Generalized eMC implementation for Monte Carlo dose calculation of electron beams from different machine types

Phys Med Biol. 2013 May 7;58(9):2841-59. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/9/2841. Epub 2013 Apr 8.


The electron Monte Carlo (eMC) dose calculation algorithm available in the Eclipse treatment planning system (Varian Medical Systems) is based on the macro MC method and uses a beam model applicable to Varian linear accelerators. This leads to limitations in accuracy if eMC is applied to non-Varian machines. In this work eMC is generalized to also allow accurate dose calculations for electron beams from Elekta and Siemens accelerators. First, changes made in the previous study to use eMC for low electron beam energies of Varian accelerators are applied. Then, a generalized beam model is developed using a main electron source and a main photon source representing electrons and photons from the scattering foil, respectively, an edge source of electrons, a transmission source of photons and a line source of electrons and photons representing the particles from the scrapers or inserts and head scatter radiation. Regarding the macro MC dose calculation algorithm, the transport code of the secondary particles is improved. The macro MC dose calculations are validated with corresponding dose calculations using EGSnrc in homogeneous and inhomogeneous phantoms. The validation of the generalized eMC is carried out by comparing calculated and measured dose distributions in water for Varian, Elekta and Siemens machines for a variety of beam energies, applicator sizes and SSDs. The comparisons are performed in units of cGy per MU. Overall, a general agreement between calculated and measured dose distributions for all machine types and all combinations of parameters investigated is found to be within 2% or 2 mm. The results of the dose comparisons suggest that the generalized eMC is now suitable to calculate dose distributions for Varian, Elekta and Siemens linear accelerators with sufficient accuracy in the range of the investigated combinations of beam energies, applicator sizes and SSDs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrons*
  • Monte Carlo Method*
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*