Evaluation of factors to convert absorbed dose calibrations from graphite to water for the NPL high-energy photon calibration service.
ABSTRACT The National Physical Laboratory (NPL) provides a high-energy photon calibration service using 4-19 MV x-rays and 60Co gamma-radiation for secondary standard dosemeters in terms of absorbed dose to water. The primary standard used for this service is a graphite calorimeter and so absorbed dose calibrations must be converted from graphite to water. The conversion factors currently in use were determined prior to the launch of this service in 1988. Since then, it has been found that the differences in inherent filtration between the NPL LINAC and typical clinical machines are large enough to affect absorbed dose calibrations and, since 1992, calibrations have been performed in heavily filtered qualities. The conversion factors for heavily filtered qualities were determined by interpolation and extrapolation of lightly filtered results as a function of tissue phantom ratio 20,10 (TPR20,10). This paper aims to evaluate these factors for all mega-voltage photon energies provided by the NPL LINAC for both lightly and heavily filtered qualities and for 60Co y-radiation in two ways. The first method involves the use of the photon fluence-scaling theorem. This states that if two blocks of different material are irradiated by the same photon beam, and if all dimensions are scaled in the inverse ratio of the electron densities of the two media, then, assuming that all photon interactions occur by Compton scatter the photon attenuation and scatter factors at corresponding scaled points of measurement in the phantom will be identical. The second method involves making in-phantom measurements of chamber response at a constant target-chamber distance. Monte Carlo techniques are then used to determine the corresponding dose to the medium in order to determine the chamber calibration factor directly. Values of the ratio of absorbed dose calibration factors in water and in graphite determined in these two ways agree with each other to within 0.2% (1sigma uncertainty). The best fit to both sets of results agrees with values determined in previous work to within 0.3% (1sigma uncertainty). It is found that the conversion factor is not sensitive to beam filtration.
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ABSTRACT: Recent working groups of the AAPM [Almond et al., Med. Phys. 26, 1847 (1999)] and the IAEA (Andreo et al., Draft V.7 of "An International Code of Practice for Dosimetry based on Standards of Absorbed Dose to Water," IAEA, 2000) have described guidelines to base reference dosimetry of high energy photon beams on absorbed dose to water standards. In these protocols use is made of the absorbed-dose beam quality conversion factor, kQ which scales an absorbed-dose calibration factor at the reference quality 60Co to a quality Q, and which is calculated based on state-of-the-art ion chamber theory and data. In this paper we present the measurement and analysis of beam quality conversion factors kQ for cylindrical chambers in high-energy photon beams. At least three chambers of six different types were calibrated against the Canadian primary standard for absorbed dose based on a sealed water calorimeter at 60Co [TPR10(20)=0.572, %dd(10)x=58.4], 10 MV [TPR10(20)=0.682, %dd(10)x=69.6), 20 MV (TPR10(20)=0.758, %dd(10)x= 80.5] and 30 MV [TPR10(20) = 0.794, %dd(10)x= 88.4]. The uncertainty on the calorimetric determination of kQ for a single chamber is typically 0.36% and the overall 1sigma uncertainty on a set of chambers of the same type is typically 0.45%. The maximum deviation between a measured kQ and the TG-51 protocol value is 0.8%. The overall rms deviation between measurement and the TG-51 values, based on 20 chambers at the three energies, is 0.41%. When the effect of a 1 mm PMMA waterproofing sleeve is taken into account in the calculations, the maximum deviation is 1.1% and the overall rms deviation between measurement and calculation 0.48%. When the beam is specified using TPR10(20), and measurements are compared with kQ values calculated using the version of TG-21 with corrected formalism and data, differences are up to 1.6% when no sleeve corrections are taken into account. For the NE2571 and the NE2611A chamber types, for which the most literature data are available, using %dd(10)x, all published data show a spread of 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively, over the entire measurement range, compared to spreads of up to 1.1% for both chambers when the kQ values are expressed as a function of TPR10(20). For the PR06-C chamber no clear preference of beam quality specifier could be identified. When comparing the differences of our kQ measurements and calculations with an analysis in terms of air-kerma protocols with the same underlying calculations but expressed in terms of a compound conversion factor CQ, we observe that a system making use of absorbed-dose calibrations and calculated kQ values, is more accurate than a system based on air-kerma calibrations in combination with calculated CQ (rms deviation of 0.48% versus 0.67%, respectively).Medical Physics 01/2001; 27(12):2763-79. · 2.91 Impact Factor
- Health Physics 04/1979; 36(3):347-54. · 1.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This paper describes BEAM, a general purpose Monte Carlo code to simulate the radiation beams from radiotherapy units including high-energy electron and photon beams, 60Co beams and orthovoltage units. The code handles a variety of elementary geometric entities which the user puts together as needed (jaws, applicators, stacked cones, mirrors, etc.), thus allowing simulation of a wide variety of accelerators. The code is not restricted to cylindrical symmetry. It incorporates a variety of powerful variance reduction techniques such as range rejection, bremsstrahlung splitting and forcing photon interactions. The code allows direct calculation of charge in the monitor ion chamber. It has the capability of keeping track of each particle's history and using this information to score separate dose components (e.g., to determine the dose from electrons scattering off the applicator). The paper presents a variety of calculated results to demonstrate the code's capabilities. The calculated dose distributions in a water phantom irradiated by electron beams from the NRC 35 MeV research accelerator, a Varian Clinac 2100C, a Philips SL75-20, an AECL Therac 20 and a Scanditronix MM50 are all shown to be in good agreement with measurements at the 2 to 3% level. Eighteen electron spectra from four different commercial accelerators are presented and various aspects of the electron beams from a Clinac 2100C are discussed. Timing requirements and selection of parameters for the Monte Carlo calculations are discussed.Medical Physics 06/1995; 22(5):503-24. · 2.91 Impact Factor