Treatment head disassembly to improve the accuracy of large electron field simulation

  1. Get@NRC: Treatment head disassembly to improve the accuracy of large electron field simulation (Opens in a new window)
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Journal titleMedical Physics
Pages45774591; # of pages: 15
Subjectbiomagnetism; biomedical equipment; dosimetry; Monte Carlo methods; phantoms; radiation therapy; Monte Carlo; beam model; electron therapy; treatment head simulation
AbstractPurpose: The purposes of this study are to improve the accuracy of source and geometry parameters used in the simulation of large electron fields from a clinical linear accelerator and to evaluate improvement in the accuracy of the calculated dose distributions. Methods: The monitor chamber and scattering foils of a clinical machine not in clinical service were removed for direct measurement of component geometry. Dose distributions were measured at various stages of reassembly, reducing the number of geometry variables in the simulation. The measured spot position and beam angle were found to vary with the beam energy. A magnetic field from the bending magnet was found between the exit window and the secondary collimators of sufficient strength to deflect electrons 1 cm off the beam axis at 100 cm from the exit window. The exit window was 0.05 cm thicker than manufacturer’s specification, with over half of the increased thickness due to water pressure in the channel used to cool the window. Dose distributions were calculated with Monte Carlo simulation of the treatment head and water phantom using EGSnrc, a code benchmarked at radiotherapy energies for electron scatter and bremsstrahlung production, both critical to the simulation. The secondary scattering foil and monitor chamber offset from the collimator rotation axis were allowed to vary with the beam energy in the simulation to accommodate the deflection of the beam by the magnetic field, which was not simulated. Results: The energy varied linearly with bending magnet current to within 1.4% from 6.7 to 19.6 MeV, the bending magnet beginning to saturate at the highest beam energy. The range in secondary foil offset used to account for the magnetic field was 0.09 cm crossplane and 0.15 cm inplane, the range in monitor chamber offset was 0.14 cm crossplane and 0.07 cm inplane. A 1.5%/0.09 cm match or better was obtained to measured depth dose curves. Profiles measured at the depth of maximum dose matched the simulated profiles to 2.6% or better at doses of 80% or more of the dose on the central axis. The profiles along the direction of MLC motion agreed to within 0.16 cm at the edge of the field. There remained a mismatch for the lower beam energies at the edge of the profile that ran parallel to the direction of jaw motion of up to 1.4 cm for the 6 MeV beam, attributed to the MLC support block at the periphery of the field left out of the simulation and to beam deflection by the magnetic field. The possibility of using these results to perform accurate simulation without disassembly is discussed. Phase-space files were made available for benchmarking beam models and other purposes. Conclusions: The match to measured large field dose distributions from clinical electron beams with Monte Carlo simulation was improved with more accurate source details and geometry details closer to manufacturer’s specification than previously achieved.
Publication date
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for National Measurement Standards
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number15329332
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Record identifier27640a63-711f-4420-995e-846645b54185
Record created2010-06-02
Record modified2016-05-09
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