Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Geoffrey S. Ibbott, PhD.

Committee Member

David S. Followill, PhD.

Committee Member

Ronald X. Zhu, PhD.

Committee Member

Peter A. Balter, PhD.

Committee Member

R. Allen White, PhD.


The Radiological Physics Center (RPC) provides heterogeneous phantoms that are used to evaluate radiation treatment procedures as part of a comprehensive quality assurance program for institutions participating in clinical trials. It was hypothesized that the existing RPC heterogeneous thorax phantom can be modified to assess lung tumor proton beam therapy procedures involving patient simulation, treatment planning, and treatment delivery, and could confirm agreement between the measured dose and calculated dose within 5%/3mm with a reproducibility of 5%. The Hounsfield Units (HU) for lung equivalent materials (balsa wood and cork) was measured using a CT scanner. The relative linear stopping power (RLSP) of these materials was measured. The linear energy transfer (LET) of Gafchromic EBT2 film was analyzed utilizing parallel and perpendicular orientations in a water tank and compared to ion chamber readings. Both parallel and perpendicular orientations displayed a quenching effect underperforming the ion chamber, with the parallel orientation showing an average 31 % difference and the perpendicular showing an average of 15% difference. Two treatment plans were created that delivered the prescribed dose to the target volume, while achieving low entrance doses. Both treatment plans were designed using smeared compensators and expanded apertures, as would be utilized for a patient in the clinic. Plan 1a contained two beams that were set to orthogonal angles and a zero degree couch kick. Plan 1b utilized two beams set to 10 and 80 degrees with a 15 degree couch kick. EBT2 film and TLD were inserted and the phantom was irradiated 3 times for each plan. Both plans passed the criteria for the TLD measurements where the TLD values were within 7% of the dose calculated by Eclipse. Utilizing the 5%/3mm criteria, the 3 trial average of overall pass rate was 71% for Plan 1a. The 3 trial average for the overall pass rate was 76% for Plan 1b. The trials were then analyzed using RPC conventional lung treatment guidelines set forth by the RTOG: 5%/5mm, and an overall pass rate of 85%. Utilizing these criteria, only Plan 1b passed for all 3 trials, with an average overall pass rate of 89%.


Proton Therapy, Radiological Physics Center, heterogeneous thorax phantom, lung cancer, phantom, lung tissue equivalent material, balsa, linear energy transfer, EBT2 film

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