Validation of the Swiss Monte Carlo Plan for a static and dynamic 6 MV photon beam

Z Med Phys. 2011 May;21(2):124-34. doi: 10.1016/j.zemedi.2010.10.010. Epub 2011 Jan 15.


Monte Carlo (MC) based dose calculations can compute dose distributions with an accuracy surpassing that of conventional algorithms used in radiotherapy, especially in regions of tissue inhomogeneities and surface discontinuities. The Swiss Monte Carlo Plan (SMCP) is a GUI-based framework for photon MC treatment planning (MCTP) interfaced to the Eclipse treatment planning system (TPS). As for any dose calculation algorithm, also the MCTP needs to be commissioned and validated before using the algorithm for clinical cases. Aim of this study is the investigation of a 6 MV beam for clinical situations within the framework of the SMCP. In this respect, all parts i.e. open fields and all the clinically available beam modifiers have to be configured so that the calculated dose distributions match the corresponding measurements. Dose distributions for the 6 MV beam were simulated in a water phantom using a phase space source above the beam modifiers. The VMC++ code was used for the radiation transport through the beam modifiers (jaws, wedges, block and multileaf collimator (MLC)) as well as for the calculation of the dose distributions within the phantom. The voxel size of the dose distributions was 2mm in all directions. The statistical uncertainty of the calculated dose distributions was below 0.4%. Simulated depth dose curves and dose profiles in terms of [Gy/MU] for static and dynamic fields were compared with the corresponding measurements using dose difference and γ analysis. For the dose difference criterion of ±1% of D(max) and the distance to agreement criterion of ±1 mm, the γ analysis showed an excellent agreement between measurements and simulations for all static open and MLC fields. The tuning of the density and the thickness for all hard wedges lead to an agreement with the corresponding measurements within 1% or 1mm. Similar results have been achieved for the block. For the validation of the tuned hard wedges, a very good agreement between calculated and measured dose distributions was achieved using a 1%/1mm criteria for the γ analysis. The calculated dose distributions of the enhanced dynamic wedges (10°, 15°, 20°, 25°, 30°, 45° and 60°) met the criteria of 1%/1mm when compared with the measurements for all situations considered. For the IMRT fields all compared measured dose values agreed with the calculated dose values within a 2% dose difference or within 1 mm distance. The SMCP has been successfully validated for a static and dynamic 6 MV photon beam, thus resulting in accurate dose calculations suitable for applications in clinical cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Particle Accelerators
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Photons / therapeutic use*
  • Radiometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results