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Med Phys. 2014 Jun;41(6):062102. doi: 10.1118/1.4875704.

Video-rate optical dosimetry and dynamic visualization of IMRT and VMAT treatment plans in water using Cherenkov radiation.

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Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755.
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755.
Department of Physics and Astronomy and Thayer School of Engineering, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755.
Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, New Hampshire 03766.



A novel technique for optical dosimetry of dynamic intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) plans was investigated for the first time by capturing images of the induced Cherenkov radiation in water.


A high-sensitivity, intensified CCD camera (ICCD) was configured to acquire a two-dimensional (2D) projection image of the Cherenkov radiation induced by IMRT and VMAT plans, based on the Task Group 119 (TG-119) C-Shape geometry. Plans were generated using the Varian Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS) and delivered using 6 MV x-rays from a Varian TrueBeam Linear Accelerator (Linac) incident on a water tank doped with the fluorophore quinine sulfate. The ICCD acquisition was gated to the Linac target trigger pulse to reduce background light artifacts, read out for a single radiation pulse, and binned to a resolution of 512 × 512 pixels. The resulting videos were analyzed temporally for various regions of interest (ROI) covering the planning target volume (PTV) and organ at risk (OAR), and summed to obtain an overall light intensity distribution, which was compared to the expected dose distribution from the TPS using a gamma-index analysis.


The chosen camera settings resulted in 23.5 frames per second dosimetry videos. Temporal intensity plots of the PTV and OAR ROIs confirmed the preferential delivery of dose to the PTV versus the OAR, and the gamma analysis yielded 95.9% and 96.2% agreement between the experimentally captured Cherenkov light distribution and expected TPS dose distribution based upon a 3%/3 mm dose difference and distance-to-agreement criterion for the IMRT and VMAT plans, respectively.


The results from this initial study demonstrate the first documented use of Cherenkov radiation for video-rate optical dosimetry of dynamic IMRT and VMAT treatment plans. The proposed modality has several potential advantages over alternative methods including the real-time nature of the acquisition, and upon future refinement may prove to be a robust and novel dosimetry method with both research and clinical applications.

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