Intra-cavitary dosimetry for IMRT head and neck treatment using thermoluminescent dosimeters in a naso-oesophageal tube

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Complex intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) treatment plans require rigorous quality assurance tests. The aim of this study was to independently verify the delivered dose inside the patient in the region of the treatment site. A flexible naso-gastric tube containing thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs) was inserted into the oesophagus via the sinus cavity before the patient's first treatment. Lead markers were also inserted into the tube in order that the TLD positions could be accurately determined from the lateral and anterior posterior electronic portal images taken prior to treatment. The measured dose was corrected for both daily linac output variations and the estimated dose received from the portal images. The predicted dose for each TLD was determined from the treatment planning system and compared to the measured TLD doses. The results comprise 431 TLD measurements on 43 patients. The mean measured-to-predicted dose ratio was 0.988 +/- 0.011 (95% confidence interval) for measured doses above 0.2 Gy. There was a variation in this ratio when the measurements were separated into low dose (0.2-1.0 Gy), medium dose (1.0-1.8 Gy) and high dose (> 1.8 Gy) measurements. The TLD-loaded, naso-oesophageal tube for in vivo dose verification is straightforward to implement, and well tolerated by patients. It provides independent reassurance of the delivered dose for head and neck IMRT.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3649-3657
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Publication categoryResearch