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Can radiation therapy treatment planning system accurately predict surface doses in postmastectomy radiation therapy patients?
Skin doses have been an important factor in the dose prescription for breast radiotherapy. Recent advances in radiotherapy treatment techniques, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and new treatment schemes such as hypofractionated breast therapy have made the precise determination of the surface dose necessary. Detailed information of the dose at various depths of the skin is also critical in designing new treatment strategies. The purpose of this work was to assess the accuracy of surface dose calculation by a clinically used treatment planning system and those measured by thermoluminescence dosimeters (TLDs) in a customized chest wall phantom. This study involved the construction of a chest wall phantom for skin dose assessment. Seven TLDs were distributed throughout each right chest wall phantom to give adequate representation of measured radiation doses. Point doses from the CMS Xio? treatment planning system (TPS) were calculated for each relevant TLD positions and results correlated. There were no significant difference between measured absorbed dose by TLD and calculated doses by the TPS (p ? 0.05 (1-tailed). Dose accuracy of up to 2.21% was found. The deviations from the calculated absorbed doses were overall larger (3.4%) when wedges and bolus were used. 3D radiotherapy TPS is a useful and accurate tool to assess the accuracy of surface dose. Our studies have shown that radiation treatment accuracy expressed as a comparison between calculated doses (by TPS) and measured doses (by TLD dosimetry) can be accurately predicted for tangential treatment of the chest wall after mastectomy.