Evaluation of machine log files/MC-based treatment planning and delivery QA as compared to ArcCHECK QA

Med Phys. 2018 Jul;45(7):2864-2874. doi: 10.1002/mp.12926. Epub 2018 May 11.


Purpose: A treatment planning/delivery QA tool using linac log files (LF) and Monte Carlo (MC) dose calculation is investigated as a standalone alternative to phantom-based patient-specific QA (ArcCHECK (AC)).

Methods: Delivering a variety of fields onto MapCHECK2 and ArcCHECK, diode sensitivity dependence on dose rate (in-field) and energy (primarily out-of-field) was quantified. AC and LF QAs were analyzed with respect to delivery complexity by delivering 12 × 12 cm static fields/arcs comprised of varying numbers of abutting sub-fields onto ArcCHECK. About 11 clinical dual-arc VMAT patients planned using Pinnacle's convolution-superposition (CS) were delivered on ArcCHECK and log file dose (LF-CS and LF-MC) calculated. To minimize calculation time, reduced LF-CS sampling (1/2/3/4° control point spacing) was investigated. Planned ("Plan") and LF-reconstructed CS and MC doses were compared with each other and AC measurement via statistical [mean ± StdDev(σ)] and gamma analyses to isolate dosimetric uncertainties and quantify the relative accuracies of AC QA and MC-based LF QA.

Results: Calculation and ArcCHECK measurement differed by up to 1.5% in-field due to variation in dose rate and up to 5% out-of-field. For the experimental segment-varying plans, despite CS calculation deviating by as much as 13% from measurement, Plan-MC and LF-MC doses generally matched AC measurement within 3%. Utilizing 1° control point spacing, 2%/2 mm LF-CS vs AC pass rates (97%) were slightly lower than Plan-CS vs AC pass rates (97.5%). Utilizing all log file samples, 2%/2 mm LF-MC vs AC pass rates (97.3%) were higher than Plan-MC vs AC (96.5%). Phantom-dependent, calculation algorithm-dependent (MC vs CS), and delivery error-dependent dose uncertainties were 0.8 ± 1.2%, 0.2 ± 1.1%, and 0.1 ± 0.9% respectively.

Conclusion: Reconstructing every log file sample with no increase in computational cost, MC-based LF QA is faster and more accurate than CS-based LF QA. Offering similar dosimetric accuracy compared to AC measurement, MC-based log files can be used for treatment planning QA.

Keywords: ArcCHECK; Monte Carlo; log file; quality assurance.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / instrumentation