RapidArc treatment verification in 3D using polymer gel dosimetry and Monte Carlo simulation

Phys Med Biol. 2010 Sep 7;55(17):4885-98. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/55/17/001. Epub 2010 Aug 3.


The aim of this study was to verify the advanced inhomogeneous dose distribution produced by a volumetric arc therapy technique (RapidArc) using 3D gel measurements and Monte Carlo (MC) simulations. The TPS (treatment planning system)-calculated dose distribution was compared with gel measurements and MC simulations, thus investigating any discrepancy between the planned dose delivery and the actual delivery. Additionally, the reproducibility of the delivery was investigated using repeated gel measurements. A prostate treatment plan was delivered to a 1.3 liter nPAG gel phantom using one single arc rotation and a target dose of 3.3 Gy. Magnetic resonance imaging of the gel was carried out using a 1.5 T scanner. The MC dose distributions were calculated using the VIMC-Arc code. The relative absorbed dose differences were calculated voxel-by-voxel, within the volume enclosed by the 90% isodose surface (VOI(90)), for the TPS versus gel and TPS versus MC. The differences between the verification methods, MC versus gel, and between two repeated gel measurements were investigated in the same way. For all volume comparisons, the mean value was within 1% and the standard deviation of the differences was within 2.5% (1SD). A 3D gamma analysis between the dose matrices were carried out using gamma criteria 3%/3 mm and 5%/5 mm (% dose difference and mm distance to agreement) within the volume enclosed by the 50% isodose surface (VOI(50)) and the 90% isodose surface (VOI(90)), respectively. All comparisons resulted in very high pass rates. More than 95% of the TPS points were within 3%/3 mm of both the gel measurement and MC simulation, both inside VOI(50) and VOI(90). Additionally, the repeated gel measurements showed excellent consistency, indicating reproducible delivery. Using MC simulations and gel measurements, this verification study successfully demonstrated that the RapidArc plan was both accurately calculated and delivered as planned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Gels / chemistry*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Polymers / chemistry*
  • Radiometry / methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Gels
  • Polymers