Publications by authors named "Stephanie Keehan"

6 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.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
July 2021

HDR brachytherapy well chamber calibration and stability evaluated over twenty years of clinical use.

Brachytherapy 2021 Jan-Feb;20(1):257-264. Epub 2020 Sep 17.

Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, Yallambie, Australia.

Purpose: The purpose of the study was to establish, using a retrospective analysis of existing hospital records, the long-term stability and accuracy of a high-dose-rate brachytherapy well chamber. This should be assessed to determine reliability and appropriate calibration frequency. The accrual of long-term data that demonstrates the stability of our chamber may inform others of the performance they might expect from similar equipment.

Methods And Materials: We evaluated air kerma strength measurements made with the PTW 32002 (Nucletron 077.091) high-dose-rate well chamber on 72 Ir sources over an 18-year period and the seven calibrations of that chamber which span a 27-year period.

Results: Consecutive air kerma strength measurements agreed within 0.01% on average. The chamber measurement agreed with the source specification within 0.02% on average, but was up to 1.4% during some calibration periods. The chamber calibration coefficient varied by a maximum of 5% over seven chamber calibration measurements.

Conclusions: The constancy of the well chamber current compared with the source manufacturer suggests that our chamber has been stable to better than 2% over a period of 18 years. Although the chamber has received different calibration coefficients over time, these coefficients are within the combined uncertainties of any two calibrations and are consistent with the chamber being stable. The agreement we have observed between clinical measurements and the source manufacturer would justify an action level for further investigation of 1%, for this specific chamber.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
August 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.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
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.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
April 2018

Activation of hip prostheses in high energy radiotherapy and resultant dose to nearby tissue.

J Appl Clin Med Phys 2017 Mar 27;18(2):100-105. Epub 2017 Feb 27.

School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

High energy radiotherapy can produce contaminant neutrons through the photonuclear effect. Patients receiving external beam radiation therapy to the pelvis may have high-density hip prostheses. Metallic materials such as those in hip prostheses, often have high cross-sections for neutron interaction. In this study, Thackray (UK) prosthetic hips have been irradiated by 18 MV radiotherapy beams to evaluate the additional dose to patients from the activation products. Hips were irradiated in- and out-of field at various distances from the beam isocenter to assess activation caused in-field by photo-activation, and neutron activation which occurs both in and out-of-field. NaI(Tl) scintillator detectors were used to measure the subsequent gamma-ray emissions and their half-lives. High sensitivity Mg, Cu, P doped LiF thermoluminescence dosimeter chips (TLD-100H) were used to measure the subsequent dose at the surface of a prosthesis over the 12 h following an in-field irradiation of 10,000 MU to a hip prosthesis located at the beam isocenter in a water phantom. Fe, Mn, and V were identified within the hip following irradiation by radiotherapy beams. The dose measured at the surface of a prosthesis following irradiation in a water phantom was 0.20 mGy over 12 h. The dose at the surface of prostheses irradiated to 200 MU was below the limit of detection (0.05 mGy) of the TLD100H. Prosthetic hips are activated by incident photons and neutrons in high energy radiotherapy, however, the dose resulting from activation is very small.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
March 2017

The Importance of Quasi-4D Path-Integrated Dose Accumulation for More Accurate Risk Estimation in Stereotactic Liver Radiotherapy.

Technol Cancer Res Treat 2016 06 20;15(3):428-36. Epub 2015 May 20.

School of Applied Sciences and Health Innovations Research Institute, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.

Intrafraction organ deformation may be accounted for by inclusion of temporal information in dose calculation models. In this article, we demonstrate a quasi-4-dimensional method for improved risk estimation. Conventional 3-dimensional and quasi-4-dimensional calculations employing dose warping for dose accumulation were undertaken for patients with liver metastases planned for 42 Gy in 6 fractions of stereotactic body radiotherapy. Normal tissue complication probabilities and stochastic risks for radiation-induced carcinogenesis and cardiac complications were evaluated for healthy peripheral structures. Hypothetical assessments of other commonly employed dose/fractionation schedules on normal tissue complication probability estimates were explored. Conventional 3-dimensional dose computation may result in significant under- or overestimation of doses to organ at risk. For instance, doses differ (on average) by 17% (σ = 14%) for the left kidney, by 14% (σ = 7%) for the right kidney, by 7% (σ = 9%) for the large bowel, and by 10% (σ = 14%) for the duodenum. Discrepancies in the excess relative risk range up to about 30%. The 3-dimensional approach was shown to result in cardiac complication risks underestimated by >20%. For liver stereotactic body radiotherapy, we have shown that conventional 3-dimensional dose calculation may significantly over-/underestimate dose to organ at risk (90%-120% of the 4-dimensional estimate for the mean dose and 20%-150% for D2%). Providing dose estimates that most closely represent the actual dose delivered will provide valuable information to improve our understanding of the dose response for partial volume irradiation using hypofractionated schedules. Excess relative risks of radiocarcinogenesis were shown to range up to approximately excess relative risk = 4 and the prediction thereof depends greatly on the use of either 3-dimensional or 4-dimensional methods (with corresponding results differing by tens of percent).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source Listing
June 2016