There are an increasing number of radiation therapy patients with hip prosthesis. The common method of minimizing treatment planning inaccuracies is to avoid radiation beams to transit through the prosthesis. However, the beams often exit through them, especially when the patient has a double-prosthesis. Modern treatment planning systems employ algorithms with improved dose calculation accuracies but even these algorithms may not predict the dose accurately at high atomic number interfaces.
The current study evaluates the dose calculation accuracy of three common dose calculation algorithms employed in two commercial treatment planning systems. A hip prosthesis was molded inside a cylindrical phantom and the dose at several points within the phantom at the interface with prosthesis was measured using thermoluminescent dosimeters. The measured doses were then compared to the predicted ones by the planning systems.
The results of the study indicate all three algorithms underestimate the dose at the prosthesis interface, albeit to varying degrees, and for both low- and high-energy x rays. The measured doses are higher than calculated ones by 5–22% for Pinnacle Collapsed Cone Convolution algorithm, 2–23% for Eclipse Acuros XB, and 6–25% for Eclipse Analytical Anisotropic Algorithm. There are generally better agreements for AXB algorithm and the worst results are for the AAA.