Comparison of multi-institutional pre-treatment verification for VMAT of nasopharynx with delivery errors
Purpose: Measurement-based pre-treatment verification with phantoms frequently uses gamma analysis to assess acceptable delivery accuracy. This study evaluates the sensitivity of a commercial system to simulated machine errors for three different institutions' Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT) planning approaches. Methods: VMAT plans were generated for ten patients at three institutions using each institution's own protocol (manually-planned at institution 1; auto-planned at institutions 2 and 3). Errors in Multi-Leaf Collimator (MLC) field size (FS), MLC shift (S), and collimator angle (C) of −5, −2, −1, 1, 2 and 5 mm or degrees were introduced. Dose metric constraints discriminated which error magnitudes were considered unacceptable. The smallest magnitude error treatment plans deemed clinically unacceptable (typically for a 5% dose change) were delivered to the ArcCHECK for all institutions, and with a high-dose point ion chamber measurement in 2 institutions. Error detection for different gamma analysis criteria was compared. Results: Not all deliberately introduced VMAT plan errors were detected using a typical 3D 3%/3 mm global gamma pass rate of 95%. Considering all institutions, gamma analysis was least sensitive to negative FS errors. The most sensitive was a 2%/2 mm global analysis for institution 1, whilst for institution 2 it was 3%/3 mm global analysis. The majority of errors (58/59 for institution 1, 54/60 for institution 3) were detected using ArcCHECK and ion chamber measurements combined. Conclusions: Not all clinically unacceptable errors are detected. Combining ion chamber measurements with gamma analysis improved sensitivity and is recommended. Optimum gamma settings varied across institutions.