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Off-axis primary-dose measurements using a mini-phantom

Johnsson, Stefan (1996)
Medical Physics Programme
Abstract
The characterization of the incident photon beam is usually divided into its dependence on collimator setting (head-scatter factor) and off-axis position (primary off-axis ratio). These parameters are normally measured "in air" with a build-up cap, thick enough to generate full dose build-up at the depth of dose maximum. In order to prevent any influence from contaminating electrons, it has been recommended that head-scatter measurements are carried out using a mini-phantom rather than a conventional build-up cap. Due to the volume of the mini-phantom, the effects from attenuation and scatter are not negligible. In relative head-scatter measurements these effects cancel and the head-scatter is thus a good representation of the variation of... (More)
The characterization of the incident photon beam is usually divided into its dependence on collimator setting (head-scatter factor) and off-axis position (primary off-axis ratio). These parameters are normally measured "in air" with a build-up cap, thick enough to generate full dose build-up at the depth of dose maximum. In order to prevent any influence from contaminating electrons, it has been recommended that head-scatter measurements are carried out using a mini-phantom rather than a conventional build-up cap. Due to the volume of the mini-phantom, the effects from attenuation and scatter are not negligible. In relative head-scatter measurements these effects cancel and the head-scatter is thus a good representation of the variation of the incident photon beam with collimator setting. However, in off-axis measurements, attenuation and scatter conditions vary due to beam softening and do not cancel in the calculation of the primary off-axis ratio. The purpose of the present work was to estimate the effects from attenuation and phantom-scatter in order to determine their influence on primary off-axis ratio measurements. We have characterized the off-axis beam softening effect by means of narrow-beam transmission measurements to obtain the effective attenuation coefficient as a function of off-axis position. We then used a semi-analytical expression for the phantom-scatter calculation that depends solely on this attenuation coefficient. The derived formalism for relative "in air" measurements using a mini-phantom is clear and consistent, which enables the user to separately calculate the effects from scatter and attenuation. For the investigated beam qualities, 6- and 18-MV, our results indicate that the effects from attenuation and scatter in the mini-phantom nearly cancel (the combined effect is less than 1%) within 12.5 cm from the central beam axis. Thus, no correction is needed when the primary off-axis ratio is measured with a mini-phantom. (Less)
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author
Johnsson, Stefan
supervisor
organization
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Strålterapi
language
English
id
2156923
date added to LUP
2011-09-14 12:24:32
date last changed
2013-09-05 10:22:30
@misc{2156923,
  abstract     = {The characterization of the incident photon beam is usually divided into its dependence on collimator setting (head-scatter factor) and off-axis position (primary off-axis ratio). These parameters are normally measured "in air" with a build-up cap, thick enough to generate full dose build-up at the depth of dose maximum. In order to prevent any influence from contaminating electrons, it has been recommended that head-scatter measurements are carried out using a mini-phantom rather than a conventional build-up cap. Due to the volume of the mini-phantom, the effects from attenuation and scatter are not negligible. In relative head-scatter measurements these effects cancel and the head-scatter is thus a good representation of the variation of the incident photon beam with collimator setting. However, in off-axis measurements, attenuation and scatter conditions vary due to beam softening and do not cancel in the calculation of the primary off-axis ratio. The purpose of the present work was to estimate the effects from attenuation and phantom-scatter in order to determine their influence on primary off-axis ratio measurements. We have characterized the off-axis beam softening effect by means of narrow-beam transmission measurements to obtain the effective attenuation coefficient as a function of off-axis position. We then used a semi-analytical expression for the phantom-scatter calculation that depends solely on this attenuation coefficient. The derived formalism for relative "in air" measurements using a mini-phantom is clear and consistent, which enables the user to separately calculate the effects from scatter and attenuation. For the investigated beam qualities, 6- and 18-MV, our results indicate that the effects from attenuation and scatter in the mini-phantom nearly cancel (the combined effect is less than 1%) within 12.5 cm from the central beam axis. Thus, no correction is needed when the primary off-axis ratio is measured with a mini-phantom.},
  author       = {Johnsson, Stefan},
  keyword      = {Strålterapi},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Off-axis primary-dose measurements using a mini-phantom},
  year         = {1996},
}