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Phys Med Biol. 2000 Nov;45(11):3159-70.

Backscatter towards the monitor ion chamber in high-energy photon and electron beams: charge integration versus Monte Carlo simulation.

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Physics Department, Royal Marsden Hospital (Institute of Cancer Research), London, UK.


In some linear accelerators, the charge collected by the monitor ion chamber is partly caused by backscattered particles from accelerator components downstream from the chamber. This influences the output of the accelerator and also has to be taken into account when output factors are derived from Monte Carlo simulations. In this work, the contribution of backscattered particles to the monitor ion chamber response of a Varian 2100C linac was determined for photon beams (6, 10 MV) and for electron beams (6, 12, 20 MeV). The experimental procedure consisted of charge integration from the target in a photon beam or from the monitor ion chamber in electron beams. The Monte Carlo code EGS4/BEAM was used to study the contribution of backscattered particles to the dose deposited in the monitor ion chamber. Both measurements and simulations showed a linear increase in backscatter fraction with decreasing field size for photon and electron beams. For 6 MV and 10 MV photon beams, a 2-3% increase in backscatter was obtained for a 0.5 x 0.5 cm2 field compared to a 40 x 40 cm2 field. The results for the 6 MV beam were slightly higher than for the 10 MV beam. For electron beams (6, 12, 20 MeV), an increase of similar magnitude was obtained from measurements and simulations for 6 MeV electrons. For higher energy electron beams a smaller increase in backscatter fraction was found. The problem is of less importance for electron beams since large variations of field size for a single electron energy usually do not occur.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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