In vivo real-time dosimetric verification in high dose rate prostate brachytherapy
Purpose: To evaluate the performance of a diode array in the routine verification of planned dose to points inside the rectum from prostate high dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy using a real-time planning system. Methods: A dosimetric study involving 28 patients was undertaken where measured doses received during treatment were compared to those calculated by the treatment planning system (TPS). After the ultrasound imaging required for treatment planning had been recorded, the ultrasound probe was replaced with a geometric replica that contained an 8 mm diameter cylindrical cavity in which a PTW diode array type 9112 was placed. The replica probe was then positioned inside the rectum with the individual diode positions determined using fluoroscopy. Dose was then recorded during the patients’ treatment and compared to associated coordinates in the planning system. Results: Factors influencing diode response and experimental uncertainty were initially investigated to estimate the overall uncertainty involved in dose measurements, which was determined to be ±10%. Data was acquired for 28 patients’ first fractions, 11 patients’ second fractions, and 13 patients’ third fractions with collection dependent upon circumstances. Deviations between the diode measurements and predicted values ranged from −42% to +35% with 71% of measurements experiencing less than a 10% deviation from the predicted values. If the ±10% measurement uncertainty was combined with a tolerated dose discrepancy of ±10% then over 95% of the diode results exhibited agreement with the calculated data to within ±20%. It must also be noted that when large dose discrepancies were apparent they did not necessarily occur for all five diodes in the one measurement. Conclusions: This technique provided a method that could be utilized to detect gross errors in dose delivery of a real-time prostate HDR plan. Limitations in the detection system used must be well understood if meaningful results are to be achieved.