Purpose: Cerenkov photons are created by high-energy radiation beams used for radiation therapy. In this study, we developed a Cerenkov light dosimetry technique to obtain a two-dimensional dose distribution in a superficial region of medium from the images of Cerenkov photons by using a deconvolution method. Methods: An integral equation was derived to represent the Cerenkov photon image acquired by a camera for a given incident high-energy photon beam by using convolution kernels. Subsequently, an equation relating the planar dose at a depth to a Cerenkov photon image using the well-known relationship between the incident beam fluence and the dose distribution in a medium was obtained. The final equation contained a convolution kernel called the Cerenkov dose scatter function (CDSF). The CDSF function was obtained by deconvolving the Cerenkov scatter function (CSF) with the dose scatter function (DSF). The GAMOS (Geant4-based Architecture for Medicine-Oriented Simulations) Monte Carlo particle simulation software was used to obtain the CSF and DSF. The dose distribution was calculated from the Cerenkov photon intensity data using an iterative deconvolution method with the CDSF. The theoretical formulation was experimentally evaluated by using an optical phantom irradiated by high-energy photon beams. Results: The intensity of the deconvolved Cerenkov photon image showed linear dependence on the dose rate and the photon beam energy. The relative intensity showed a field size dependence similar to the beam output factor. Deconvolved Cerenkov images showed improvement in dose profiles compared with the raw image data. In particular, the deconvolution significantly improved the agreement in the high dose gradient region, such as in the penumbra. Deconvolution with a single iteration was found to provide the most accurate solution of the dose. Two-dimensional dose distributions of the deconvolved Cerenkov images agreed well with the reference distributions for both square fields and a multileaf collimator (MLC) defined, irregularly shaped field. Conclusions: The proposed technique improved the accuracy of the Cerenkov photon dosimetry in the penumbra region. The results of this study showed initial validation of the deconvolution method for beam profile measurements in a homogeneous media. The new formulation accounted for the physical processes of Cerenkov photon transport in the medium more accurately than previously published methods.
- Cerenkov light