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


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.

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Correspondence to E. Spelleken.

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Spelleken, E., Crowe, S.B., Sutherland, B. et al. Accuracy and efficiency of published film dosimetry techniques using a flat-bed scanner and EBT3 film. Australas Phys Eng Sci Med 41, 117–128 (2018).

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  • Dosimetry
  • EBT3
  • Gafchromic film
  • Flat-bed scanner
  • Radiotherapy