A quality assurance phantom for IMRT dose verification

C. M. Ma, S. B. Jiang, T. Pawlicki, Y. Chen, J. S. Li, J. Deng, A. L. Boyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


This paper investigates a quality assurance (QA) phantom specially designed to verify the accuracy of dose distributions and monitor units (MU) calculated by clinical treatment planning optimization systems and by the Monte Carlo method for intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). The QA phantom is a PMMA cylinder of 30 cm diameter and 40 cm length with various bone and lung inserts. A procedure (and formalism) has been developed to measure the absolute dose to water in the PMMA phantom. Another cylindrical phantom of the same dimensions, but made of water, was used to confirm the results obtained with the PMMA phantom. The PMMA phantom was irradiated by 4, 6 and 15 MV photon beams and the dose was measured using an ionization chamber and compared to the results calculated by a commercial inverse planning system (CORVUS, NOMOS, Sewickley, PA) and by the Monte Carlo method. The results show that the dose distributions calculated by both CORVUS and Monte Carlo agreed to within 2% of dose maximum with measured results in the uniform PMMA phantom for both open and intensity-modulated fields. Similar agreement was obtained between Monte Carlo calculations and measured results with the bone and lung heterogeneity inside the PMMA phantom while the CORVUS results were 4% different. The QA phantom has been integrated as a routine QA procedure for the patient's IMRT dose verification at Stanford since 1999.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-572
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 7 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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