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Implementation of a Standardized Monthly Quality Check for Linac Output Management in a Large Multi-Site Clinic

H Xu

H Xu*, B Yi , K Prado , Univ. of Maryland School Of Medicine, Baltimore, MD


MO-FG-CAMPUS-T-4 (Monday, July 13, 2015) 4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

Purpose:This work is to investigate the feasibility of a standardized monthly quality check (QC) of LINAC output determination in a multi-site, multi-LINAC institution. The QC was developed to determine individual LINAC output using the same optimized measurement setup and a constant calibration factor for all machines across the institution.

Methods:The QA data over 4 years of 7 Varian machines over four sites, were analyzed. The monthly output constancy checks were performed using a fixed source-to-chamber-distance (SCD), with no couch position adjustment throughout the measurement cycle for all the photon energies: 6 and 18MV, and electron energies: 6, 9, 12, 16 and 20 MeV. The constant monthly output calibration factor (Nconst) was determined by averaging the machines’ output data, acquired with the same monthly ion chamber. If a different monthly ion chamber was used, Nconst was then re-normalized to consider its different NDW,Co-60. Here, the possible changes of Nconst over 4 years have been tracked, and the precision of output results based on this standardized monthly QA program relative to the TG-51 calibration for each machine was calculated. Any outlier of the group was investigated.

Results:The possible changes of Nconst varied between 0-0.9% over 4 years. The normalization of absorbed-dose-to-water calibration factors corrects for up to 3.3% variations of different monthly QA chambers. The LINAC output precision based on this standardized monthly QC relative to the TG-51 output calibration is within 1% for 6MV photon energy and 2% for 18MV and all the electron energies. A human error in one TG-51 report was found through a close scrutiny of outlier data.

Conclusion:This standardized QC allows for a reasonably simplified, precise and robust monthly LINAC output constancy check, with the increased sensitivity needed to detect possible human errors and machine problems.

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