Patient-specific IMRT verification using independent fluence-based dose calculation software: experimental benchmarking and initial clinical experience

Dietmar Georg, Markus Stock, Bernhard Kroupa, Jörgen Olofsson, Tufve Nyholm, Anders Ahnesjö, Mikael Karlsson

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

28 Citations (Scopus)


Experimental methods are commonly used for patient-specific intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) verification. The purpose of this study was to investigate the accuracy and performance of independent dose calculation software (denoted as 'MUV' (monitor unit verification)) for patient-specific quality assurance (QA). 52 patients receiving step-and-shoot IMRT were considered. IMRT plans were recalculated by the treatment planning systems (TPS) in a dedicated QA phantom, in which an experimental 1D and 2D verification (0.3 cm(3) ionization chamber; films) was performed. Additionally, an independent dose calculation was performed. The fluence-based algorithm of MUV accounts for collimator transmission, rounded leaf ends, tongue-and-groove effect, backscatter to the monitor chamber and scatter from the flattening filter. The dose calculation utilizes a pencil beam model based on a beam quality index. DICOM RT files from patient plans, exported from the TPS, were directly used as patient-specific input data in MUV. For composite IMRT plans, average deviations in the high dose region between ionization chamber measurements and point dose calculations performed with the TPS and MUV were 1.6 +/- 1.2% and 0.5 +/- 1.1% (1 S.D.). The dose deviations between MUV and TPS slightly depended on the distance from the isocentre position. For individual intensity-modulated beams (total 367), an average deviation of 1.1 +/- 2.9% was determined between calculations performed with the TPS and with MUV, with maximum deviations up to 14%. However, absolute dose deviations were mostly less than 3 cGy. Based on the current results, we aim to apply a confidence limit of 3% (with respect to the prescribed dose) or 6 cGy for routine IMRT verification. For off-axis points at distances larger than 5 cm and for low dose regions, we consider 5% dose deviation or 10 cGy acceptable. The time needed for an independent calculation compares very favourably with the net time for an experimental approach. The physical effects modelled in the dose calculation software MUV allow accurate dose calculations in individual verification points. Independent calculations may be used to replace experimental dose verification once the IMRT programme is mature.

Original languageEnglish
Article number018
Pages (from-to)4981-4992
Number of pages12
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Algorithms
  • Benchmarking
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Pilot Projects
  • Radiometry/methods
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted/methods
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal/methods
  • Software
  • Treatment Outcome


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