Comprehensive investigation of lateral dose profile and output factor measurements in small proton fields from different delivery techniques

Jana Kretschmer*, Leonie Brodbek, Carina Behrends, Fabian Kugel, Benjamin Koska, Christian Bäumer, Jörg Wulff, Beate Timmermann, Björn Poppe, Hui Khee Looe

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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    Background and purpose: As a part of the commissioning and quality assurance in proton beam therapy, lateral dose profiles and output factors have to be acquired. Such measurements can be performed with point detectors and are especially challenging in small fields or steep lateral penumbra regions as the detector's volume effect may lead to perturbations. To address this issue, this work aims to quantify and correct for such perturbations of six point detectors in small proton fields created via three different delivery techniques. Methods: Lateral dose profile and output measurements of three proton beam delivery techniques (pencil beam scanning, pencil beam scanning combined with collimators, passive scattering with collimators) were performed using high-resolution EBT3 films, a PinPoint 3D 31022 ionization chamber, a microSilicon diode 60023 and a microDiamond detector 60019 (all PTW Freiburg, Germany). Detector specific lateral dose response functions K(x,y) acting as the convolution kernel transforming the undisturbed dose distribution D(x,y) into the measured signal profiles M(x,y) were applied to quantify perturbations of the six investigated detectors in the proton fields and correct the measurements. A signal theoretical analysis in Fourier space of the dose distributions and detector's K(x,y) was performed to aid the understanding of the measurement process with regard to the combination of detector choice and delivery technique. Results: Quantification of the lateral penumbra broadening and signal reduction at the fields center revealed that measurements in the pencil beam scanning fields are only compromised slightly even by large volume ionization chambers with maximum differences in the lateral penumbra of 0.25 mm and 4% signal reduction at the field center. In contrast, radiation techniques with collimation are not accurately represented by the investigated detectors as indicated by a penumbra broadening up to 1.6 mm for passive scattering with collimators and 2.2 mm for pencil beam scanning with collimators. For a 3 mm diameter collimator field, a signal reduction at field center between 7.6% and 60.7% was asserted. Lateral dose profile measurements have been corrected via deconvolution with the corresponding K(x,y) to obtain the undisturbed D(x,y). Corrected output ratios of the passively scattered collimated fields obtained for the microDiamond, microSilicon and PinPoint 3D show agreement better than 0.9% (one standard deviation) for the smallest field size of 3 mm. Conclusion: Point detector perturbations in small proton fields created with three delivery techniques were quantified and found to be especially pronounced for collimated small proton fields with steep dose gradients. Among all investigated detectors, the microSilicon diode showed the smallest perturbations. The correction strategies based on detector's K(x,y) were found suitable for obtaining unperturbed lateral dose profiles and output factors. Approximation of K(x,y) by considering only the geometrical averaging effect has been shown to provide reasonable prediction of the detector's volume effect. The findings of this work may be used to guide the choice of point detectors in various proton fields and to contribute toward the development of a code of practice for small field proton dosimetry.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)4546-4561
    Aantal pagina's16
    TijdschriftMedical Physics
    Nummer van het tijdschrift7
    Vroegere onlinedatum3-mrt.-2023
    StatusPublished - jul.-2023

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