Accuracy and efficiency of published film dosimetry techniques using a flat-bed scanner and EBT3 film

  • E. SpellekenEmail author
  • S. B. Crowe
  • B. Sutherland
  • C. Challens
  • T. Kairn
Scientific Paper


Gafchromic EBT3 film is widely used for patient specific quality assurance of complex treatment plans. Film dosimetry techniques commonly involve the use of transmission scanning to produce TIFF files, which are analysed using a non-linear calibration relationship between the dose and red channel net optical density (netOD). Numerous film calibration techniques featured in the literature have not been independently verified or evaluated. A range of previously published film dosimetry techniques were re-evaluated, to identify whether these methods produce better results than the commonly-used non-linear, netOD method. EBT3 film was irradiated at calibration doses between 0 and 4000 cGy and 25 pieces of film were irradiated at 200 cGy to evaluate uniformity. The film was scanned using two different scanners: The Epson Perfection V800 and the Epson Expression 10000XL. Calibration curves, uncertainty in the fit of the curve, overall uncertainty and uniformity were calculated following the methods described by the different calibration techniques. It was found that protocols based on a conventional film dosimetry technique produced results that were accurate and uniform to within 1%, while some of the unconventional techniques produced much higher uncertainties (> 25% for some techniques). Some of the uncommon methods produced reliable results when irradiated to the standard treatment doses (< 400 cGy), however none could be recommended as an efficient or accurate replacement for a common film analysis technique which uses transmission scanning, red colour channel analysis, netOD and a non-linear calibration curve for measuring doses up to 4000 cGy when using EBT3 film.


Dosimetry EBT3 Gafchromic film Flat-bed scanner Radiotherapy 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Genesis Cancer CareRockhamptonAustralia
  2. 2.Cancer Care ServicesRoyal Brisbane and Women’s HospitalHerstonAustralia
  3. 3.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Radiation Oncology CentresGold CoastAustralia
  5. 5.Genesis Cancer CareAuchenflowerAustralia

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