A systematic review of the precision and accuracy of dose measurements in photon radiotherapy using polymer and Fricke MRI gel dosimetry

MACDOUGALL, N., PITCHFORD, W. G. and SMITH, M. A. (2002). A systematic review of the precision and accuracy of dose measurements in photon radiotherapy using polymer and Fricke MRI gel dosimetry. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 47 (20), R107-R121.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/47/20/201


The purpose of this work is to undertake a critical appraisal of the evidence in the published literature concerning the basic parameters of accuracy and precision associated with the use of Fricke and polymer gels (in conjunction with MR imaging) as radiation dosimeters in photon radiotherapy, condensing and analysing the body of published information (to the end of April 2002). A systematic review was undertaken addressing specific issues of precision and accuracy asking defined questions of the published literature. Accuracy and precision in relation to gel dosimetry were defined. Information was obtained from published, peer-reviewed journals. A defined search strategy utilizing MeSH headings and keywords, with extensive use of cross-referencing, identified 115 references dealing with gel dosimetry. Exclusion criteria were used to select only data from publications which would give unequivocal evidence. For accuracy, results had to be compared with an ionization chamber as gold standard and all gel samples had to be manufactured in the same batch. For precision, in addition to gels being from the same batch, samples must all have been irradiated at the same time and scanned simultaneously (or within a short time frame). Many results were found demonstrating 'dose mapping' examples using gels. However, there were very few publications containing firm evidence of precision and accuracy. There was no evidence which fulfilled our criteria about accuracy or precision using Fricke gels. For polymer gels only one paper was found for accuracy (4% (Low et al 1999 Med. Phys. 26 1542-5 1)) and precision (1.7% (Baldock et al 1998 Phys. Med. Biol. 43 695-702)); however, both were carried out at only one dose level. If the exclusion criteria were relaxed to include accuracy results comparing gel to a non gold standard dosimeter (e.g. TLD), results give a median accuracy of 10% (range 8-23.5%) for polymer gel (Cosgrove et al 2000 Phys. Med. Biol. 45 1195-210, De Deene et al 1998 Radiother. Oncol. 48 283-91, Farajollahi et al 2000 Br. J. Radiol. 72 1085-92, McJury et al 1999b Phys. Med. Biol. 44 2431-44, Murphy et al 2000b Phys. Med. Biol. 45 835-45, Oldham et al 2001 Med. Phys. 28 1436-45) and 5% for Fricke gel (Chan and Ayyangar 1995b Med. Phys. 22 1171-5). Evidence also points to accuracy worsening at lower dose levels for both gels. The precision data should be viewed with caution as repeated MR measurements were not performed with the same samples. The only precision data for Fricke gels was 1.5% (Johansson Back et al 1998 Phys. Med. Biol. 43 261-76), but for zero dose. In conclusion, despite the amount of published data, sparse research has been undertaken which provides clear evidence of the accuracy and precision for both gels. That which has been published has used higher doses than would be routine in radiotherapy. The basic radiation dosimeter qualities of accuracy and precision have yet to be fully quantified for polymer and Fricke gels at clinically relevant dose levels.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/47/20/201
Page Range: R107-R121
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2010 12:48
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2021 00:46
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2688

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