Influence of the jaw tracking technique on the dose calculation accuracy of small field VMAT plans

Ans C. C. Swinnen*, Michel C. Ollers, Erik Roijen, Sebastiaan M. Nijsten, Frank Verhaegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Web of Science)


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate experimentally the accuracy of the dose calculation algorithm AcurosXB in small field highly modulated Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy (VMAT).

Method: The 1000SRS detector array inserted in the rotational Octavius 4D phantom (PTW) was used for 3D dose verification of VMAT treatments characterized by small to very small targets. Clinical treatment plans (n = 28) were recalculated on the phantom CT data set in the Eclipse TPS. All measurements were done on a Varian TrueBeamSTx, which can provide the jaw tracking technique (JTT). The effect of disabling the JTT, thereby fixing the jaws at static field size of 3 x 3 cm(2) and applying the MLC to shape the smallest apertures, was investigated for static fields between 0.5 x 0.5-3 x 3 cm(2) and for seven VMAT patients with small brain metastases. The dose calculation accuracy has been evaluated by comparing the measured and calculated dose outputs and dose distributions. The dosimetric agreement has been presented by a local gamma evaluation criterion of 2%/2 mm.

Results: Regarding the clinical plans, the mean SD of the volumetric gamma evaluation scores considering the dose levels for evaluation of 10%, 50%, 80% and 95% are (96.0 +/- 6.9)%, (95.2 +/- 6.8)%, (86.7 +/- 14.8)% and (56.3 +/- 42.3)% respectively. For the smallest field VMAT treatments, discrepancies between calculated and measured doses up to 16% are obtained. The difference between the 1000SRS central chamber measurements compared to the calculated dose outputs for static fields 3 x 3, 2 x 2, 1 x 1 and 0.5 x 0.5 cm(2) collimated with MLC whereby jaws are fixed at 3 x 3 cm(2) and for static fields shaped with the collimator jaws only (MLC retracted), is on average respectively, 0.2%, 0.8%, 6.8%, 5.7% (6 MV) and 0.1%, 1.3%, 11.7%, 21.6% (10 MV). For the seven brain mets patients was found that the smaller the target volumes, the higher the improvement in agreement between measured and calculated doses after disabling the JTT.

Conclusion: Fixing the jaws at 3 x 3 cm(2) and using the MLC with high positional accuracy to shape the smallest apertures in contrast to the JTT is currently found to be the most accurate treatment technique.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-195
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017


  • calculation algorithm
  • dosimetry
  • jaw tracking technique
  • small fields

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