Impact of detector selection on commissioning of Leipzig surface applicators with improving immobilization in high-dose-rate brachytherapy



      Commission and treatment setup of Leipzig surface applicators, because of the steep dose gradient and lack of robust immobilization, is challenging. We aim to improve commissioning reliability by investigating the impact of detector choice on percentage depth dose (PDD) verifications, and to enhance accuracy and reproducibility in calibration/treatment setup through a simple and novel immobilization device.


      PDD distributions were measured with radiochromic films, optically stimulated luminescent dosimeters (OSLDs), a diode detector, and both cylindrical and parallel plate ionization chambers. The films were aligned to the applicators in parallel and transverse orientations. PDD data from a benchmarking Monte Carlo (MC) study were compared with the measured results, where surface doses were acquired from extrapolation. To improve setup accuracy and reproducibility, a custom-designed immobilization prototype device was made with cost-effective materials using a 3D printer.


      The measured PDD data with different detectors had an overall good agreement ( < ± 10 % ). The parallel plate ionization chamber reported unreliable doses for the smallest applicator. There was no remarkable dose difference between the two film setups. The two-in-one prototype device provided a rigid immobilization and a flexible positioning of the applicator. It enhanced accuracy and reproducibility in calibration and treatment setup.


      We recommend using radiochromic films in the transverse orientation for a reliable and efficient PDD verification. The applicator's clinical applicability has been limited by a lack of robust immobilization. We expect this economical, easy-to-use prototype device can promote the use of Leipzig applicators in surface brachytherapy.


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