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A Monte Carlo evaluation of beam characteristics for total body irradiation at extended treatment distances

Journal article
Authors Roumiana Chakarova
Marcus Krantz
Published in Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics
Volume 15
Issue 3
Pages 182-189
ISSN 1526-9914
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Radiation Physics
Pages 182-189
Language en
Keywords extended SSD, TBI, Monte Carlo simulations, Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging, RADIOLOGY, NUCLEAR, MEDICINE & MEDICAL IMAGING, RIG LH, 1994, PHYSICS IN MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY, V39, P19
Subject categories Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


The aim is to study beam characteristics at large distances when focusing on the electron component. In particular, to investigate the utility of spoilers with various thicknesses as an electron source, as well as the effect of different spoiler-to-surface distances (STSD) on the beam characteristics and, consequently, on the dose in the superficial region. A MC model of a 15 MV Varian accelerator, validated earlier by experimental data at isocenter and extended distances used in large-field total body irradiation, is applied to evaluate beam characteristics at distances larger than 400 cm. Calculations are carried out using BEAMnrc/DOSXYZnrc code packages and phase space data are analyzed by the beam data processor BEAMdp. The electron component of the beam is analyzed at isocenter and extended distances, with and without spoilers as beam modifiers, assuming vacuum or air surrounding the accelerator head. Spoiler thickness of 1.6 cm is found to be optimal compared to thicknesses of 0.8 cm and 2.4 cm. The STSD variations should be taken into account when treating patients, in particular when the treatment protocols are based on a fixed distance to the patient central sagittal plane, and also, in order to maintain high dose in the superficial region.

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