Purpose: To assess the accuracy of dose calculations in the near-surface region for different treatment planning systems (TPSs), treatment techniques, and energies to improve clinical decisions for patients receiving whole breast irradiation (WBI).
Methods and materials: A portable custom breast phantom was designed for dose measurements in the near-surface regions. Treatment plans of varying complexities were created at 8 institutions using 4 different TPSs on an anonymized patient data set (50 Gy in 25 fractions) and peer reviewed by participants. The plans were recalculated on the phantom data set. The phantom was aligned with predetermined shifts and laser marks or cone beam computed tomography, and the irradiation was performed using a variety of linear accelerators at the participating institutions. Dose was measured with radiochromic film placed at 0.5 and 1.0 cm depth and 3 locations per depth within the phantom. The film was scanned and analyzed >24 hours postirradiation.
Results: The percentage difference between the mean of the measured and calculated dose across the participating centers was -0.2 % ± 2.9%, with 95% of measurements within 6% agreement. No significant differences were found between the mean of the calculated and measured dose for all TPSs, treatment techniques, and energies at all depths and laterality investigated. Furthermore, no significant differences were observed between the mean of measured dose and the prescription dose of 2 Gy per fraction.
Conclusion: These results demonstrate that dose calculations for clinically relevant WBI plans are accurate to within 6% of measurements in the near-surface region for various complexities, TPSs, linear accelerators, and beam energies. This work lays the necessary foundation for future studies investigating the correlation between near-surface dose and acute skin toxicities.
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