Dosimetric features of linac head and phantom scattered radiation outside the clinical photon beam: experimental measurements and comparison with treatment planning system calculations.
Cozzi L., Buffa FM., Fogliata A.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Dosimetric measurements and treatment planning system (TPS) calculations in the region outside the clinical photon beams have been investigated. The aim was to estimate the calculation accuracy of a specific TPS in areas that are becoming increasingly relevant with the advent of new technologies, such as, for example, intensity modulation radiation therapy. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Measurements were performed on two different linacs to obtain, separately, the head scatter (electrons and photons), the transmission below the jaws and the phantom scatter outside the primary beam for different photon energies, distances from the field edge and field sizes. Calculations with a commercial TPS (Helax TMS) were then obtained and compared with these measurements. RESULTS: In general, reasonable agreement between calculations and measurements was obtained (1-2%), especially for photon scattering (head and phantom). Nevertheless, some discrepancies were found in the electron contamination computation, due probably to the approximations and assumptions made in the TPS calculation algorithm. CONCLUSIONS: The analyzed TPS presented good results, but for some particular clinical cases and moreover for advanced techniques such as intensity modulated radiation therapy, the calculation behaviour with respect to measurements and patient dose delivery should be carefully evaluated.