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Mitigation of Increased Surface Dose When Treating Through A Carbon Fiber Couch Top

F Misgina

E Johnson , F Misgina*, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY


SU-F-T-424 (Sunday, July 31, 2016) 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall

To study the effect of the Varian carbon fiber couch top on surface dose for patients being treated using single PA beams in the supine position and to identify simple methods for surface dose reduction.

Measurements of surface dose were obtained in Solid Water phantoms using both a parallel plate ionization chamber (PTW Advanced Markus) and EBT2 Radiochromic films for both 6 and 10MV photons. All measurements were referenced to a depth considered a typical for PA Spine fields. Techniques used to reduce the surface dose included introducing an air standoff using Styrofoam sheets to suspend the phantom surface above the couch top and by adding a thin high Z scattering foil on the table surface. Surface doses were evaluated for typical field sizes, standoff heights, and various scattering materials. Comparisons were made to the surface dose obtainable when treating through a Varian Mylar covered tennis racket style couch top.

Dependence on typical spine field sizes was relatively minor. Dependence on air gap was much more significant. Surface doses decreased exponentially with increases in air standoff distance. Surface doses were reduced by approximately 50% for an air gap of 10cm and 40% for a 15cm air gap. Surface doses were reduced by an additional 15% by the addition of a 1mm Tin scattering foil.

Using simple techniques, it is possible to reduce the surface dose when treating single PA fields through the Varian carbon fiber couch top. Surface doses can be reduced to levels observed when treating though transparent Mylar tops by adding about 15 cm of air gap. Further reductions are possible by adding thin scattering foils, such as Tin or Lead, on the couch surface. This is a low cost approach to reduce surface dose when using the Varian carbon fiber couch top.

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