Article

Fast, accurate photon beam accelerator modeling using BEAMnrc: A systematic investigation of efficiency enhancing methods and cross-section data

Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, Michigan 48202, USA.
Medical Physics (Impact Factor: 3.01). 12/2009; 36(12):5451-66. DOI: 10.1118/1.3253300
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this work, an investigation of efficiency enhancing methods and cross-section data in the BEAMnrc Monte Carlo (MC) code system is presented. Additionally, BEAMnrc was compared with VMC++, another special-purpose MC code system that has recently been enhanced for the simulation of the entire treatment head. BEAMnrc and VMC++ were used to simulate a 6 MV photon beam from a Siemens Primus linear accelerator (linac) and phase space (PHSP) files were generated at 100 cm source-to-surface distance for the 10 x 10 and 40 x 40 cm2 field sizes. The BEAMnrc parameters/techniques under investigation were grouped by (i) photon and bremsstrahlung cross sections, (ii) approximate efficiency improving techniques (AEITs), (iii) variance reduction techniques (VRTs), and (iv) a VRT (bremsstrahlung photon splitting) in combination with an AEIT (charged particle range rejection). The BEAMnrc PHSP file obtained without the efficiency enhancing techniques under study or, when not possible, with their default values (e.g., EXACT algorithm for the boundary crossing algorithm) and with the default cross-section data (PEGS4 and Bethe-Heitler) was used as the "base line" for accuracy verification of the PHSP files generated from the different groups described previously. Subsequently, a selection of the PHSP files was used as input for DOSXYZnrc-based water phantom dose calculations, which were verified against measurements. The performance of the different VRTs and AEITs available in BEAMnrc and of VMC++ was specified by the relative efficiency, i.e., by the efficiency of the MC simulation relative to that of the BEAMnrc base-line calculation. The highest relative efficiencies were approximately 935 (approximately 111 min on a single 2.6 GHz processor) and approximately 200 (approximately 45 min on a single processor) for the 10 x 10 field size with 50 million histories and 40 x 40 cm2 field size with 100 million histories, respectively, using the VRT directional bremsstrahlung splitting (DBS) with no electron splitting. When DBS was used with electron splitting and combined with augmented charged particle range rejection, a technique recently introduced in BEAMnrc, relative efficiencies were approximately 420 (approximately 253 min on a single processor) and approximately 175 (approximately 58 min on a single processor) for the 10 x 10 and 40 x 40 cm2 field sizes, respectively. Calculations of the Siemens Primus treatment head with VMC++ produced relative efficiencies of approximately 1400 (approximately 6 min on a single processor) and approximately 60 (approximately 4 min on a single processor) for the 10 x 10 and 40 x 40 cm2 field sizes, respectively. BEAMnrc PHSP calculations with DBS alone or DBS in combination with charged particle range rejection were more efficient than the other efficiency enhancing techniques used. Using VMC++, accurate simulations of the entire linac treatment head were performed within minutes on a single processor. Noteworthy differences (+/- 1%-3%) in the mean energy, planar fluence, and angular and spectral distributions were observed with the NIST bremsstrahlung cross sections compared with those of Bethe-Heitler (BEAMnrc default bremsstrahlung cross section). However, MC calculated dose distributions in water phantoms (using combinations of VRTs/AEITs and cross-section data) agreed within 2% of measurements. Furthermore, MC calculated dose distributions in a simulated water/air/water phantom, using NIST cross sections, were within 2% agreement with the BEAMnrc Bethe-Heitler default case.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Maggy Fragoso, Apr 17, 2014
0 Followers
 · 
126 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In laboratory-based X-ray radiography and computed tomography, the X-rays are assumed to originate from one single focal spot with a finite spot size, which is generated by focussing accelerated electrons on the target material. However, apart from this focal spot, X-rays can also be produced elsewhere in the tube system. A major contribution of this parasitic radiation originates from electrons that are backscattered from the target material, into the X-ray tube system, where they can produce so-called off-focus or secondary X-rays. This phenomenon has been widely studied for rotating anode X-ray tubes in medical imaging systems, but not for transmission-type microfocus X-ray tubes. This paper presents a study on the origin of secondary radiation in this kind of X-ray tubes, which is performed by Monte Carlo simulations and by experimental measurements. The impact of this phenomenon on the imaging process is studied, and two correction methods are proposed, both on the hardware and on the software levels.
    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment 01/2012; 661(1-1):7-12. DOI:10.1016/j.nima.2011.09.046 · 1.32 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this work, the well accepted particle splitting technique has been adapted to proton therapy and implemented in a new Monte Carlo simulation tool (TOPAS) for modeling the gantry mounted treatment nozzles at the Northeast Proton Therapy Center (NPTC) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Gains up to a factor of 14.5 in computational efficiency were reached with respect to a reference simulation in the generation of the phase space data in the cylindrically symmetric region of the nozzle. Comparisons between dose profiles in a water tank for several configurations show agreement between the simulations done with and without particle splitting within the statistical precision.
    Medical Physics 04/2013; 40(4):041718. DOI:10.1118/1.4795343 · 3.01 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Medical imaging and radiation therapy are widely used synchrotron-based techniques which have one thing in common: a significant dose delivery to typically biological samples. Among the ways to provide the experimenters with image guidance techniques indicating optimization strategies, Monte Carlo simulation has become the gold standard for accurately predicting radiation dose levels under specific irradiation conditions. A highly important hampering factor of this method is, however, its slow statistical convergence. A track length estimator (TLE) module has been coded and implemented for the first time in the open-source Monte Carlo code GATE/Geant4. Results obtained with the module and the procedures used to validate them are presented. A database of energy-absorption coefficients was also generated, which is used by the TLE calculations and is now also included in GATE/Geant4. The validation was carried out by comparing the TLE-simulated doses with experimental data in a synchrotron radiation computed tomography experiment. The TLE technique shows good agreement versus both experimental measurements and the results of a classical Monte Carlo simulation. Compared with the latter, it is possible to reach a pre-defined statistical uncertainty in about two to three orders of magnitude less time for complex geometries without loss of accuracy.
    Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 07/2013; 20(5). DOI:10.1107/S0909049513017184 · 3.02 Impact Factor
Show more