The accuracy of EGSnrc, Geant4 and PENELOPE Monte Carlo systems for the simulation of electron scatter in external beam radiotherapy

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/54/20/008
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePhysics in Medicine and Biology
Volume54
Issue20
Pages61516163; # of pages: 13
AbstractThree widely used Monte Carlo systems were benchmarked against recently published measurements of the angular distribution of 13 MeV and 20 MeV electrons scattered from foils of different atomic numbers and thicknesses. Source and geometry were simulated in detail to calculate electron fluence profiles 118.2 cmfrom the exit window. Results were compared to the measured fluence profiles and the characteristic angle where the fluence drops to 1/e of its maximum value. EGSnrc and PENELOPE results, on average, agreed with measurement within 1 standard deviation experimental uncertainty, with EGSnrc estimating slightly lower scatter than measurement and PENELOPE slightly higher scatter. Geant4.9.2 overestimated the characteristic angle for the lower atomic number foils by as much as 10%. Retuning of the scatter distributions in Geant4 led to amuch better agreement with measurement, close to that achieved with the other codes. The 3% differences from measurement seen with all codes for at least some of the foils would result in clinically significant errors in the fluence profiles (2%/4 mm), given accurate knowledge of the electron source and treatment head geometry used in radiotherapy. Further improvement in simulation accuracy is needed to achieve 1%/1 mm agreement with measurement for the full range of beam energies, foil atomic number and thickness used in radiotherapy. EGSnrc would achieve this accuracy with an increase in thickness of the mylar sheets in the monitor chamber, PENELOPE with a decrease in thickness.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for National Measurement Standards
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number15340692
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Record identifier72a37d66-3b75-4b35-9468-14fe6d370429
Record created2010-06-02
Record modified2016-05-09
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