Investigating the lateral dose response functions of point detectors in proton beams

Phys Med Biol. 2022 Jul 4;67(14). doi: 10.1088/1361-6560/ac783c.


Objective. Point detector measurements in proton fields are perturbed by the volume effect originating from geometrical volume-averaging within the extended detector's sensitive volume and density perturbations by non-water equivalent detector components. Detector specific lateral dose response functionsK(x) can be used to characterize the volume effect within the framework of a mathematical convolution model, whereK(x) is the convolution kernel transforming the true dose profileD(x) into the measured signal profile of a detectorM(x). The aim of this work is to investigateK(x) for detectors in proton beams.Approach. TheK(x) for five detectors were determined by iterative deconvolution of measurements ofD(x) andM(x) profiles at 2 cm water equivalent depth of a narrow 150 MeV proton beam. Monte Carlo simulations were carried out for two selected detectors to investigate a potential energy dependence, and to study the contribution of volume-averaging and density perturbation to the volume effect.Main results. The Monte Carlo simulated and experimentally determinedK(x) agree within 2.1% of the maximum value. Further simulations demonstrate that the main contribution to the volume effect is volume-averaging. The results indicate that an energy or depth dependence ofK(x) is almost negligible in proton beams. While the signal reduction from a Semiflex 3D ionization chamber in the center of a gaussian shaped field with 2 mm sigma is 32% for photons, it is 15% for protons. When measuring the field with a microDiamond the trend is less pronounced and reversed with a signal reduction for protons of 3.9% and photons of 1.9%.Significance. The determinedK(x) can be applied to characterize the influence of the volume effect on detectors measured signal profiles at all clinical proton energies and measurement depths. The functions can be used to derive the actual dose distribution from point detector measurements.

Keywords: dosimetry; lateral dose response function; proton beams; small fields; volume effect.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Monte Carlo Method
  • Photons
  • Protons*
  • Radiometry* / methods


  • Protons