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Phys Med Biol. 2005 Jan 7;50(1):103-19.

Quantitative analysis of patient-specific dosimetric IMRT verification.

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North Western Medical Physics, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester M20 4BX, UK.


Patient-specific dosimetric verification methods for IMRT treatments are variable, time-consuming and frequently qualitative, preventing evidence-based reduction in the amount of verification performed. This paper addresses some of these issues by applying a quantitative analysis parameter to the dosimetric verification procedure. Film measurements in different planes were acquired for a series of ten IMRT prostate patients, analysed using the quantitative parameter, and compared to determine the most suitable verification plane. Film and ion chamber verification results for 61 patients were analysed to determine long-term accuracy, reproducibility and stability of the planning and delivery system. The reproducibility of the measurement and analysis system was also studied. The results show that verification results are strongly dependent on the plane chosen, with the coronal plane particularly insensitive to delivery error. Unexpectedly, no correlation could be found between the levels of error in different verification planes. Longer term verification results showed consistent patterns which suggest that the amount of patient-specific verification can be safely reduced, provided proper caution is exercised: an evidence-based model for such reduction is proposed. It is concluded that dose/distance to agreement (e.g., 3%/3 mm) should be used as a criterion of acceptability. Quantitative parameters calculated for a given criterion of acceptability should be adopted in conjunction with displays that show where discrepancies occur. Planning and delivery systems which cannot meet the required standards of accuracy, reproducibility and stability to reduce verification will not be accepted by the radiotherapy community.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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