Ionization chamber gradient effects in nonstandard beam configurations

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Journal titleMedical Physics
Pages46544663; # of pages: 10
Subjectdosimetry; ionisation chambers; Monte Carlo methods; perturbation; Monte Carlo; IMRT
AbstractPurpose: For the purpose of nonstandard beam reference dosimetry, the current concept of reporting absorbed dose at a point in water located at a representative position in the chamber volume is investigated in detail. As new nonstandard beam reference dosimetry protocols are under development, an evaluation of the role played by the definition of point of measurement could lead to conceptual improvements prior to establishing measurement procedures. Methods: The present study uses the current definition of reporting absorbed dose to calculate ionization chamber perturbation factors for two cylindrical chamber models [Exradin A12 and A14] using the Monte Carlo method. The EGSnrc based user-code EGS_chamber is used to calculate chamber dose responses of 14 IMRT beams chosen to cause considerable dose gradients over the chamber volume as previously used by Bouchard and Seuntjens [“Ionization chamber-based reference dosimetry of intensity modulated radiation beams,” Med. Phys. 31(9), 2454–5465 (2004)]. Results: The study shows conclusively the relative importance of each physical effect involved in the nonstandard beam correction factors of 14 IMRT beams. Of all correction factors involved in the dosimetry of the beams studied, the gradient perturbation correction factor has the highest magnitude, on average, 11% higher compared to reference conditions for the Exradin A12 chamber and about 5% higher for the Extradin A14 chamber. Other perturbation correction factors (i.e., Pwall, Pstem, and Pcel) are, on average, less than 0.8% different from reference conditions for the chambers and beams studied. The current approach of reporting measured absorbed dose at a point in water coinciding with the location of the centroid of the chamber is the main factor responsible for large correction factors in nonstandard beam deliveries (e.g., intensity modulated radiation therapy) reported in literature. Conclusions: To reduce or eliminate the magnitude of perturbation correction factors in nonstandard beam reference dosimetry, two possible ways to report absorbed dose are suggested: (1) Reporting average dose to the sensitive volume of the chamber filled with water, combined with removing the reference field implicit gradient effect when measuring output factors, and (2) reporting average dose to the chamber itself during output factor verifications. The first option could be adopted if clinical beam correction factors are negligible. The second option could simplify quality assurance procedures when correction factors are not negligible and have to be calculated using Monte Carlo simulations.
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AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); NRC Institute for National Measurement Standards
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number15329323
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Record identifierff233f61-1132-48bd-9968-d457e144741f
Record created2010-06-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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