Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

David Followill

Committee Member

Paige Taylor

Committee Member

Xiaodong Zhang

Committee Member

Heng Li

Committee Member

Michele Guindani


Proton therapy has been used to treat cancer for more than 50 years, and over the past decade, its use has grown rapidly. One of the main goals of modern radiation therapy is to deliver a high dose to the planning target volume (PTV) with minimal exposure and damage to the surrounding healthy tissue. Protons offer a unique advantage over photon radiotherapy in that they deposit dose over a finite range, in contrast to the more gradual energy deposition of photon and electron beams. At present, 23 proton centers are in operation in the United States and another 13 centers are in development. The increasing interest in the use of protons creates a demand for quality monitoring and evaluation of the treatments provided, especially as they apply to NCI funded clinical trials. The goal of the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC) Houston QA Center is to assure NCI that institutions participating in clinical trials deliver radiation treatment plans/doses that are clinically comparable and consistent. IROC Houston makes use of anthropomorphic QA phantoms in order to help verify the quality of the proton treatment process from imaging to treatment delivery. With new Head and Neck (H&N) proton therapy trials being developed, IROC Houston needs a H&N proton phantom that can be used as part of credentialing. Therefore, the hypothesis of this study is that an anthropomorphic H&N phantom can be designed and built to evaluate proton therapy H&N treatment procedures that can reproducibly (±3%) assure agreement between the measured doses and calculated doses to within ±7%/4mm.


Anthropomorphic Head & Neck Phantom, proton therapy, IROC, RPC, NCI, QA