An investigation into the use of mmctp to tune accelerator source parameters and testing its clinical application
Foley, Mark J.
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Conneely, Elaine; Alexander, Andrew; Stroian, Gabriella; Seuntjens, Jan; Foley, Mark J. (2013). An investigation into the use of mmctp to tune accelerator source parameters and testing its clinical application. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics 14 (2), 3-14
This paper presents an alternative method to tune Monte Carlo electron beam parameters to match measured data using a minimal set of variables in order to reduce the model setup time prior to clinical implementation of the model. Monte Carlo calculations provide the possibility of a powerful treatment planning verification technique. The nonstandardized and nonautomated process of tuning the required accelerator model is one of the reasons for delays in the clinical implementation of Monte Carlo techniques. This work aims to establish and verify an alternative tuning method that can be carried out in a minimal amount of time, allowing it to be easily implemented in a clinical setting by personnel with minimal experience with Monte Carlo methods. This tuned model can then be incorporated into the MMCTP system to allow the system to be used as a second dose calculation check for IMRT plans. The technique proposed was used to establish the primary electron beam parameters for accelerator models for the Varian Clinac 2100 6 MV photon beam using the BEAMnrc Monte Carlo system. The method is intended to provide a clear, direct, and efficient process for tuning an accelerator model using readily available clinical quality assurance data. The tuning provides a refined model, which agrees with measured dose profile curves within 1.5% outside the penumbra or 3 mm in the penumbra, for square fields with sides of 3 cm up to 30 cm. These models can then be employed as the basis for Monte Carlo recalculations of dose distributions, using the MMCTP system, for clinical treatment plans, providing an invaluable assessment tool. This was tested on six IMRT plans and compared to the measurements performed for the pretreatment QA process. These Monte Carlo values for the average dose to the chamber volume agreed with measurements to within 0.6%.