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J Med Phys. 2019 Oct-Dec;44(4):239-245. doi: 10.4103/jmp.JMP_21_19. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Estimation of Backscatter from Internal Shielding in Electron Beam Radiotherapy Using Monte Carlo Simulations (EGSnrc) and Gafchromic Film Measurements.

Author information

Radiological Physics and Internal Dosimetry Group, Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Radiotherapy, Army Hospital (Research and Referral), New Delhi, India.
Batra Hospital and Medical Research Center, New Delhi, India.



The purpose of the study was to estimate the backscatter electron dose in internal shielding during electron beam therapy using Monte Carlo (MC) simulations and Gafchromic film measurements.

Materials and Methods:

About 6 and 9 MeV electron beams from a Varian 2100C linac were simulated using BEAMnrc MC code. Various clinical situations of internal shielding were simulated by modeling water phantoms with 2 mm lead sheets placed at different depths. Electron backscatter factors (EBF), a ratio of dose at tissue-shielding interface to the dose at the same point without the shielding, were estimated. The role of 2 mm aluminum in reduction of backscatter was investigated. The measurements were also performed using Gafchromic films and results were compared with MC simulations.


For particular beam energy, the EBF value initially increased with depth in the buildup region and then decreased rapidly. The highest value of EBF for both the energies is nearly same though at different depths. Decreased EBF was observed for 9 MeV beam in comparison to the 6 MeV beam for the same depth of shielding placement. Two millimeter aluminum reduced the backscatter by nearly 25% at maximum backscatter condition for both the energies, though the effectiveness slightly decreased at higher energy. The range of backscatter electrons was varying from 5 to 12 mm in the upstream direction from the interface. The Gafchromic film-measured EBF and MC-simulated EBF were matching well within the clinically acceptable limits except in close vicinity of tissue-lead interface.


This study provides an important clinical data to design internal shielding at the local clinical setup and confirms applicability of MC simulations in backscatter dose calculations at interfaces where physical measurements are difficult to perform.


Electron backscatter; Monte Carlo simulation; electron radiotherapy; internal shielding

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