Peripheral dose measurements for 6 and 18 MV photon beams on a linear accelerator with multileaf collimator

Med Phys. 2008 Oct;35(10):4396-403. doi: 10.1118/1.2977533.


Peripheral dose (PD) to critical structures outside treatment volume is of clinical importance. The aim of the current study was to estimate PD on a linear accelerator equipped with multileaf collimator (MLC). Dose measurements were carried out using an ionization chamber embedded in a water phantom for 6 and 18 MV photon beams. PD values were acquired for field sizes from 5 x 5 to 20 x 20 cm2 in increments of 5 cm at distances up to 24 cm from the field edge. Dose data were obtained at two collimator orientations where the measurement points are shielded by MLC and jaws. The variation of PD with the source to skin distance (SSD), depth, and lateral displacement of the measurement point was evaluated. To examine the dependence of PD upon the tissue thickness at the entrance point of the beam, scattered dose was measured using thermoluminescent dosemeters placed on three anthropomorphic phantoms simulating 5- and 10-year-old children and an average adult patient. PD from 6 MV photons varied from 0.13% to 6.75% of the central-axis maximum dose depending upon the collimator orientation, extent of irradiated area, and distance from the treatment field. The corresponding dose range from 18 MV x rays was 0.09% to 5.61%. The variation of PD with depth and with lateral displacements up to 80% of the field dimension was very small. The scattered dose from both photon beams increased with the increase of SSD or tissue thickness along beam axis. The presented dosimetric data set allows the estimation of scattered dose outside the primary beam.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Body Burden
  • Computer Simulation
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological*
  • Particle Accelerators / instrumentation*
  • Photons / therapeutic use*
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Scattering, Radiation