Purpose: Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning is a widely used method of proton therapy verification. In this study, a proton radiotherapy accuracy verification process was developed by comparing predicted and measured PET data to verify the correctness of PET prediction and was tested at the Shanghai Proton and Heavy Ion Center.

Method: Irradiation was performed on a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) phantom. There were two dose groups, to which 2 and 4 Gy doses were delivered, and each dose group had different designed dose depths ranging from 5 to 20 cm. The predicted PET results were obtained using a PET prediction calculation module. The measured data were collected with a PET/computed tomography device. The predicted and measured PET data were normalized to similar PET amplitude values before comparison and were compared using depth and lateral profiles for the position error. The error was evaluated at the position corresponding to 50% of the maximum on the PET curves. The mean and standard deviation were calculated based on the data sampled in the scoring area. Gamma index analysis is also applied in the comparison.

Results: In the depth comparison, the 2 and 4 Gy dose cases yielded similar mean depth errors between 1 and −1 mm, and the deviation wascomparison, the 2 Gy cases had a mean lateral error around 1 mm, and the 4 Gy cases had a mean lateral error <1 >mm, with a standard deviation95%.

Conclusion: The comparison of these PMMA phantom cases revealed good agreement between the predicted and measured PET data, with depth and lateral position errorstotal, considering the uncertainty. The comparison results demonstrate that the PET predictions obtained in PMMA phantom tests for single proton beam therapy verification are reliable and that the research can be extended to verification in human body treatment with further investigation.

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Copyright © 2018 Zhang, Lu, Hsi, Zhang, Sheng, Shi, Wang, Lu, Zhou and Cheng. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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