Practical IMRT QA dosimetry using Gafchromic film: a quick start guide
This work outlines a method for using Gafchromic film for dosimetry purposes, by scanning it with currently available commercial scanners. The scanners used were: Epson V800, Epson V700, Epson V37 series, specifically a V370 and a Canon multi-function office printer/scanner. The Epson scanners have 16 bit RGB resolution, the Canon has 8 bit RGB (Red Green Blue) resolution, and the V800 and V700 allow scanning in transmission mode. The V700 uses an Epson White Cold Cathode Florescent Lamp; the recently released V800 uses an Epson light emitting diode (LED) light source, while the V37 series uses a reflective mode and the Epson LED light source. The Epson V37 series scanners are designed for non-professional use so the cost has been kept at a low "entry level" point, so they would be a suitable option for a department wanting to use Gafchromic film or with limited needs that did not justify a more sophisticated and expensive unit. Note that the V800 or V700 scanners are not expensive in context, costing approximately the same as a 25 sheet box of Gafchromic film. The Canon was included to demonstrate that a scanner with 8 bit RGB resolution can be used for dosimetry. These general multi-function units are available in most departments, and they would allow Gafchromic film to be evaluated as a dosimetry tool without a significant investment. Furthermore, they are generally capable of scanning large format film (425 x 350 mm) in one part. Although this is not necessary for dosimetry, it is often useful for machine QA, where dividing the film into two parts to ensure accurate measurements is not practical. Moreover, this analytical method uses software that is freely or commonly available, particularly the image processing package ImageJ. Note ImageJ v1.48 was the version used. The results demonstrate that this method used with the scanners evaluated is a practical method of using Gafchromic film as a dosimeter for IMRT QA.