Volumetric-modulated arc therapy: effective and efficient end-to-end patient-specific quality assurance.
PURPOSE: To explore an effective and efficient end-to-end patient-specific quality-assurance (QA) protocol for volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) and to evaluate the suitability of a stationary radiotherapy QA device (two-dimensional [2D] ion chamber array) for VMAT QA. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Three methods were used to analyze 39 VMAT treatment plans for brain, spine, and prostate: ion chamber (one-dimensional absolute, n = 39), film (2D relative, coronal/sagittal, n = 8), and 2D ion chamber array (ICA, 2D absolute, coronal/sagittal, n = 39) measurements. All measurements were compared with the treatment planning system dose calculation either via gamma analysis (3%, 3- to 4-mm distance-to-agreement criteria) or absolute point dose comparison. The film and ion chamber results were similarly compared with the ICA measurements. RESULTS: Absolute point dose measurements agreed well with treatment planning system computed doses (ion chamber: median deviation, 1.2%, range, -0.6% to 3.3%; ICA: median deviation, 0.6%, range, -1.8% to 2.9%). The relative 2D dose measurements also showed good agreement with computed doses (>93% of pixels in all films passing gamma, >90% of pixels in all ICA measurements passing gamma). The ICA relative dose results were highly similar to those of film (>90% of pixels passing gamma). The coronal and sagittal ICA measurements were statistically indistinguishable by the paired t test with a hypothesized mean difference of 0.1%. The ion chamber and ICA absolute dose measurements showed a similar trend but had disparities of 2-3% in 18% of plans. CONCLUSIONS: After validating the new VMAT implementation with ion chamber, film, and ICA, we were able to maintain an effective yet efficient patient-specific VMAT QA protocol by reducing from five (ion chamber, film, and ICA) to two measurements (ion chamber and single ICA) per plan. The ICA (Matrixx®, IBA Dosimetry) was validated for VMAT QA, but ion chamber measurements are recommended for absolute dose comparison until future developments correct the ICA angular dependence.
O'Daniel, J; Das, S; Wu, QJ; Yin, F-F
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