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Ma CM , Li J
Dose specification for radiation therapy: dose to water or dose to medium?
Phys Med Biol. 2011 May 21;56(10) :3073-89
PMID: 21508447   
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Abstract
The Monte Carlo method enables accurate dose calculation for radiation therapy treatment planning and has been implemented in some commercial treatment planning systems. Unlike conventional dose calculation algorithms that provide patient dose information in terms of dose to water with variable electron density, the Monte Carlo method calculates the energy deposition in different media and expresses dose to a medium. This paper discusses the differences in dose calculated using water with different electron densities and that calculated for different biological media and the clinical issues on dose specification including dose prescription and plan evaluation using dose to water and dose to medium. We will demonstrate that conventional photon dose calculation algorithms compute doses similar to those simulated by Monte Carlo using water with different electron densities, which are close (<4% differences) to doses to media but significantly different (up to 11%) from doses to water converted from doses to media following American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) Task Group 105 recommendations. Our results suggest that for consistency with previous radiation therapy experience Monte Carlo photon algorithms report dose to medium for radiotherapy dose prescription, treatment plan evaluation and treatment outcome analysis.
Notes
Ma, C-M Li, Jinsheng England Physics in medicine and biology Phys Med Biol. 2011 May 21;56(10):3073-89. Epub 2011 Apr 20.