The degree of accuracy of inhomogeneity corrections in a treatment planning system is dependent on the algorithm used by the system. The choice of field size, however, could have an effect on the calculation accuracy as well. There have been several evaluation studies on the accuracy of inhomogeneity corrections used by different algorithms. Most of these studies, however, focus on evaluating the dose in phantom using simplified geometry and open/static fields. This work focuses on evaluating the degree of dose accuracy in calculations involving intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) fields incident on a phantom containing both lung- and bone-equivalent heterogeneities using 6 and 10 MV beams. IMRT treatment plans were generated using the Philips Pinnacle treatment planning system and delivered to a phantom containing 55 thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) locations within the lung and bone and near the lung and bone interfaces with solid water. The TLD readings were compared with the dose predicted by the planning system. We find satisfactory agreement between planned and delivered doses, with an overall absolute average difference between measurement and calculation of 1.2% for the 6 MV and 3.1% for the 10 MV beam with larger variations observed near the interfaces and in areas of high-dose gradient. The results presented here demonstrate that the convolution algorithm used in the Pinnacle treatment planning system produces accurate results in IMRT plans calculated and delivered to inhomogeneous media, even in regions that potentially lack electronic equilibrium.
- Heterogeneity corrections
- Thermoluminescent dosimetry