IMRT national audit in Portugal
Abstract Purpose The IAEA newly developed “end-to-end” audit methodology for on-site verification of IMRT dose delivery has been carried out in Portugal in 2018. The main goal was to evaluate the physical aspects of the head and neck (H&N) cancer IMRT treatments. This paper presents the national results. Methods All institutions performing IMRT treatments in Portugal, 20 out of 24, have voluntarily participated in this audit. Following the adopted methodology, a Shoulder, Head and Neck End-to-End phantom (SHANE) – that mimics an H&N region, underwent all steps of an IMRT treatment, according to the local practices. The measurements using an ionization chamber placed inside the SHANE phantom at four reference locations (three in PTVs and one in the spinal cord) and an EBT3 film positioned in a coronal plane were compared with calculated doses. FilmQA Pro software was used for film analysis. Results For ionization chamber measurements, the percent difference was within the specified tolerances of ±5% for PTVs and ±7% for the spinal cord in all participating institutions. Considering film analysis, gamma passing rates were on average 96.9%±2.9% for a criterion of 3%/3 mm, 20% threshold, all above the acceptance limit of 90%. Conclusions The national results of the H&N IMRT audit showed a compliance between the planned and the delivered doses within the specified tolerances, confirming no major reasons for concern. At the same time the audit identified factors that contributed to increased uncertainties in the IMRT dose delivery in some institutions resulting in recommendations for quality improvement.