Clinical and Research Applications of 3D Dosimetry
Quality assurance (QA) is a critical component of radiation oncology medical physics for both effective treatment and patient safety, particularly as innovations in technology allow movement toward advanced treatment techniques that require increasingly higher accuracy in delivery. Comprehensive 3D dosimetry with PRESAGE® 3D dosimeters read out via optical CT has the potential to detect errors that would be missed by current systems of measurement, and thereby improve the rigor of current QA techniques through providing high-resolution, full 3D verification for a wide range of clinical applications. The broad objective of this dissertation research is to advance and strengthen the standards of QA for radiation therapy, both by driving the development and optimization of PRESAGE® 3D dosimeters for specific clinical and research applications and by applying the technique of high resolution 3D dosimetry toward addressing clinical needs in the current practice of radiation therapy. The specific applications that this dissertation focuses on address several topical concerns: (1) increasing the quality, consistency, and rigor of radiation therapy delivery through comprehensive 3D verification in remote credentialing evaluations, (2) investigating a reusable 3D dosimeter that could potentially facilitate wider implementation of 3D dosimetry through improving cost-effectiveness, and (3) validating deformable image registration (DIR) algorithms prior to clinical implementation in dose deformation and accumulation calculations.
3D Remote Dosimetry: The feasibility of remote high-resolution 3D dosimetry with the PRESAGE®/Optical-CT system was investigated using two nominally identical optical-CT scanners for 3D dosimetry were constructed and placed at the base (Duke University) and remote (IROC Houston) institutions. Two formulations of PRESAGE® (SS1, SS2) were investigated with four unirradiated PRESAGE® dosimeters imaged at the base institution, then shipped to the remote institution for planning and irradiation. After each dosimeter was irradiated with the same treatment plan and subsequently read out by optical CT at the remote institution, the dosimeters were shipped back to the base institution for remote dosimetry readout 3 days post-irradiation. Measured on-site and remote relative 3D dose distributions were registered to the Pinnacle dose calculation, which served as the reference distribution for 3D gamma calculations with passing criteria of 5%/2mm, 3%/3mm, and 3%/2mm with a 10% dose threshold. Gamma passing rates, dose profiles, and dose maps were used to assess and compare the performance of both PRESAGE® formulations for remote dosimetry. Both PRESAGE® formulations under study maintained high linearity of dose response (R2>0.996) over 14 days with response slope consistency within 4.9% (SS1) and 6.6% (SS2). Better agreements between the Pinnacle plan and dosimeter readout were observed in PRESAGE® formulation SS2, which had higher passing rates and consistency between immediate and remote results at all metrics. This formulation also demonstrated a relative dose distribution that remained stable over time. These results provide a foundation for future investigations using remote dosimetry to study the accuracy of advanced radiation treatments.
A Reusable 3D Dosimeter: New Presage-RU formulations made using a lower durometer polyurethane matrix (Shore hardness 30-50A) exhibit a response that optically clears following irradiation and opens up the potential for reirradiation and dosimeter reusability. This would have the practical benefit of improving cost-effectiveness and thereby facilitating the wider implementation of comprehensive, high resolution 3D dosimetry. Three formulations (RU-3050-1.7, RU-3050-1.5, and RU-50-1.5) were assessed with multiple irradiations of both small volume samples and larger volume dosimeters, then characterized and evaluated for dose response sensitivity, optical clearing, dose-rate independence, dosimetric accuracy, and the effects of reirradiation on dose measurement. The primary shortcoming of these dosimeters was the discovery of age-dependent gradients in dose response sensitivity, which varied dose response by as much as 30% and prevented accurate measurement. This is unprecedented in the standard formulations and presumably caused by diffusion of a desensitizing agent into the lower durometer polyurethane. The effect of prior irradiation on the dosimeters would also be a concern as it was seen that the relative amount of dose delivered to any given region of the dosimeter will affect subsequent sensitivity in that area, which would in effect create spatially-dependent variable dose sensitivities throughout the dosimeter based on the distributions of prior irradiations. While a successful reusable dosimeter may not have been realized from this work, these studies nonetheless contributed useful information that will affect future development, including in the area of deformable dosimetry, and provide a framework for future reusable dosimeter testing.
Validating Deformable Image Registration Algorithms: Deformable image registration (DIR) algorithms are used for multi-fraction dose accumulation and treatment response assessment for adaptive radiation therapy, but the accuracy of these methods must be investigated prior to clinical implementation. 12 novel deformable PRESAGE® 3D dosimeter formulations were introduced and characterized for potential use in validating DIR algorithms by providing accurate, ground-truth deformed dose measurement for comparison to DIR-predicted deformed dose distributions. Two commercial clinical DIR software algorithms were evaluated for dose deformation accuracy by comparison against a measured deformed dosimeter dose distribution. This measured distribution was obtained by irradiating a dosimeter under lateral compression, then releasing it from compression so that it could return to its original geometry. The dose distribution within the dosimeter deformed along with the dosimeter volume as it regained to its original shape, thus providing a measurable ground truth deformed dose distribution. Results showed that intensity-based DIR algorithms produce high levels of error and physically unrealistic deformations when deforming a homogeneous structure; this is expected as lack of internal structure is challenging for intensity-based DIR algorithms to deform accurately as they rely on matching fairly closely spaced heterogeneous intensity features. A biomechanical, intensity-independent DIR algorithm demonstrated substantially closer agreement to the measured deformed dose distribution with 3D gamma passing rates (3%/3mm) in the range of 90-91%. These results underscore the necessity and importance of validating DIR algorithms for specific clinical scenarios prior to clinical implementation.
Medical imaging and radiology
Deformable Image Registration
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