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    ABSTRACT: We study how mucosal dose in the oral or nasal cavity depends on the irradiated small segmental photon fields varying with beam energy, beam angle and mucosa thickness. Dose ratio (mucosal dose with bone underneath to dose at the same point without bone) reflecting the dose enhancement due to the bone backscatter was determined by Monte Carlo simulation (EGSnrc-based code), validated by measurements. Phase space files based on the 6 and 18 MV photon beams with small field size of 1 × 1 cm 2, produced by a Varian 21 EX linear accelerator, were generated using the BEAMnrc Monte Carlo code. Mucosa phantoms (mucosa thickness = 1, 2 and 3 mm) with and without a bone under the mucosa were irradiated by photon beams with gantry angles varying from 0 to 30°. Doses along the central beam axis in the mucosa and the dose ratio were calculated with different mucosa thicknesses. For the 6 MV photon beams, the dose at the mucosa-bone interface increased by 44.9-41.7%, when the mucosa thickness increased from 1 to 3 mm for the beam angle ranging from 0 to 30°. These values were lower than those (58.8-53.6%) for the 18 MV photon beams with the same beam angle range. For both the 6 and 18 MV photon beams, depth doses in the mucosa were found to increase with an increase of the beam angle. Moreover, the dose gradient in the mucosa was greater for the 18 MV photon beams compared to the 6 MV. For the dose ratio, it was found that the dose enhancement due to the bone backscatter increased with a decrease of mucosa thickness, and was more significant at both the air-mucosa and mucosa-bone interface. Mucosal dose with bone was investigated by Monte Carlo simulations with different experimental configurations, and was found vary with the beam energy, beam angle and mucosa thickness for a small segmental photon field. The dosimetric information in this study should be considered when searching for an optimized treatment strategy to minimize the mucosal complications in the head-and-neck intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
    Journal of Radiotherapy in Practice 12/2011; 10(4):261-271. DOI:10.1017/S1460396910000427
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    ABSTRACT: In this work dosimetric parameters of two multi-leaf collimator (MLC) systems, namely the beam modulator (BM), which is the MLC commercial name for Elekta "Synergy S" linear accelerator and Radionics micro-MLC (MMLC), are compared using measurements and Monte Carlo simulations. Dosimetric parameters, such as percentage depth doses (PDDs), in-plane and cross-plane dose profiles, and penumbras for different depths and field sizes of the 6MV photon beams were measured using ionization chamber and a water tank. The collimator leakages were measured using radiographic films. MMLC and BM were modeled using the EGSnrc-based BEAMnrc Monte Carlo code and above dosimetric parameters were calculated. The energy fluence spectra for the two MLCs were also determined using the BEAMnrc and BEAMDP. Dosimetric parameters of the two MLCs were similar, except for penumbras. Leaf-side and leaf-end 80-20% dose penumbras at 10cm depth for a 10×10cm(2) field size were 4.8 and 5.1mm for MMLC and 5.3mm and 6.3mm for BM, respectively. Both Radionics MMLC and Elekta BM can be used effectively based on their dosimetric characteristics for stereotactic radiosurgery and radiotherapy, although the former showed slightly sharper dose penumbra especially in the leaf-end direction.
    Physica Medica 05/2012; 29(4). DOI:10.1016/j.ejmp.2012.05.001 · 2.40 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose: To commission and benchmark a vendor-supplied (Varian Medical Systems) Monte Carlo phase-space data for the 6 MV flattening filter free (FFF) energy mode on a TrueBeam linear accelerator for the purpose of quality assurance of clinical volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT) treatment plans. A method for rendering the phase-space data compatible with BEAMnrc/DOSXYZnrc simulation software package is presented. Methods: Monte Carlo (MC) simulations were performed to benchmark the TrueBeam 6 MV FFF phase space data that have been released by the Varian MC Research team. The simulations to benchmark the phase space data were done in three steps. First, the original phase space which was created on a cylindrical surface was converted into a format that was compatible with BEAMnrc. Second, BEAMnrc was used to create field size specific phase spaces located underneath the jaws. Third, doses were calculated with DOSXYZnrc in a water phantom for fields ranging from 1 × 1 to 40 × 40 cm(2). Calculated percent depth doses (PDD), transverse profiles, and output factors were compared with measurements for all the fields simulated. After completing the benchmarking study, three stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) VMAT plans created with the Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS) were calculated with Monte Carlo. Ion chamber and film measurements were also performed on these plans. 3D gamma analysis was used to compare Monte Carlo calculation with TPS calculations and with film measurement. Results: For the benchmarking study, MC calculated and measured values agreed within 1% and 1.5% for PDDs and in-field transverse profiles, respectively, for field sizes >1 × 1 cm(2). Agreements in the 80%-20% penumbra widths were better than 2 mm for all the fields that were compared. With the exception of the 1 × 1 cm(2) field, the agreement between measured and calculated output factors was within 1%. It is of note that excellent agreement in output factors for all field sizes including highly asymmetric fields was achieved without accounting for backscatter into the beam monitor chamber. For the SBRT VMAT plans, the agreement between Monte Carlo and ion chamber point dose measurements was within 1%. Excellent agreement between Monte Carlo, treatment planning system and Gafchromic film dose distribution was observed with over 99% of the points in the high dose volume passing the 3%, 3 mm gamma test. Conclusions: The authors have presented a method for making the Varian IAEA compliant 6 MV FFF phase space file of the TrueBeam linac compatible with BEAMnrc/DOSXYZnrc. After benchmarking the modified phase space against measurement, they have demonstrated its potential for use in MC based quality assurance of complex delivery techniques.
    Medical Physics 02/2013; 40(2):021707. DOI:10.1118/1.4773883 · 2.64 Impact Factor