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J Med Phys. 2009 Jan;34(1):31-6. doi: 10.4103/0971-6203.48718.

Extrapolation chamber mounted on perspex for calibration of high energy photon and electron beams from a clinical linear accelerator.

Author information

1
Medical Physics Unit, Department of Radiotherapy, National Oncology Center, Royal Hospital, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman.

Abstract

The objective of the present study is to establish radiation standards for absorbed doses, for clinical high energy linear accelerator beams. In the nonavailability of a cobalt-60 beam for arriving at Nd, water values for thimble chambers, we investigated the efficacy of perspex mounted extrapolation chamber (EC) used earlier for low energy x-rays and beta dosimetry. Extrapolation chamber with facility for achieving variable electrode separations 10.5mm to 0.5mm using micrometer screw was used for calibrations. Photon beams 6 MV and 15 MV and electron beams 6 MeV and 15 MeV from Varian Clinac linacs were calibrated. Absorbed Dose estimates to Perspex were converted into dose to solid water for comparison with FC 65 ionisation chamber measurements in water. Measurements made during the period December 2006 to June 2008 are considered for evaluation. Uncorrected ionization readings of EC for all the radiation beams over the entire period were within 2% showing the consistency of measurements. Absorbed doses estimated by EC were in good agreement with in-water calibrations within 2% for photons and electron beams. The present results suggest that extrapolation chambers can be considered as an independent measuring system for absorbed dose in addition to Farmer type ion chambers. In the absence of standard beam quality (Co-60 radiations as reference Quality for Nd,water) the possibility of keeping EC as Primary Standards for absorbed dose calibrations in high energy radiation beams from linacs should be explored. As there are neither Standard Laboratories nor SSDL available in our country, we look forward to keep EC as Local Standard for hospital chamber calibrations. We are also participating in the IAEA mailed TLD intercomparison programme for quality audit of existing status of radiation dosimetry in high energy linac beams. The performance of EC has to be confirmed with cobalt-60 beams by a separate study, as linacs are susceptible for minor variations in dose output on different days.

KEYWORDS:

Calibration; extrapolation chamber; high energy beams; radiation standards

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