Purpose: The purpose of this work was to assess the monitor unit (MU) values and position accuracy of spot scanning proton beams as recorded by the daily treatment logs of the treatment control system, and furthermore establish the feasibility of using the delivered spot positions and MU values to calculate and evaluate delivered doses to patients.
Methods: To validate the accuracy of the recorded spot positions, the authors generated and executed a test treatment plan containing nine spot positions, to which the authors delivered ten MU each. The spot positions were measured with radiographic films and Matrixx 2D ion-chambers array placed at the isocenter plane and compared for displacements from the planned and recorded positions. Treatment logs for 14 patients were then used to determine the spot MU values and position accuracy of the scanning proton beam delivery system. Univariate analysis was used to detect any systematic error or large variation between patients, treatment dates, proton energies, gantry angles, and planned spot positions. The recorded patient spot positions and MU values were then used to replace the spot positions and MU values in the plan, and the treatment planning system was used to calculate the delivered doses to patients. The results were compared with the treatment plan.
Results: Within a treatment session, spot positions were reproducible within ±0.2 mm. The spot positions measured by film agreed with the planned positions within ±1 mm and with the recorded positions within ±0.5 mm. The maximum day-to-day variation for any given spot position was within ±1 mm. For all 14 patients, with ∼1 500 000 spots recorded, the total MU accuracy was within 0.1% of the planned MU values, the mean (x, y) spot displacement from the planned value was (−0.03 mm, −0.01 mm), the maximum (x, y) displacement was (1.68 mm, 2.27 mm), and the (x, y) standard deviation was (0.26 mm, 0.42 mm). The maximum dose difference between calculated dose to the patient based on the plan and recorded data was within 2%.
Conclusions: The authors have shown that the treatment log file in a spot scanning proton beam delivery system is precise enough to serve as a quality assurance tool to monitor variation in spot position and MU value, as well as the delivered dose uncertainty from the treatment delivery system. The analysis tool developed here could be useful for assessing spot position uncertainty and thus dose uncertainty for any patient receiving spot scanning proton beam therapy.