Improvements in dose calculation accuracy for small off-axis targets in high dose per fraction tomotherapy

Nicholas Hardcastle, Adam Bayliss, Jeannie Hsiu Ding Wong, Anatoly B. Rosenfeld, Wolfgang A. Tomé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: A recent field safety notice from TomoTherapy detailed the underdosing of small, off-axis targets when receiving high doses per fraction. This is due to angular undersampling in the dose calculation gantry angles. This study evaluates a correction method to reduce the underdosing, to be implemented in the current version (v4.1) of the TomoTherapy treatment planning software. Methods: The correction method, termed Super Sampling involved the tripling of the number of gantry angles from which the dose is calculated during optimization and dose calculation. Radiochromic film was used to measure the dose to small targets at various off-axis distances receiving a minimum of 21 Gy in one fraction. Measurements were also performed for single small targets at the center of the Lucy phantom, using radiochromic film and the dose magnifying glass (DMG). Results: Without super sampling, the peak dose deficit increased from 0 to 18 for a 10 mm target and 0 to 30 for a 5 mm target as off-axis target distances increased from 0 to 16.5 cm. When super sampling was turned on, the dose deficit trend was removed and all peak doses were within 5 of the planned dose. For measurements in the Lucy phantom at 9.7 cm off-axis, the positional and dose magnitude accuracy using super sampling was verified using radiochromic film and the DMG. Conclusions: A correction method implemented in the TomoTherapy treatment planning system which triples the angular sampling of the gantry angles used during optimization and dose calculation removes the underdosing for targets as small as 5 mm diameter, up to 16.5 cm off-axis receiving up to 21 Gy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4788-4794
Number of pages7
JournalMedical physics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • dose magnifying glass
  • radiochromic film
  • small field dosimetry
  • stereotactic radiosurgery
  • tomotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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