Surface dosimetry for very small X-ray beams

Morales, J., Hill, R., Crowe, S., & Trapp, J. (2014) Surface dosimetry for very small X-ray beams. Australasian Physical and Engineering Sciences in Medicine, 37(1), p. 179.

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The dose to skin surface is an important factor for many radiotherapy treatment techniques. It is known that TPS predicted surface doses can be significantly different from actual ICRP skin doses as defined at 70 lm. A number of methods have been implemented for the accurate determination of surface dose including use of specific dosimeters such as TLDs and radiochromic film as well as Monte Carlo calculations. Stereotactic radiosurgery involves delivering very high doses per treatment fraction using small X-ray fields. To date, there has been limited data on surface doses for these very small field sizes. The purpose of this work is to evaluate surface doses by both measurements and Monte Carlo calculations for very small field sizes.


All measurements were performed on a Novalis Tx linear accelerator which has a 6 MV SRS X-ray beam mode which uses a specially thin flattening filter. Beam collimation was achieved by circular cones with apertures that gave field sizes ranging from 4 to 30 mm at the isocentre. The relative surface doses were measured using Gafchromic EBT3 film which has the active layer at a depth similar to the ICRP skin dose depth. Monte Carlo calculations were performed using the BEAMnrc/EGSnrc Monte Carlo codes (V4 r225). The specifications of the linear accelerator, including the collimator, were provided by the manufacturer. Optimisation of the incident X-ray beam was achieved by an iterative adjustment of the energy, spatial distribution and radial spread of the incident electron beam striking the target. The energy cutoff parameters were PCUT = 0.01 MeV and ECUT = 0.700 - MeV. Directional bremsstrahlung splitting was switched on for all BEAMnrc calculations. Relative surface doses were determined in a layer defined in a water phantom of the same thickness and depth as compared to the active later in the film.


Measured surface doses using the EBT3 film varied between 13 and 16 % for the different cones with an uncertainty of 3 %. Monte Carlo calculated surface doses were in agreement to better than 2 % to the measured doses for all the treatment cones.

Discussion and conclusions

This work has shown the consistency of surface dose measurements using EBT3 film with Monte Carlo predicted values within the uncertainty of the measurements. As such, EBT3 film is recommended for in vivo surface dose measurements.

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ID Code: 71399
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1007/s13246-014-0248-y
ISSN: 0158-9938
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHYSICAL SCIENCES (020000) > OTHER PHYSICAL SCIENCES (029900) > Medical Physics (029903)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 12 May 2014 23:09
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 03:11

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