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Phys Med Biol. 2005 Mar 7;50(5):741-53. Epub 2005 Feb 17.

Monte Carlo simulation of large electron fields.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


Accurate simulation of large electron fields may lead to improved accuracy in Monte Carlo treatment planning while simplifying the commissioning procedure. We have used measurements made with wide-open jaws and no electron applicator to adjust simulation parameters. Central axis depth dose curves and profiles of 6-21 MeV electron beams measured in this geometry were used to estimate source and geometry parameters, including those that affect beam symmetry: incident beam direction and offset of the secondary scattering foil and monitor chamber from the beam axis. Parameter estimation relied on a comprehensive analysis of the sensitivity of the measured quantities, in the large field, to source and geometry parameters. Results demonstrate that the EGS4 Monte Carlo system is capable of matching dose distributions in the largest electron field to the least restrictive of 1 cGy or 1 mm, with D(max) of 100 cGy, over the full energy range. This match results in an underestimation of the bremsstrahlung dose of 10-20% at 15-21 MeV, exceeding the combined experimental and calculational uncertainty in this quantity of 3%. The simulation of electron scattering at energies of 15-21 MeV in EGS4 may be in error. The recently released EGSnrc/BEAMnrc system may provide a better match to measurement.

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