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Phys Med Biol. 2009 Oct 21;54(20):6151-63. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/54/20/008. Epub 2009 Sep 24.

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

Author information

  • 1UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1600 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA 94143-1708, USA. bfaddegon@radonc.ucsf.edu

Abstract

Three 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 cm from 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 a much 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.

PMID:
19779217
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3462739
Free PMC Article

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