Evaluation of factors to convert absorbed dose calibrations from graphite to water for the NPL high-energy photon calibration service.

Centre for Ionising Radiation Metrology, National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex, UK.
Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.7). 03/2002; 47(3):441-54. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/47/3/306
Source: PubMed

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.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ARPANSA calibration service for (60)Co gamma rays is based on a primary standard graphite calorimeter that measures absorbed dose to graphite. Measurements with the calorimeter are converted to the absorbed dose to water using the calculation of the ratio of the absorbed dose in the calorimeter to the absorbed dose in a water phantom. ARPANSA has recently changed the basis of this calculation from a photon fluence scaling method to a direct Monte Carlo (MC) calculation. The MC conversion uses an EGSnrc model of the cobalt source that has been validated against water tank and graphite phantom measurements, a step that is required to quantify uncertainties in the underlying interaction coefficients in the MC code. A comparison with the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (BIPM) as part of the key comparison BIPM.RI(I)-K4 showed an agreement of 0.9973 (53).
    Radiation Protection Dosimetry 11/2012; · 0.91 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For reasons of phantom material reproducibility, the absorbed dose protocols of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) (TG-51) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) (TRS-398) have made the use of liquid water as a phantom material for reference dosimetry mandatory. In this work we provide a formal framework for the measurement of absorbed dose to water using ionization chambers calibrated in terms of absorbed dose to water but irradiated in solid phantoms. Such a framework is useful when there is a desire to put dose measurements using solid phantoms on an absolute basis. Putting solid phantom measurements on an absolute basis has distinct advantages in verification measurements and quality assurance. We introduce a phantom dose conversion factor that converts a measurement made in a solid phantom and analyzed using an absorbed dose calibration protocol into absorbed dose to water under reference conditions. We provide techniques to measure and calculate the dose transfer from solid phantom to water. For an Exradin A12 ionization chamber, we measured and calculated the phantom dose conversion factor for six Solid Water phantoms and for a single Lucite phantom for photon energies between 60Co and 18 MV photons. For Solid Water of certified grade, the difference between measured and calculated factors varied between 0.0% and 0.7% with the average dose conversion factor being low by 0.4% compared with the calculation whereas for Lucite, the agreement was within 0.2% for the one phantom examined. The composition of commercial plastic phantoms and their homogeneity may not always be reproducible and consistent with assumed composition. By comparing measured and calculated phantom conversion factors, our work provides methods to verify the consistency of a given plastic for the purpose of clinical reference dosimetry.
    Medical Physics 10/2005; 32(9):2945-53. · 2.91 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: An Elekta Synergy clinical linac facility is now in routine use at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). For the purpose of therapy-level dosimetry, this has replaced the NPL research linac, which is over 40 years old, and in which the NPL absorbed dose primary standard for high-energy photons was established. This standard has been disseminated to clinical beams by interpolation of the calibration factor as a function of tissue phantom ratio TPR20/10. In this work the absorbed dose standard has been commissioned in all the beams produced by the Elekta Synergy linac. Reference standard ionization chambers have been calibrated in terms of absorbed dose to graphite and this calibration has been converted to one in terms of absorbed dose to water. The results have been combined with the calibration in 60Co γ-rays to obtain measured values for the quality-dependent correction, kQ, for these reference standard chambers used in the Elekta beams. The resulting data are consistent with the interpolated kQ to within 0.4%, which is less than the combined standard uncertainty of kQ, 0.56%.
    Metrologia 09/2011; 48(5):365. · 1.90 Impact Factor