Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Stephen Kry

Committee Member

David Followill

Committee Member

Rebecca Howell

Committee Member

Adam Melancon

Committee Member

Francesco Stingo


Treatment Planning System (TPS) errors can affect large numbers of cancer patients receiving radiation therapy. Using an independent recalculation system, the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core-Houston (IROC-H) can identify institutions that have not sufficiently modelled their linear accelerators in their TPS model. Linear accelerator point measurement data from IROC-H’s site visits was aggregated and analyzed from over 30 linear accelerator models. Dosimetrically similar models were combined to create “classes”. The class data was used to construct customized beam models in an independent treatment dose verification system (TVS). Approximately 200 head and neck phantom plans from 2012 to 2015 were recalculated using this TVS. Comparison of plan accuracy was evaluated by comparing the measured dose to the institution’s TPS dose as well as the TVS dose. In cases where the TVS was more accurate than the institution by an average of >2%, the institution was identified as having a non-negligible TPS error. Of the ~200 recalculated plans, the average improvement using the TVS was ~0.1%; i.e. the recalculation, on average, slightly outperformed the institution’s TPS. Of all the recalculated phantoms, 20% were identified as having a non-negligible TPS error. Fourteen plans failed current IROC-H criteria; the average TVS improvement of the failing plans was ~3% and 57% were found to have non-negligible TPS errors. Conclusion: IROC-H has developed an independent recalculation system to identify institutions that have considerable TPS errors. A large number of institutions were found to have non-negligible TPS errors. Even institutions that passed IROC-H criteria could be identified as having a TPS error. Resolution of such errors would improve dose delivery for a large number of IROC-H phantoms and ultimately, patients.


IROC, phantom, recalculation, TPS