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MPPG Report 8.b - AAPM Medical Physics Practice Guideline 8.b: Linear accelerator performance tests (2023)

Category: MPPG Report

The purpose of this guideline is to provide a list of critical performance tests to assist the Qualified Medical Physicist (QMP) in establishing and maintaining a safe and effective quality assurance (QA) program. The performance tests on a linear accelerator (linac) should be selected to fit the clinical patterns of use of the accelerator and care should be given to perform tests which are relevant to detecting errors related to the specific use of the accelerator. Current recommendations for linac QA were reviewed to determine any changes required to those tests highlighted by the original report as well as considering new components of the treatment process that have become common since its publication. Recommendations are made on the acquisition of reference data, routine establishment of machine isocenter, basing performance tests on clinical use of the linac, working with vendors to establish QA tests and performing tests after maintenance and upgrades. The recommended tests proposed in this guideline were chosen based on consensus of the guideline's committee after assessing necessary changes from the previous report. The tests are grouped together by class of test (e.g., dosimetry, mechanical, etc.) and clinical parameter tested. Implementation notes are included for each test so that the QMP can understand the overall goal of each test. This guideline will assist the QMP in developing a comprehensive QA program for linacs in the external beam radiation therapy setting. The committee sought to prioritize tests by their implication on quality and patient safety. The QMP is ultimately responsible for implementing appropriate tests. In the spirit of the report from American Association of Physicists in Medicine Task Group 100, individual institutions are encouraged to analyze the risks involved in their own clinical practice and determine which performance tests are relevant in their own radiotherapy clinics.

Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics

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Keywords: baseline, commissioning, external beam, guideline, IMRT, linac, MPPG, percentage depth dose, primary reference data, profiles, quality assurance, TG-142, TG-198, VMAT

Robert F. Krauss, Salim Balik, Eileen Cirino, Austin Hadley, Navneeth Hariharan, Shannon M. Holmes, Kayla N. Kielar, Hossein Lavvafi, Kiernan T. McCullough, Steven Palefsky, John Phillip Sawyer, Koren Smith, Jason B. Tracy, Jeff D. Winter, Nicholai Wingreen

Committee Responsible: Subcommittee on Practice Guidelines
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