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Analytic Design Method to Make a 2D Planar, Segmented Ion Chamber Water-Equivalent for Proton Dose Measurements

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W Harris

W Harris1*, R Hollebeek2 , B Teo2 , R Maughan2 , D Dolney2 , (1) Drexel University, Philadelphia PA (2) University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA


TH-C-19A-1 Thursday 10:15AM - 12:15PM Room: 19A

Purpose: Quality Assurance (QA) measurements of proton therapy fields must accurately measure steep longitudinal dose gradients as well as characterize the dose distribution laterally. Currently, available devices for two-dimensional field measurements perturb the dose distribution such that routine QA measurements performed at multiple depths require multiple field deliveries and are time consuming.

Methods: A design procedure for a two-dimensional detector array is introduced whereby the proton energy loss and scatter are adjusted so that the downstream dose distribution is maintained to be equivalent to that which would occur in uniform water. Starting with the design for an existing, functional two-dimensional segmented ion chamber prototype, a compensating material is introduced downstream of the detector to simultaneously equate the energy loss and lateral scatter in the detector assembly to the values in water. An analytic formalism and procedure is demonstrated to calculate the properties of the compensating material in the general case of multiple layers of arbitrary material. The resulting design is validated with Monte Carlo simulations.

Results: With respect to the specific prototype design considered, the results indicate that a graphite compensating layer of the proper dimensions can yield proton beam range perturbation less than 0.1mm and beam sigma perturbation less than 2% across the energy range of therapeutic proton beams.

Conclusion: We have shown that, for a 2D gas-filled detector array, a graphite-compensating layer can balance the energy loss and multiple Coulomb scattering relative to uniform water. We have demonstrated an analytic formalism and procedure to determine a compensating material in the general case of multiple layers of arbitrary material.

Funding Support, Disclosures, and Conflict of Interest: This work was supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command under Contract Agreement No. DAMD17-W81XWH-04-2-0022. Opinions, interpretations, conclusions and recommendations are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by the US Army.

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