• Validation and clinical implementation of an accurate Monte Carlo code for pencil beam scanning proton therapy

      Huang, S.; Kang, M.; Souris, K. (John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2018)
      Monte Carlo (MC)‐based dose calculations are generally superior to analytical dose calculations (ADC) in modeling the dose distribution for proton pencil beam scanning (PBS) treatments. The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology for commissioning and validating an accurate MC code for PBS utilizing a parameterized source model, including an implementation of a range shifter, that can independently check the ADC in commercial treatment planning system (TPS) and fast Monte Carlo dose calculation in opensource platform (MCsquare). The source model parameters (including beam size, angular divergence and energy spread) and protons per MU were extracted and tuned at the nozzle exit by comparing Tool for Particle Simulation (TOPAS) simulations with a series of commissioning measurements using scintillation screen/CCD camera detector and ionization chambers. The range shifter was simulated as an independent object with geometric and material information. The MC calculation platform was validated through comprehensive measurements of single spots, field size factors (FSF) and three‐dimensional dose distributions of spread‐out Bragg peaks (SOBPs), both without and with the range shifter. Differences in field size factors and absolute output at various depths of SOBPs between measurement and simulation were within 2.2%, with and without a range shifter, indicating an accurate source model. TOPAS was also validated against anthropomorphic lung phantom measurements. Comparison of dose distributions and DVHs for representative liver and lung cases between independent MC and analytical dose calculations from a commercial TPS further highlights the limitations of the ADC in situations of highly heterogeneous geometries. The fast MC platform has been implemented within our clinical practice to provide additional independent dose validation/QA of the commercial ADC for patient plans. Using the independent MC, we can more efficiently commission ADC by reducing the amount of measured data required for low dose “halo” modeling, especially when a range shifter is employed. Copyright 2018 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine