Catching errors with in vivo EPID dosimetry

Med Phys. 2010 Jun;37(6):2638-44. doi: 10.1118/1.3397807.


The potential for detrimental incidents and the ever increasing complexity of patient treatments emphasize the need for accurate dosimetric verification in radiotherapy. For this reason, all curative treatments are verified, either pretreatment or in vivo, by electronic portal imaging device (EPID) dosimetry in the Radiation Oncology Department of The Netherlands Cancer Institute-Antoni van Leeuwenhoek hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Since the clinical introduction of the method in January 2005 until August 2009, treatment plans of 4337 patients have been verified. Among these plans, 17 serious errors were detected that led to intervention. Due to their origin, nine of these errors would not have been detected with pretreatment verification. The method is illustrated in detail by the case of a plan transfer error detected in a 5 x 5 Gy intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) rectum treatment. The EPID reconstructed dose at the isocenter was 6.3% below the planned value. Investigation of the plan transfer chain revealed that due to a network transfer error, the plan was corrupted. 3D analysis of the acquired EPID data revealed serious underdosage of the planning target volume: On average 11.6%, locally up to 20%. This report shows the importance of in vivo (EPID) dosimetry for all treatment plans as well as the ability of the method to assess the dosimetric impact of deviations found.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Humans
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • X-Ray Intensifying Screens*