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Med Phys. 2012 Feb;39(2):765-76. doi: 10.1118/1.3676185.

A novel technique to enable experimental validation of deformable dose accumulation.

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Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To propose a novel technique to experimentally validate deformable dose algorithms by measuring 3D dose distributions under the condition of deformation using deformable gel dosimeters produced by a novel gel fabrication method.


Five gel dosimeters, two rigid control gels and three deformable gels, were manufactured and treated with the same conformal plan that prescribed 400 cGy to the isocenter. The control gels were treated statically; the deformable gels were treated while being compressed by an actuation device to simulate breathing motion (amplitude of compression  = 1, 1.5, and 2 cm, respectively; frequency  =  16 rpm). Comparison between the dose measured by the control gels and the corresponding static dose distribution calculated in the treatment planning system (TPS) has determined the intrinsic dose measurement uncertainty of the gel dosimeters. Doses accumulated using MORFEUS, a biomechanical model-based deformable registration and dose accumulation algorithm, were compared with the doses measured by the deformable gel dosimeters to verify the accuracy of MORFEUS using dose differences at each voxel as well as the gamma index test. Flexible plastic wraps were used to contain and protect the deformable gels from oxygen infiltration, which inhibits the gels' dose sensitizing ability. Since the wraps were imperfect oxygen barrier, dose comparison between MORFEUS and the deformable gels was performed only in the central region with a received dose of 200 cGy or above to exclude the peripheral region where oxygen penetration had likely affected dose measurements.


Dose measured with the control gels showed that the intrinsic dose measurement uncertainty of the gel dosimeters was 11.8 cGy or 4.7% compared to the TPS. The absolute mean voxel-by-voxel dose difference between the accumulated dose and the dose measured with the deformable gels was 4.7 cGy (SD = 36.0 cGy) or 1.5% (SD = 13.4%) for the three deformable gels. The absolute mean vector distance between the 250, 300, 350, and 400 cGy isodose surfaces on the accumulated and measured distributions was 1.2 mm (SD < 1.5 mm). The gamma index test that used the dose measurement precision of the control gels as the dose difference criterion and 2 mm as the distance criterion was performed, and the average pass rate of the accumulated dose distributions for all three deformable gels was 92.7%. When the distance criterion was relaxed to 3 mm, the average pass rate increased to 96.9%.


This study has proposed a novel technique to manufacture deformable volumetric gel dosimeters. By comparing the doses accumulated in MORFEUS and the doses measured with the dosimeters under the condition of deformation, the study has also demonstrated the potential of using deformable gel dosimetry to experimentally validate algorithms that include deformations into dose computation. Since dose less than 200 cGy was not evaluated in this study, future investigations will focus more on low dose regions by either using bigger gel dosimeters or prescribing a lower dose to provide a more complete experimental validation of MORFEUS across a wider dose range.

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