Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-21

Monte Carlo N Particle code - Dose distribution of clinical electron beams in inhomogeneous phantoms

1 Department of Radiotherapy Physics, Cancer Research Centre, Cancer Institute, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Department of Radiotherapy, Radiotherapy Physics Unit, Namazi Hospital, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
3 Department of Nuclear Engineering, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence Address:
H A Nedaie
Department of Radiotherapy Physics, Cancer Institute, Imam Hospital, Keshavarz Blvd., Tehran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-6203.106607

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Electron dose distributions calculated using the currently available analytical methods can be associated with large uncertainties. The Monte Carlo method is the most accurate method for dose calculation in electron beams. Most of the clinical electron beam simulation studies have been performed using non- MCNP [Monte Carlo N Particle] codes. Given the differences between Monte Carlo codes, this work aims to evaluate the accuracy of MCNP4C-simulated electron dose distributions in a homogenous phantom and around inhomogeneities. Different types of phantoms ranging in complexity were used; namely, a homogeneous water phantom and phantoms made of polymethyl methacrylate slabs containing different-sized, low- and high-density inserts of heterogeneous materials. Electron beams with 8 and 15 MeV nominal energy generated by an Elekta Synergy linear accelerator were investigated. Measurements were performed for a 10 cm × 10 cm applicator at a source-to-surface distance of 100 cm. Individual parts of the beam-defining system were introduced into the simulation one at a time in order to show their effect on depth doses. In contrast to the first scattering foil, the secondary scattering foil, X and Y jaws and applicator provide up to 5% of the dose. A 2%/2 mm agreement between MCNP and measurements was found in the homogenous phantom, and in the presence of heterogeneities in the range of 1-3%, being generally within 2% of the measurements for both energies in a "complex" phantom. A full-component simulation is necessary in order to obtain a realistic model of the beam. The MCNP4C results agree well with the measured electron dose distributions.

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