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A Monte Carlo model for calculating out-of-field dose from a Varian 6 MV beam

Kry, S. F.; Titt, U.; Pönisch, F.; Followill, D.; Vassiliev, O. N.; White, R. A.; Mohan, R.; Salehpour, M.


Dose to the patient outside of the treatment field is important when evaluating the outcome of radiotherapy treatments. However, determining out-of-field doses for any particular treatment plan currently requires either time-consuming measurements or calculated estimations that may be highly uncertain. A Monte Carlo model may allow these doses to be determined quickly, accurately, and with a great degree of flexibility. MCNPX was used to create a Monte Carlo model of a Varian Clinac 2100 accelerator head operated at 6 MV. Simulations of the dose out-of-field were made and measurements were taken with thermoluminescent dosimeters in an acrylic phantom and with an ion chamber in a water tank to validate the Monte Carlo model. Although local differences between the out-of-field doses calculated by the model and those measured did exceed 50% at some points far from the treatment field, the average local difference was only 16%. This included a range of doses as low as 0.01% of the central axis dose, and at distances in excess of 50 cm from the central axis of the treatment field. The out-of-field dose was found to vary with field size and distance from the central axis, but was almost independent of the depth in the phantom except where the dose increased substantially at depths less than d(max). The relationship between dose and kerma was also investigated, and kerma was found to be a good estimate of dose (within 3% on average) except near the surface and in the field penumbra. Our Monte Carlo model was found to well represent typical Varian 2100 accelerators operated at 6 MV. (c) 2006 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.

  • Medical Physics 33(2006)11, 4405-4413


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