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Phys Med Biol. 2009 Oct 7;54(19):5663-74. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/19/001. Epub 2009 Sep 1.

Enhanced efficiency in helical tomotherapy quality assurance using a custom-designed water-equivalent phantom.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Tomotherapy is an image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy system that delivers highly conformal dose distributions in a helical fashion. This system is also capable of acquiring megavoltage computed-tomography images and registering them to the planning kVCT images for accurate target localization. Quality assurance (QA) of this device is time intensive, but can be expedited by improved QA tools and procedures. A custom-designed phantom was fabricated to improve the efficiency of daily QA of our Tomotherapy machine. The phantom incorporates ionization chamber measurement points, plugs of different densities and slide-out film cartridges. The QA procedure was designed to verify in less than 30 min the vital components of the tomotherapy system: static beam quality and output, image quality, correctness of image registration and energy of the helical dose delivery. Machine output, percent depth dose and off-axis factors are simultaneously evaluated using a static 5 x 40 cm(2) open field. A single phantom scan is used to evaluate image quality and registration accuracy. The phantom can also be used for patient plan-specific QA. The QA results over a period of 6 months are reported in this paper. The QA process was found to be simple, efficient and capable of simultaneously verifying several important parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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