Objective Point detector measurements in proton fields are perturbed by the volume effect originating from geometrical volume-averaging within the extended detector's sensitive volume and density perturbations by non-water equivalent detector components. Detector specific lateral dose response functions K(x) can be used to characterize the volume effect within the framework of a mathematical convolution model, where K(x) is the convolution kernel transforming the true dose profile D(x) into the measured signal profile of a detector M(x). The aim of this work is to investigate K(x) for detectors in proton beams. Approach The K(x) for five detectors were determined by iterative deconvolution of measurements of D(x) and M(x) profiles at 2 cm water equivalent depth of a narrow 150 MeV proton beam. Monte Carlo simulations were carried out for two selected detectors to investigate a potential energy dependence, and to study the contribution of volume-averaging and density perturbation to the volume effect. Main results The Monte Carlo simulated and experimentally determined K(x) agree within 2.1% of the maximum value. Further simulations demonstrate that the main contribution to the volume effect is volume-averaging. The results indicate that an energy or depth dependence of K(x) is almost negligible in proton beams. While the signal reduction from a Semiflex 3D ionization chamber in the center of a gaussian shaped field with 2 mm sigma is 32% for photons, it is 15% for protons. When measuring the field with a microDiamond the trend is less pronounced and reversed with a signal reduction for protons of 3.9% and photons of 1.9%. Significance The determined K(x) can be applied to characterize the influence of the volume effect on detectors measured signal profiles at all clinical proton energies and measurement depths. The functions can be used to derive the actual dose distribution from point detector measurements.
|Number of pages||12|
|Journal||Physics in Medicine and Biology|
|Early online date||13-Jun-2022|
|Publication status||Published - 21-Jul-2022|