Purpose: The main purpose in this study was to present the results of beam modeling and how the authors systematically investigated the influence of double and triple Gaussian proton kernel models on the accuracy of dose calculations for spot scanning technique. Methods: The accuracy of calculations was important for treatment planning software (TPS) because the energy, spot position, and absolute dose had to be determined by TPS for the spot scanning technique. The dose distribution was calculated by convolving in-air fluence with the dose kernel. The dose kernel was the in-water 3D dose distribution of an infinitesimal pencil beam and consisted of an integral depth dose (IDD) and a lateral distribution. Accurate modeling of the low-dose region was important for spot scanning technique because the dose distribution was formed by cumulating hundreds or thousands of delivered beams. The authors employed a double Gaussian function as the in-air fluence model of an individual beam. Double and triple Gaussian kernel models were also prepared for comparison. The parameters of the kernel lateral model were derived by fitting a simulated in-water lateral dose profile induced by an infinitesimal proton beam, whose emittance was zero, at various depths using Monte Carlo (MC) simulation. The fitted parameters were interpolated as a function of depth in water and stored as a separate look-up table. These stored parameters for each energy and depth in water were acquired from the look-up table when incorporating them into the TPS. The modeling process for the in-air fluence and IDD was based on the method proposed in the literature. These were derived using MC simulation and measured data. The authors compared the measured and calculated absolute doses at the center of the spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) under various volumetric irradiation conditions to systematically investigate the influence of the two types of kernel models on the dose calculations. Results: The authors investigated the difference between double and triple Gaussian kernel models. The authors found that the difference between the two studied kernel models appeared at mid-depths and the accuracy of predicting the double Gaussian model deteriorated at the low-dose bump that appeared at mid-depths. When the authors employed the double Gaussian kernel model, the accuracy of calculations for the absolute dose at the center of the SOBP varied with irradiation conditions and the maximum difference was 3.4%. In contrast, the results obtained from calculations with the triple Gaussian kernel model indicated good agreement with the measurements within ?1.1%, regardless of the irradiation conditions. Conclusions: The difference between the results obtained with the two types of studied kernel models was distinct in the high energy region. The accuracy of calculations with the double Gaussian kernel model varied with the field size and SOBP width because the accuracy of prediction with the double Gaussian model was insufficient at the low-dose bump. The evaluation was only qualitative under limited volumetric irradiation conditions. Further accumulation of measured data would be needed to quantitatively comprehend what influence the double and triple Gaussian kernel models had on the accuracy of dose calculations.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging