In vivo verification of superficial dose for head and neck treatments using intensity-modulated techniques
Skin dose is one of the key issues for clinical dosimetry in radiation therapy. Currently planning computer systems are unable to accurately predict dose in the buildup region, leaving ambiguity as to the dose levels actually received by the patient’s skin during radiotherapy. This is one of the prime reasons why in vivo measurements are necessary to estimate the dose in the buildup region. A newly developed metal-oxide-semiconductor-field-effect-transistor (MOSFET) detector designed specifically for dose measurements in rapidly changing dose gradients was introduced for accurate in vivo skin dosimetry. The feasibility of this detector for skin dose measurements was verified in comparison with plane parallel ionization chamber and radiochromic films. The accuracy of a commercial treatment planning system (TPS) in skin dose calculations for intensity-modulated radiation therapy treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma was evaluated using MOSFET detectors in an anthropomorphic phantom as well as on the patients. Results show that this newly developed MOSFET detector can provide a minimal but highly reproducible intrinsic buildup of 7 mg cm−2 corresponding to the requirements of personal surface dose equivalent Hp (0.07). The reproducibility of the MOSFET response, in high sensitivity mode, is found to be better than 2% at the phantom surface for the doses normally delivered to the patients. The MOSFET detector agrees well with the Attix chamber and the EBT Gafchromic® film in terms of surface and buildup region dose measurements, even for oblique incident beams. While the dose difference between MOSFET measurements and TPS calculations is within measurement uncertainty for the depths equal to or greater than 0.5 cm, an overestimation of up to 8.5% was found for the surface dose calculations in the anthropomorphic phantom study. In vivo skin dose measurements reveal that the dose difference between the MOSFET results and the TPS calculations was on average −7.2%, ranging from −4.3% to −9.2%. The newly designed MOSFET detector encapsulated into a thin water protective film has a minimal reproducible intrinsic buildup recommended for skin dosimetry. This feature makes it very suitable for routine IMRT QA and accurate in vivo skin dosimetry.