Each day our radiation equipment is put through an array of tests by a therapist and then verified by the physicist at specific intervals.
The frequency and types of testing is recommended by the American Association of Medical Physicists (AAPM). Jefferson physicists are actively involved in this organization and the formulation of its guidelines.
Quality assurance testing is performed at daily, monthly and yearly intervals and any time a change is made to a piece of equipment. "We are taking quality assurance to the next level and are one of the
few institutions who have spent the effort to bring this team approach
together," says Yan Yu, PhD, MBA, professor/director, Medical Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology.
Each machine is calibrated using dedicated ion chambers, phantoms and water tanks in combination with other electronic equipment to confirm that the machine is delivering the correct amount of radiation.
Other checks include tests to verify mechanical components and dosimetric accessories such as wedges and blocks. All imaging devices — which are often used daily or weekly to set up and verify your treatment — are also put through a series of rigorous tests.
The most recent addition to the radiation delivery equipment offered in the Bodine Center for Radiation Therapy is the TrueBeam™ system. This linear accelerator, or LINAC, is capable of delivering fast and precise 3-D image-guided radiotherapy for the treatment of cancer. Treatments focus powerful radiation on the tumor while limiting exposure to surrounding healthy tissues.