Technical Note: Comprehensive evaluation and implementation of two independent methods for beam monitor calibration for proton scanning beam

Jiajian Shen, Xiaoning Ding, Yanle Hu, Yixiu Kang, Wei Liu, Wei Deng, Martin Bues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To clinically implement and comprehensively evaluate two independent methods for beam monitor calibration of scanning proton beam. Methods: Seven proton energies that represent the lowest to highest energy proton beams were selected. Single energy layer circular fields of diameter 15 cm with 2.5 mm spot spacing and 10 times of repainting (FS15cm) were designed for all energies. The effective measurement points of Bragg peak chamber (BPC), advanced Markus chamber (AMC) and farmer chamber (FC) were all aligned to 2 cm depth in water using SSD setup. The BPC and AMC were cross-calibrated with farmer chamber (FC) using the field FS15cm. In order to evaluate BPC's lateral response uniformity, a collimated narrow proton beam (5.8 mm diameter) was delivered to the active area and edge of the BPC. The dose area product (DAP) was measured using two methods by two BPCs, one AMC and one FC. For method 1, a single spot proton beam was delivered to the geometric center of the BPC. For method 2, the fields FS15cm were delivered to FC and AMC, respectively. Accumulated charges by these chambers were converted to DAPs, and the quantitative difference of DAPs between both methods was calculated. The causes of the uncertainties were discussed, and the advantages of the two methods were compared. Results: The two BPCs showed different lateral response uniformity. BPC1 has a uniform response from the center up to a radius of 3.5 cm. BPC2 has a uniform response only to 2 cm and the response dropped 1% to 2% at 3.5 cm from center. BPC2 also has significant over-response compared to BPC1. A 2.2% systematic error would be transferred to DAP if the over-response from BPC2 was not considered. The DAPs measured by method 1 with two BPCs and by method 2 with FC and AMC were consistent to 0.5%. The major uncertainty component of method 1 is from the cross-calibration of the BPC. Conclusions: The two independent methods for DAP were shown to give consistent results, given the sources of uncertainties were carefully addressed in the measurements. Direct measurement of DAP with BPC is very efficient, but it may be subject to more than 2% systematic error if the BPC lateral response is not carefully evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5867-5875
Number of pages9
JournalMedical physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Bragg peak chamber
  • beam monitor calibration
  • calibration coefficient
  • dose area product (DAP)
  • proton pencil beam scanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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