Film dosimetry offers an advantageous in-phantom planar dose verification tool in terms of spatial resolution and ease of handling for quality assurance (QA) of intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans. A critical step in the success of such a technique is that the film calibration be appropriately conducted. This paper presents a fast and efficient film calibration method for a helical tomotherapy unit using a single sheet of film. Considering the unique un-flattened cone shaped profile from a helical tomotherapy beam, a custom leaf control file (sinogram) was created, to produce a valley shaped intensity pattern. There are eleven intensity steps in the valley pattern, representing varying dose values from 38 to 265 cGy. This dose range covers the most commonly prescribed doses in fractionated IMRT treatments. An ion chamber in a solid water phantom was used to measure the dose in each of the eleven steps. For daily film calibration the whole procedure, including film exposure, processing, digitization and analysis, can be completed within 15 min, making it practical to use this technique routinely. This method is applicable to film calibration on a helical tomotherapy unit and is particularly useful in IMRT planar dose verification due to its efficiency and reproducibility. In this work, we characterized the dose response of the KODAK EDR2 ready-pack film which was used to develop the step valley dose maps and the IMRT QA planar doses. A comparison between the step valley technique and multifilm based calibration showed that both calibration methods agreed with less than 0.4% deviation in the clinically useful dose ranges.
- Film dosimetry
- Helical tomotherapy
- IMRT treatment plan verification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging