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Phys Med Biol. 1999 Mar;44(3):705-17.

Comparisons between MCNP, EGS4 and experiment for clinical electron beams.

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Reactor Physics Division, Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, Slovenia.


Understanding the limitations of Monte Carlo codes is essential in order to avoid systematic errors in simulations, and to suggest further improvement of the codes. MCNP and EGS4, Monte Carlo codes commonly used in medical physics, were compared and evaluated against electron depth dose data and experimental backscatter results obtained using clinical radiotherapy beams. Different physical models and algorithms used in the codes give significantly different depth dose curves and electron backscattering factors. The default version of MCNP calculates electron depth dose curves which are too penetrating. The MCNP results agree better with experiment if the ITS-style energy-indexing algorithm is used. EGS4 underpredicts electron backscattering for high-Z materials. The results slightly improve if optimal PRESTA-I parameters are used. MCNP simulates backscattering well even for high-Z materials. To conclude the comparison, a timing study was performed. EGS4 is generally faster than MCNP and use of a large number of scoring voxels dramatically slows down the MCNP calculation. However, use of a large number of geometry voxels in MCNP only slightly affects the speed of the calculation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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