Date of Graduation
Masters of Science (MS)
This project assessed the effectiveness of polymer gel dosimeters as tools for measuring the dose deposited by and LET of a proton beam. A total of three BANG® dosimeter formulations were evaluated: BANG®-3-Pro-2 BANGkits™ for dose measurement and two BANG®-3 variants, the LET-Baseline and LET-Meter dosimeters, for LET measurement. All dosimeters were read out using an OCT scanner. The basic characteristics of the BANGkits™ were assessed in a series of photon and electron irradiations. The dose-response relationship was found to be sigmoidal with a threshold for response of approximately 15 cGy. The active region of the dosimeter, the volume in which dosimeter response is not inhibited by oxygen, was found to make up roughly one fourth of the total dosimeter volume. Delivering a dose across multiple fractions was found to yield a greater response than delivering the same dose in a single irradiation. The dosimeter was found to accurately measure a dose distribution produced by overlapping photon fields, yielding gamma pass rates of 95.4% and 93.1% from two planar gamma analyses.
Proton irradiations were performed for measurements of proton dose and LET. Initial irradiations performed through the side of a dosimeter led to OCT artifacts. Gamma pass rates of 85.7% and 89.9% were observed in two planar gamma analyses. In irradiations performed through the base of a dosimeter, gel response was found to increase with height in the dosimeter, even in areas of constant dose. After a correction was applied, gamma pass rates of 94.6% and 99.3% were observed in two planar gamma analyses. Absolute dose measurements were substantially higher (33%-100%) than the delivered doses for proton irradiations. Issues encountered while calibrating the LET-Meter gel restricted analysis of the LET measurement data to the SOBP of a proton beam. LET-Meter overresponse was found to increase linearly with track-average LET across the LET range that could be investigated (1.5 keV/micron – 3.5 keV/micron).
proton therapy, gel dosimetry, linear energy transfer, LET, optical computed tomography, OCT