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Phys Med Biol. 2003 Dec 7;48(23):3865-74.

Using Monte Carlo simulations to commission photon beam output factors--a feasibility study.

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  • 1Medical Physics, Fraser Valley Cancer Center, British Columbia Cancer Agency, 13750, 96th Avenue, Surrey, BC V3V 1Z2, Canada.


This study investigates the feasibility of using Monte Carlo methods to assist the commissioning of photon beam output factors from a medical accelerator. The Monte Carlo code, BEAMnrc, was used to model 6 MV and 18 MV photon beams from a Varian linear accelerator. When excellent agreements were obtained between the Monte Carlo simulated and measured dose distributions in a water phantom, the entire geometry including the accelerator head and the water phantom was simulated to calculate the relative output factors. Simulated output factors were compared with measured data, which consist of a typical commission dataset for the output factors. The measurements were done using an ionization chamber in a water phantom at a depth of 10 cm with a source-detector distance of 100 cm. Square fields and rectangular fields with widths and lengths ranging from 4 cm to 40 cm were studied. The result shows a very good agreement (< 1.5%) between the Monte Carlo calculated and the measured relative output factors for a typical commissioning dataset. The Monte Carlo calculated backscatter factors to the beam monitor chamber agree well with measured data in the literature. Monte Carlo simulations have also been shown to be able to accurately predict the collimator exchange effect and its component for rectangular fields. The information obtained is also useful to develop an algorithm for accurate beam modelling. This investigation indicates that Monte Carlo methods can be used to assist commissioning of output factors for photon beams.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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