, high-activity radioactive source attached to a cable to different positions within a hollow applicator implanted in the patient. It is critical that the source position within the applicator and the dwell time of the source are accurate. Daily quality assurance (QA) tests of the positional and dwell time accuracy are essential to ensure that the accuracy of the remote afterloader is not compromised prior to patient treatment. Our centre has developed an automated, video-based QA system for HDR brachytherapy that is dramatically superior to existing diode or film QA solutions in terms of cost, objectivity, positional accuracy, with additional functionalities such as being able to determine source dwell time and transit time of the source. In our system, a video is taken of the brachytherapy source as it is sent out through a position check ruler, with the source visible through a clear window. Using a proprietary image analysis algorithm, the source position is determined with respect to time as it moves to different positions along the check ruler. The total material cost of the video-based system was under $20, consisting of a commercial webcam and adjustable stand. The accuracy of the position measurement is ±0.2 mm, and the time resolution is 30 msec. Additionally, our system is capable of robustly verifying the source transit time and velocity (a test required by the AAPM and CPQR recommendations), which is currently difficult to perform accurately.

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