Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Medical Physics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

David S. Followill

Committee Member

Geoffrey Ibbott

Committee Member

Stephen Kry

Committee Member

Milos Vicic

Committee Member

Allen White


Introduction Commercial treatment planning systems employ a variety of dose calculation algorithms to plan and predict the dose distributions a patient receives during external beam radiation therapy. Traditionally, the Radiological Physics Center has relied on measurements to assure that institutions participating in the National Cancer Institute sponsored clinical trials administer radiation in doses that are clinically comparable to those of other participating institutions. To complement the effort of the RPC, an independent dose calculation tool needs to be developed that will enable a generic method to determine patient dose distributions in three dimensions and to perform retrospective analysis of radiation delivered to patients who enrolled in past clinical trials.

Methods A multi-source model representing output for Varian 6 MV and 10 MV photon beams was developed and evaluated. The Monte Carlo algorithm, know as the Dose Planning Method (DPM), was used to perform the dose calculations. The dose calculations were compared to measurements made in a water phantom and in anthropomorphic phantoms. Intensity modulated radiation therapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy techniques were used with the anthropomorphic phantoms. Finally, past patient treatment plans were selected and recalculated using DPM and contrasted against a commercial dose calculation algorithm.

Results The multi-source model was validated for the Varian 6 MV and 10 MV photon beams. The benchmark evaluations demonstrated the ability of the model to accurately calculate dose for the Varian 6 MV and the Varian 10 MV source models. The patient calculations proved that the model was reproducible in determining dose under similar conditions described by the benchmark tests.

Conclusions The dose calculation tool that relied on a multi-source model approach and used the DPM code to calculate dose was developed, validated, and benchmarked for the Varian 6 MV and 10 MV photon beams. Several patient dose distributions were contrasted against a commercial algorithm to provide a proof of principal to use as an application in monitoring clinical trial activity.


dose calculation, monte carlo, phantom, measurement, analytical source model



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