Date of Graduation
Masters of Science (MS)
Stephen F Kry, Ph.D.
David Followill, Ph.D.
Peter Balter, Ph.D.
Francesco Stingo, Ph.D.
Jimmy Jones, M.S.
To ensure the integrity of an intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment, each plan must be validated through a measurement-based quality assurance (QA) procedure, known as patient specific IMRT QA. Many methods of measurement and analysis have evolved for this QA. There is not a standard among clinical institutions, and many devices and action levels are used. Since the acceptance criteria determines if the dosimetric tools’ output passes the patient plan, it is important to see how these parameters influence the performance of the QA device. While analyzing the results of IMRT QA, it is important to understand the variability in the measurements. Due to the different form factors of the many QA methods, this reproducibility can be device dependent.
These questions of patient-specific IMRT QA reproducibility and performance were investigated across five dosimeter systems: a helical diode array, radiographic film, ion chamber, diode array (AP field-by-field, AP composite, and rotational composite), and an in-house designed multiple ion chamber phantom. The reproducibility was gauged for each device by comparing the coefficients of variation (CV) across six patient plans. The performance of each device was determined by comparing each one’s ability to accurately label a plan as acceptable or unacceptable compared to a gold standard.
All methods demonstrated a CV of less than 4%. Film proved to have the highest variability in QA measurement, likely due to the high level of user involvement in the readout and analysis. This is further shown by how the setup contributed more variation than the readout and analysis for all of the methods, except film. When evaluated for ability to correctly label acceptable and unacceptable plans, two distinct performance groups emerged with the helical diode array, AP composite diode array, film, and ion chamber in the better group; and the rotational composite and AP field-by-field diode array in the poorer group. Additionally, optimal threshold cutoffs were determined for each of the dosimetry systems. These findings, combined with practical considerations for factors such as labor and cost, can aid a clinic in its choice of an effective and safe patient-specific IMRT QA implementation.
IMRT, Patient Specific QA, comparison, reproducibility, ROC