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Med Phys. 2012 Oct;39(10):6339-50. doi: 10.1118/1.4754797.

An efficient protocol for radiochromic film dosimetry combining calibration and measurement in a single scan.

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Advanced Materials Group, Ashland Inc., Wayne, NJ 07470, USA.



Radiochromic film provides dose measurement at high spatial resolution, but often is not preferred for routine evaluation of patient-specific intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans owing to ease-of-use factors. The authors have established an efficient protocol that combines calibration and measurement in a single scan and enables measurement results to be obtained in less than 30 min. This avoids complications due to postexposure changes in radiochromic film that delay the completion of a measurement, often for up to 24 h, in commonly used methods. In addition, the protocol addresses the accuracy and integrity of the measurement by eliminating environmental and interscan variability issues.


The authors collected dose-response data from six production lots of Gafchromic EBT3 film and three production lots of EBT2 film at doses up to 480 cGy. In this work, the authors used seven different scanners of two different models-Epson 10000XL and V700; postexposure times before scanning from 30 min to 9 days; ambient temperatures for scanning spanning 11 °C; and two film orientations. Scanning was in 48-bit RGB format at 72 dpi resolution. Dose evaluation was conducted using a triple-channel dosimetry method. To evaluate the measurement protocol, patient specific IMRT and volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans were exposed onto EBT3 films on a Varian Trilogy Linac. Film scanning was done following the protocol under a number of different conditions and the dose maps were analyzed to demonstrate the equivalence of results.


The results indicated that the dose-response data could be fit by a set of related rational functions leading to the description of a generic calibration curve. A simplified dosimetry protocol was established where dose-response data for a specific film lot, scanner, and scanning conditions could be derived from two films exposed to known doses. In most cases only one calibrated exposure was required since the dose for one of the films could be zero. Using the Gamma test criterion of 2%∕2 mm to evaluate the measurements, similar passing rates ranging between about 95% and 99% for the fields studied were obtained from application films digitized under a variety of conditions all of them different than the conditions under which the calibration films were scanned.


The authors have developed a simplified and efficient protocol to measure doses delivered by an IMRT or VMAT plan using only the patient film, one calibration film, one unexposed film, and applying a single scan to acquire a digital image for calculation and analysis. The simplification and timesaving offer a potential practical solution for using radiochromic film for routine treatment plan quality assurance without sacrificing spatial resolution for convenience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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