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An automated Monte Carlo QC system for volumetric modulated arc therapy: Possibilities and challenges

Journal article
Authors Roumiana Chakarova
R. Cronholm
M. Krantz
P. Andersson
Andreas Hallqvist
Published in Physica Medica-European Journal of Medical Physics
Volume 51
Pages 32-37
ISSN 1120-1797
Publication year 2018
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Oncology
Pages 32-37
Language en
Keywords Monte Carlo, Patient specific VMAT QC, Normalized dose difference, radiotherapy, water, simulations, position, vmat, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging
Subject categories Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


Purpose: To develop and implement an automated Monte Carlo (MC) system for patient specific VMAT quality control in a patient geometry that generates treatment planning system (TPS) compliant DICOM objects and includes a module for 3D analysis of dose deviations. Also, the aims were to recommend diagnose specific tolerance criteria and an evaluation procedure. Methods: The EGSnrc code package formed the basis for development of the MC system. The workflow consists of a number of modules connected to a TPS by means of manual DICOM exports and imports which were executed sequentially without user interaction. DVH comparison was performed in the TPS. In addition, MC-and TPS dose distributions were analysed by applying the normalized dose difference (NDD) formalism. NDD failure maps and a pass rate for a certain threshold were obtained. 170 clinical plans (prostate, thorax, head-and-neck and gynecological) were selected for analysis. Results: Agreement within 1.5% was found between clinical-and MC data for the mean dose to the target volumes and within 3% for parameters more sensitive to the shape of the DVH e.g. D-98% PTV. Regarding the NDD analysis, tolerance criteria 2%/3 mm were established for prostate plans and 3%/3 mm for the rest of the cases. Conclusions: An automated MC system was developed and implemented. Evaluation procedure is recommended with NDD-analysis as a first step. For pass rate < 95%, the evaluation continues with comparison of DVH parameters. For deviations larger than 2%, a visual inspection of the clinical-and MC dose distributions is performed.

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