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Phys Med. 2010;26(3):126-31. doi: 10.1016/j.ejmp.2009.10.001. Epub 2009 Nov 17.

Experimental determination of the effective point of measurement of cylindrical ionization chambers for high-energy photon and electron beams.

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  • 1Department of Electrical, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Koethen, Germany.


Measurements of depth-dose curves in water phantom using a cylindrical ionization chamber require that its effective point of measurement is located at the measuring depth. Recommendations for the position of the effective point of measurement with respect to the central axis valid for high-energy electron and photon beams are given in dosimetry protocols. According to these protocols, the use of a constant shift P(eff) is currently recommended. However, this is still based on a very limited set of experimental results. It is therefore expected that an improved knowledge of the exact position of the effective point of measurement will further improve the accuracy of dosimetry. Recent publications have revealed that the position of the effective point of measurement is indeed varying with beam energy, field size and also with chamber geometry. The aim of this study is to investigate whether the shift of P(eff) can be taken to be constant and independent from the beam energy. An experimental determination of the effective point of measurement is presented based on a comparison between cylindrical chambers and a plane-parallel chamber using conventional dosimetry equipment. For electron beams, the determination is based on the comparison of halfvalue depth R(50) between the cylindrical chamber of interest and a well guarded plane-parallel Roos chamber. For photon beams, the depth of dose maximum, d(max), the depth of 80% dose, d(80), and the dose parameter PDD(10) were used. It was again found that the effective point of measurement for both, electron and photon beams Dosimetry, depends on the beam energy. The deviation from a constant value remains very small for photons, whereas significant deviations were found for electrons. It is therefore concluded that use of a single upstream shift value from the centre of the cylindrical chamber as recommended in current dosimetry protocols is adequate for photons, however inadequate for accurate electron beam dosimetry.

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