Validating a double Gaussian source model for small proton fields in a commercial Monte-Carlo dose calculation engine

Fabian Kugel*, Jörg Wulff, Christian Bäumer, Martin Janson, Jana Kretschmer, Leonie Brodbek, Carina Behrends, Nico Verbeek, Hui Khee Looe, Björn Poppe, Beate Timmermann

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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    Purpose: The primary fluence of a proton pencil beam exiting the accelerator is enveloped by a region of secondaries, commonly called “spray”. Although small in magnitude, this spray may affect dose distributions in pencil beam scanning mode e.g., in the calculation of the small field output, if not modelled properly in a treatment planning system (TPS). The purpose of this study was to dosimetrically benchmark the Monte Carlo (MC) dose engine of the RayStation TPS (v.10A) in small proton fields and systematically compare single Gaussian (SG) and double Gaussian (DG) modeling of initial proton fluence providing a more accurate representation of the nozzle spray.

    Methods: The initial proton fluence distribution for SG/DG beam modeling was deduced from two-dimensional measurements in air with a scintillation screen with electronic readout. The DG model was either based on direct fits of the two Gaussians to the measured profiles, or by an iterative optimization procedure, which uses the measured profiles to mimic in-air scan-field factor (SF) measurements. To validate the DG beam models SFs, i.e. relative doses to a 10 × 10 cm2 field, were measured in water for three different initial proton energies (100MeV, 160MeV, 226.7MeV) and square field sizes from 1×1cm2 to 10×10cm2 using a small field ionization chamber (IBA CC01) and an IBA ProteusPlus system (universal nozzle). Furthermore, the dose to the center of spherical target volumes (diameters: 1cm to 10cm) was determined using the same small volume ionization chamber (IC). A comprehensive uncertainty analysis was performed, including estimates of influence factors typical for small field dosimetry deduced from a simple two-dimensional analytical model of the relative fluence distribution. Measurements were compared to the predictions of the RayStation TPS.

    Results: SFs deviated by more than 2% from TPS predictions in all fields <4×4cm2 with a maximum deviation of 5.8% for SG modeling. In contrast, deviations were smaller than 2% for all field-sizes and proton energies when using the directly fitted DG model. The optimized DG model performed similarly except for slightly larger deviations in the 1×1cm2 scan-fields. The uncertainty estimates showed a significant impact of pencil beam size variations (±5%) resulting in up to 5.0% standard uncertainty. The point doses within spherical irradiation volumes deviated from calculations by up to 3.3% for the SG model and 2.0% for the DG model.

    Conclusion: Properly representing nozzle spray in RayStation's MC-based dose engine using a DG beam model was found to reduce the deviation to measurements in small spherical targets to below 2%. A thorough uncertainty analysis shows a similar magnitude for the combined standard uncertainty of such measurements.

    Originele taal-2English
    Pagina's (van-tot)529-541
    Aantal pagina's13
    TijdschriftZeitschrift fur medizinische Physik
    Volume33
    Nummer van het tijdschrift4
    DOI's
    StatusPublished - nov.-2023

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