Measurement comparison and Monte Carlo analysis for volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) delivery verification using the ArcCHECK dosimetry system

Mu Han Lin, Sion Koren, Iavor Veltchev, Jinsheng Li, Lu Wang, Robert A. Price, C. M. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The objective of this study is to validate the capabilities of a cylindrical diode array system for volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment quality assurance (QA). \The VMAT plans were generated by the Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS) with the analytical anisotropic algorithm (AAA) for dose calculation. An in-house Monte Carlo (MC) code was utilized as a validation tool for the TPS calculations and the ArcCHECK measurements. The megavoltage computed tomography (MVCT) of the ArcCHECK system was adopted for the geometry reconstruction in the TPS and for MC simulations. A 10 × 10 cm2 open field validation was performed for both the 6 and 10 MV photon beams to validate the absolute dose calibration of the ArcCHECK system and also the TPS dose calculations for this system. The impact of the angular dependency on noncoplanar deliveries was investigated with a series of 10 × 10 cm2 fields delivered with couch rotation 0° to 40°. The sensitivity of detecting the translational (1 to 10 mm) and the rotational (1° to 3°) misalignments was tested with a breast VMAT case. Ten VMAT plans (six prostate, H&N, pelvis, liver, and breast) were investigated to evaluate the agreement of the target dose and the peripheral doseamong ArcCHECK measurements, and TPS and MC dose calculations. A customized acrylic plug holding an ion chamber was used to measure the dose at the center of the ArcCHECK phantom. Both the entrance and the exit doses measured by the ArcCHECK system with and without the plug agreed with the MC simulation to 1.0%. The TPS dose calculation with a 2.5 mm grid overestimated the exit dose by up to 7.2% when the plug was removed. The agreement between the MC and TPS calculations for the ArcCHECK without the plug improved significantly when a 1 mm dose calculation grid was used in the TPS. The noncoplanar delivery test demonstrated that the angular dependency has limited impact on the gamma passing rate (< 1.2%drop) for the 2%-3% dose and 2mm-3 mm DTA criteria. A 1° rotational misalignment introduces 11.3% (3%/3mm) to 21.3% (1%/1 mm) and 0.2% (3%/3 mm) to 0.8% (1%/1 mm) Gamma passing rate drop for ArcCHECK system and MatriXX system, respectively. Both systems have comparable sensitivity to the AP misalignments. However, a 2 mm RL misalignment introduces gammapassing rate drop ranging from 0.9% (3%/3 mm) to 4.0% (1%/1 mm) and 5.0% (3%/3 mm) to 12.0% (1%/1 mm) for ArcCHECK and MatriXX measurements, respectively. For VMAT plan QA, the gamma analysis passing rates ranged from 96.1% (H&N case) to 99.9% (prostate case), when using the 3%/3 mm DTA criteria for the peripheral dose validation between the TPS and ArcCHCEK measurements. The peripheral dose validation between the MC simulation and ArcCHECKmeasurements showed at least 97.9% gamma passing rates. The central dose validation alsoshowed an agreement within 2.2% between TPS/MC calculations and ArcCHECK measurements. The worst discrepancy was system is suitable for VMAT QA evaluation based on the sensitivity to detecting misalignments, the clinical impact of the angular dependency, and the correlation between the dose agreements in the peripheral region and the central region. This work also demonstrated the importance of carrying out a thorough validation of both the TPS and the dosimetry system prior to utilizing it for QA, and the value of having an independent dose calculation tool, such as the MC method, in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-233
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • ArcCHECK
  • Diode array
  • MonteCarlo
  • Quality assurance
  • Volumetric-modulated arc therapy (VMAT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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