Small field dose measurements with Gafchromic film
Underwood, Ryan John
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Purpose: To examine the dosimetric characteristics of Gafchromic EBT3 film when measuring small fields of radiation, and compare it against other common radiation detectors. Methods and Materials: EBT3 film was placed in a solid water phantom and irradiated with 6MV photons, field sizes from 10x10cm2 down to 6x6mm2. The films were scanned with a Vidar DosimetryPRO Advantage Red scanner, and analyzed with RIT113 software. The films were also scanned at different orientations and times to quantify the discrepancies associated with scanning orientation and post-exposure darkening. The same fields were measured with a PTW TN30013 farmer chamber, an Exradin T1 cylindrical ion chamber, a PTW parallel plate ion chamber, and a Sun Nuclear Edge Detector (diode). Output factors were calculated for each detector and compared for accuracy. The output factors were measured from a Varian Clinac iX, Clinac 21EX, Trilogy, and TrueBeam; as well as a Novalis Tx. The outputs from different machines at different clinics were compared. Results: The EBT3 film and Edge Detector were the only detectors that succeeded in accurately measuring the output from all field sizes; the ion chambers were too large and failed for field sizes below 4x4cm2 due to volume averaging. The dose measured with the film increased by an average of 8.8% after one week post-irradiation. The dose measured was also reduced by an average of 4.4% by scanning the film in landscape orientation, as opposed to portrait orientation. It was shown that the output factors for the smallest field of 6x6mm2--successfully measured with film and diode--varied between 0.54-0.74 for five different machines at three different clinics. Conclusions: The feasibility of using Gafchromic EBT3 film to measure very small fields of radiation is confirmed. Of the other 4 detectors used, only the diode was shown to be capable of accurately measuring small fields of radiation. The need to optimize the film dosimetry process--including the time films are scanned post-irradiation, the consistency of the scanning orientation of the calibration and subsequent films, and the measurement procedure on the computer software--is highlighted.