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Dependence of Radiotherapy Couch Transmission Factors On Field Size and Couch-Isocenter Distance

S Benhabib

S Benhabib*, J Duan , X Wu , R Cardan , S Shen , M Huang , R Popple , I Brezovich , Univ Alabama Birmingham, Birmingham, AL


SU-E-T-98 Sunday 3:00PM - 6:00PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose:The dosimetric effect of the treatment couch is non-negligible in today’s radiotherapy treatment. To accurately include couch in dose calculation, we investigated the dependence of couch transmission factors on field size and couch-isocenter distance.

Methods: Couch transmission factors for Varian Exact Couch were determined by taking the ratios of ionization of a posterior-anterior beam with and without the couch in the beam path. Measurements were performed at the isocenter using a PTW cylindrical ionization chamber (Model 31030) with an Aluminum buildup cap of 1.1 cm thick for the 6 MV photon beam. Ionization readings for beam sizes ranging from 2 x 2 cm2 to 40 x 40 cm2 were taken. Transmission factors for couch-isocenter distances ranging from 3 cm to 20 cm were also investigated.

Results: The couch transmission factors increased with the field size approximately in an exponential manner. For the field sizes that we tested, the transmission factor ranged from 0.976 to 0.992 for couch-isocenter distance of 3 cm. The transmission factor was also monotonically dependent on couch-isocenter separation distance, but in a lighter magnitude. For the tested couch heights, the transmission factor ranged from 0.974 – 0.972 for 2 x 2 cm2 field size and 0.992 - 0.986 for 40 x 40 cm2 field size. The dependence on couch-isocenter distance is stronger for larger field size.

Conclusions: The transmission factor of a radiotherapy treatment couch increases with field size of the radiation beam and its distance from the isocenter. Such characterization of the couch transmission factor helps improve the accuracy of couch modeling for radiotherapy treatment planning.

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