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Med Phys. 1999 Sep;26(9):1874-82.

Dose measurements compared with Monte Carlo simulations of narrow 6 MV multileaf collimator shaped photon beams.

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Department of Radiotherapy, University Hospital Gent, Belgium.


Small fields where electronic equilibrium is not achieved are becoming increasingly important in clinical practice. These complex situations give rise to problems and inaccuracies in both dosimetry and analytical/empirical dose calculation, and therefore require other than conventional methods. A natural diamond detector and a Markus parallel plate ionization chamber have been selected for clinical dosimetry in 6 MV photon beams. Results of simulations using the Monte Carlo system BEAM/EGS4 to model the beam geometry have been compared with dose measurements. A modification of the existing component module for multileaf collimators (MLCs) allowed the modeling of a linear accelerator SL 25 (Elekta Oncology Systems) equipped with a MLC with curved leaf-ends. A mechanical measurement method with spacer plates and a light-field edge detection technique are described as methods to obtain geometrical data of collimator openings for application in the Monte Carlo system. Generally a good agreement is found between measurements and calculations of depth dose distributions and deviations are typically less than 1%. Calculated lateral dose profiles slightly exceed measured dose distributions near the higher level of the penumbras for a 10x2 cm2 field, but agree well with the measurements for all other cases. The simulations are also able to predict variations of output factors and ratios of output factors as a function of field width and field-offset. The Monte Carlo results demonstrate that qualitative changes in energy spectra are too small to explain these variations and that especially geometrical factors affect the output factors and depth dose curves and profiles.

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