POD-DOSI: A dedicated dosimetry system for GammaPod commissioning and quality assurance

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Purpose: GammaPod, a stereotactic partial breast irradiator allowing highly conformal radiation dose delivery, has its unique mechanical design and treatment planning system (TPS). However, the uniqueness of the system poses challenges regarding initial GammaPod system commissioning and routine quality assurance (QA). In this study, we report POD-DOSI, a dedicated dosimetry system for accurate and efficient commissioning and QA of GammaPod. Materials and methods: The POD-DOSI system consists of two subsystems, POD-Scanner and POD-Calculator. The POD-Scanner is an automatic ion-chamber positioning system driven by two translational stepper motors for anterior–posterior, longitudinal, and lateral beam scanning. The stepper motors are controlled by a microcomputer through an in-house-developed graphical user interface, which can be remotely accessed by a laptop via wireless connection. The POD-Calculator is a commissioned GPU-based Monte Carlo dose calculation engine, which calculates dose by transporting particles from phase space constructed for GammaPod. In our institution, the POD-DOSI system was used for GammaPod TPS commissioning and dose verification. The POD-Calculator was further developed as a secondary dose calculation tool performing patient-specific plan QA before each treatment. Results: The POD-DOSI system has been fully evaluated and tested, both mechanically and dosimetrically, and applied successfully to drive the commissioning of our GammaPod system. The POD-Scanner achieved 0.1 mm accuracy in ion-chamber positioning tests. The POD-Calculator generated dose profiles matched well with water phantom measurements and TPS calculations to <0.5 mm accuracy. For end-to-end test on 56 different treatment plans, in-water point dose measurements by POD-Scanner were within ±2.20% of the doses calculated by POD-Calculator (range: −2.01% to 2.20%, mean: 0.04%, std_dev: 1.10%). Correspondingly, when switching the calculation medium from water to breast tissue, the point doses calculated by the POD-Calculator were within ±1.60% of the point doses calculated by the GammaPOD TPS (range: −1.59% to 1.51%, mean: −0.02%, std_dev: 0.73%). The average three-dimensional gamma passing rate between the GammaPod TPS doses and the POD-Calculator doses was 97.10% under the 2%/1 mm gamma criteria. The POD-DOSI system substantially shortened the GammaPod dosimetry commissioning time from weeks to days. Conclusion: The developed POD-DOSI system resolves the challenges and streamlines the process of GammaPod commissioning and QA. It improves the efficiency and accuracy for both GammaPod commissioning and routine patient-specific QA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3647-3657
Number of pages11
JournalMedical physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • GammaPod
  • Monte carlo
  • commissioning
  • quality assurance
  • treatment planning system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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