Publications by authors named "Maddison Shaw"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Calculation algorithms and penumbra: Underestimation of dose in organs at risk in dosimetry audits.

Med Phys 2021 Jul 21. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Physical Sciences, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Purpose: The aim of this study is to investigate overdose to organs at risk (OARs) observed in dosimetry audits in Monte Carlo (MC) algorithms and Linear Boltzmann Transport Equation (LBTE) algorithms. The impact of penumbra modeling on OAR dose was assessed with the adjustment of MC modeling parameters and the clinical relevance of the audit cases was explored with a planning study of spine and head and neck (H&N) patient cases.

Methods: Dosimetric audits performed by the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS) of 43 anthropomorphic spine plans and 1318 C-shaped target plans compared the planned dose to doses measured with ion chamber, microdiamond, film, and ion chamber array. An MC EGSnrc model was created to simulate the C-shape target case. The electron cut-off energy E was set at 500, 200, and 10 keV, and differences between 1 and 3 mm voxel were calculated. A planning study with 10 patient stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) spine plans and 10 patient H&N plans was calculated in both Acuros XB (AXB) v15.6.06 and Anisotropic Analytical Algorithm (AAA) v15.6.06. The patient contour was overridden to water as only the penumbral differences between the two different algorithms were under investigation.

Results: The dosimetry audit results show that for the SBRT spine case, plans calculated in AXB are colder than what is measured in the spinal cord by 5%-10%. This was also observed for other audit cases where a C-shape target is wrapped around an OAR where the plans were colder by 3%-10%. Plans calculated with Monaco MC were colder than measurements by approximately 7% with the OAR surround by a C-shape target, but these differences were not noted in the SBRT spine case. Results from the clinical patient plans showed that the AXB was on average 7.4% colder than AAA when comparing the minimum dose in the spinal cord OAR. This average difference between AXB and AAA reduced to 4.5% when using the more clinically relevant metric of maximum dose in the spinal cord. For the H&N plans, AXB was cooler on average than AAA in the spinal cord OAR (1.1%), left parotid (1.7%), and right parotid (2.3%). The EGSnrc investigation also noted similar, but smaller differences. The beam penumbra modeled by E  = 500 keV was steeper than the beam penumbra modeled by E  = 10 keV as the full scatter is not accounted for, which resulted in less dose being calculated in a central OAR region where the penumbra contributes much of the dose. The dose difference when using 2.5 mm voxels of the center of the OAR between 500 and 10 keV was 3%, reducing to 1% between 200 and 10 keV.

Conclusions: Lack of full penumbral modeling due to approximations in the algorithms in MC based or LBTE algorithms are a contributing factor as to why these algorithms under-predict the dose to OAR when the treatment volume is wrapped around the OAR. The penumbra modeling approximations also contribute to AXB plans predicting colder doses than AAA in areas that are in the vicinity of beam penumbra. This effect is magnified in regions where there are many beam penumbras, for example in the spinal cord for spine SBRT cases.
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July 2021

Measuring the dose in bone for spine stereotactic body radiotherapy.

Phys Med 2021 Apr 25;84:265-273. Epub 2021 Mar 25.

Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Melbourne, Australia.

Purpose: Current quality assurance of radiotherapy involving bony regions generally utilises homogeneous phantoms and dose calculations, ignoring the challenges of heterogeneities with dosimetry problems likely occurring around bone. Anthropomorphic phantoms with synthetic bony materials enable realistic end-to-end testing in clinical scenarios. This work reports on measurements and calculated corrections required to directly report dose in bony materials in the context of comprehensive end-to-end dosimetry audit measurements (63 plans, 6 planning systems).

Materials And Methods: Radiochromic film and microDiamond measurements were performed in an anthropomorphic spine phantom containing bone equivalent materials. Medium dependent correction factors, k, were established using 6 MV and 10 MV Linear Accelerator Monte Carlo simulations to account for the detectors being calibrated in water, but measuring in regions of bony material. Both cortical and trabecular bony material were investigated for verification of dose calculations in dose-to-medium (D) and dose-to-water (D) scenarios.

Results: For D calculations, modelled correction factors for cortical and trabecular bone in film measurements, and for trabecular bone in microDiamond measurements were 0.875(±0.1%), 0.953(±0.3%) and 0.962(±0.4%), respectively. For D calculations, the corrections were 0.920(±0.1%), 0.982(±0.3%) and 0.993(±0.4%), respectively. In the audit, application of the correction factors improves the mean agreement between treatment plans and measured microDiamond dose from -2.4%(±3.9%) to 0.4%(±3.7%).

Conclusion: Monte Carlo simulations provide a method for correcting the dose measured in bony materials allowing more accurate comparison with treatment planning system doses. In verification measurements, algorithm specific correction factors should be applied to account for variations in bony material for calculations based on D and D.
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April 2021

A comparison of IROC and ACDS on-site audits of reference and non-reference dosimetry.

Med Phys 2019 Dec 25;46(12):5878-5887. Epub 2019 Oct 25.

Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service, ARPANSA, Melbourne, Australia.

Purpose: Consistency between different international quality assurance groups is important in the progress toward similar standards and expectations in radiotherapy dosimetry around the world, and in the context of consistent clinical trial data from international trial participants. This study compares the dosimetry audit methodology and results of two international quality assurance groups performing a side-by-side comparison at the same radiotherapy department, and interrogates the ability of the audits to detect deliberately introduced errors.

Methods: A comparison of the core dosimetry components of reference and non-reference audits was conducted by the Imaging and Radiation Oncology Core (IROC, Houston, USA) and the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS, Melbourne, Australia). A set of measurements were conducted over 2 days at an Australian radiation therapy facility in Melbourne. Each group evaluated the reference dosimetry, output factors, small field output factors, percentage depth dose (PDD), wedge, and off-axis factors according to their standard protocols. IROC additionally investigated the Electron PDD and the ACDS investigated the effect of heterogeneities. In order to evaluate and compare the performance of these audits under suboptimal conditions, artificial errors in percentage depth dose (PDD), EDW, and small field output factors were introduced into the 6 MV beam model to simulate potential commissioning/modeling errors and both audits were tested for their sensitivity in detecting these errors.

Results: With the plans from the clinical beam model, almost all results were within tolerance and at an optimal pass level. Good consistency was found between the two audits as almost all findings were consistent between them. Only two results were different between the results of IROC and the ACDS. The measurements of reference FFF photons showed a discrepancy of 0.7% between ACDS and IROC due to the inclusion of a 0.5% nonuniformity correction by the ACDS. The second difference between IROC and the ACDS was seen with the lung phantom. The asymmetric field behind lung measured by the ACDS was slightly (0.3%) above the ACDS's pass (optimal) level of 3.3%. IROC did not detect this issue because their measurements were all assessed in a homogeneous phantom. When errors were deliberately introduced neither audit was sensitive enough to pick up a 2% change to the small field output factors. The introduced PDD change was flagged by both audits. Similarly, the introduced error of using 25° wedge instead of 30° wedge was detectible in both audits as out of tolerance.

Conclusions: Despite different equipment, approach, and scope of measurements in on-site audits, there were clear similarities between the results from the two groups. This finding is encouraging in the context of a global harmonized approach to radiotherapy quality assurance and dosimetry audit.
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December 2019

Dosimetric end-to-end tests in a national audit of 3D conformal radiotherapy.

Phys Imaging Radiat Oncol 2018 Apr 24;6:5-11. Epub 2018 Apr 24.

Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS), Australian Radiation Protection and National Safety Agency (ARPANSA), 619 Lower Plenty Road, Yallambie, VIC 3085, Australia.

Background And Purpose: Independent dosimetry audits improve quality and safety of radiation therapy. This work reports on design and findings of a comprehensive 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) Level III audit.

Materials And Methods: The audit was conducted as onsite audit using an anthropomorphic thorax phantom in an end-to-end test by the Australian Clinical Dosimetry Service (ACDS). Absolute dose point measurements were performed with Farmer-type ionization chambers. The audited treatment plans included open and half blocked fields, wedges and lung inhomogeneities. Audit results were determined as Pass Optimal Level (deviations within 3.3%), Pass Action Level (greater than 3.3% but within 5%) and Out of Tolerance (beyond 5%), as well as Reported Not Scored (RNS). The audit has been performed between July 2012 and January 2018 on 94 occasions, covering approximately 90% of all Australian facilities.

Results: The audit pass rate was 87% (53% optimal). Fifty recommendations were given, mainly related to planning system commissioning. Dose overestimation behind low density inhomogeneities by the analytical anisotropic algorithm (AAA) was identified across facilities and found to extend to beam setups which resemble a typical breast cancer treatment beam placement. RNS measurements inside lung showed a variation in the opposite direction: AAA under-dosed a target beyond lung and over-dosed the lung upstream and downstream of the target. Results also highlighted shortcomings of some superposition and convolution algorithms in modelling large angle wedges.

Conclusions: This audit showed that 3D-CRT dosimetry audits remain relevant and can identify fundamental global and local problems that also affect advanced treatments.
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April 2018

A randomised comparison of three different immobilisation devices for thoracic and abdominal cancers.

J Med Radiat Sci 2017 Jun 20;64(2):90-96. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Faculty of Health Science, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK.

Introduction: Patient immobilisation is critically important for both highly conformal conventionally fractionated radiotherapy and for stereotactic body radiotherapy. Different immobilisation devices are available to maintain patient position for radiotherapy but the most suitable one remains unknown.

Methods: Forty-five patients were randomly allocated to one of three immobilisation devices; the Q fix arm shuttle, BodyFIX without wrap or BodyFIX with wrap. Patients were imaged before and after treatment to ascertain intra-fraction and inter-fraction motion. Bony anatomy was used for matching to determine the positional accuracy of each device. Treatments were timed using a standard method. Patient comfort and staff satisfaction questionnaires were also issued to determine comfort, ease of use and preferences for each device.

Results: The BodyFIX without wrap was the more accurate device; however, the differences between the devices were not statistically significant. The BodyFIX with wrap was found to take significantly longer to set up and set down compared to the arm shuttle and the BodyFIX without wrap (all P < 0.001). Patients (37%) marginally preferred the BodyFIX with wrap. Most (81%) staff preferred the BodyFIX without wrap.

Conclusion: Immobilisation using the BodyFIX without wrap was deemed to be suitable for clinical use. It was a clinically accurate device, the more efficient in terms of set up and set down time, the most preferred by staff and was accepted by patients.
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June 2017