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Accelerator beam data commissioning equipment and procedures

Report of the TG-106 of the Therapy Physics Committee of the AAPM
Indra J. Dasa兲
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
Chee-Wai Cheng
Department of Radiation Oncology, Morristown Memorial Hospital, Morristown, New Jersey 07962
Ronald J. Watts
International Medical Physics Services, San Antonio, Texas 78232
Anders Ahnesjö
Uppsala University and Nucletron Scandinavia AB, 751 47 Uppsala, Sweden
John Gibbons
Department of Radiation Oncology, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809
X. Allen Li
Department of Radiation Oncology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226
Jessica Lowenstein
Radiological Physics Center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030
Raj K. Mitra
Department of Radiation Oncology, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, Louisiana 70121
William E. Simon
Sun Nuclear Corporation, Melbourne, Florida 32940
Timothy C. Zhu
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
共Received 4 February 2008; revised 18 July 2008; accepted for publication 18 July 2008;
published 22 August 2008兲
For commissioning a linear accelerator for clinical use, medical physicists are faced with many
challenges including the need for precision, a variety of testing methods, data validation, the lack of
standards, and time constraints. Since commissioning beam data are treated as a reference and
ultimately used by treatment planning systems, it is vitally important that the collected data are of
the highest quality to avoid dosimetric and patient treatment errors that may subsequently lead to a
poor radiation outcome. Beam data commissioning should be performed with appropriate knowl-
edge and proper tools and should be independent of the person collecting the data. To achieve this
goal, Task Group 106 共TG-106兲 of the Therapy Physics Committee of the American Association of
Physicists in Medicine was formed to review the practical aspects as well as the physics of linear
accelerator commissioning. The report provides guidelines and recommendations on the proper
selection of phantoms and detectors, setting up of a phantom for data acquisition 共both scanning and
no-scanning data兲, procedures for acquiring specific photon and electron beam parameters and
methods to reduce measurement errors 共⬍1 % 兲, beam data processing and detector size convolution
for accurate profiles. The TG-106 also provides a brief discussion on the emerging trend in Monte
Carlo simulation techniques in photon and electron beam commissioning. The procedures described
in this report should assist a qualified medical physicist in either measuring a complete set of beam
data, or in verifying a subset of data before initial use or for periodic quality assurance measure-
ments. By combining practical experience with theoretical discussion, this document sets a new
standard for beam data commissioning. © 2008 American Association of Physicists in Medicine.
关DOI: 10.1118/1.2969070兴

Key words: accelerator, commissioning, data acquisition

TABLE OF CONTENTS I.B. Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4187
I.B.1. Need for commissioning data. . . . . . . . . . . 4187
I.B.2. Issues with beam commissioning
I. INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4187 measurements. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4188
I.A. Purpose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4187 I.B.3. About this task group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4188

4186 Med. Phys. 35 „9…, September 2008 0094-2405/2008/35„9…/4186/30/$23.00 © 2008 Am. Assoc. Phys. Med. 4186

4187 Das et al.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4187

I.B.4. Commissioning effort. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4189 V. ELECTRON BEAM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4207
II. PHANTOM MATERIALS, METHODS, V.A. Electron scanned data measurements. . . . . . . . 4207
AND DETECTORS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4190 V.A.1. Depth dose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4207
II.A. Phantom material. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4190 V.A.2. Profiles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4208
II.B. Dimension of phantom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4191 V.B. Electron point dose data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4208
II.C. Solid phantom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4191 V.B.1. Cone factors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4208
II.D. Buildup cap. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4192 V.B.2. Cutout factors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4208
II.E. Detectors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4192 V.B.3. Virtual and effective source position. . . . . 4208
II.E.1. Availability of detectors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4192 V.B.4. Specific data for Monte Carlo based dose
II.E.2. Detector types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4192 calculation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4209
II.E.3. Selection of detectors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4193 VI. PROCESSING BEAM DATA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4209
II.E.4. Detector response and corrections. . . . . . . 4193 VI.A. Processing and manipulations. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4209
VI.B. Smoothing, mirroring, and summarizing. . . . . 4209
III. SCANNING SYSTEM SETUP. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4193
VI.B.1. Mathematical functions and filters. . . . . . . 4209
III.A. Verification and validation of scanner. . . . . . . 4194
VI.B.2. Distortion in smoothing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4209
III.A.1. Scanning 共field兲 and reference detectors... 4194
VI.C. Processing nonscanned data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4209
III.A.2. Cables, connectors, and adapters. . . . . . . . 4195
III.A.3. Electrometers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4196
VII.A. Recommendations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4210
III.B. Scanning water tank. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4197
VII.B. Precautions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4210
III.B.1. Positioning and labeling. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4197
VII.C. Commissioning report. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4210
III.B.2. Scanner movement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4198
III.B.3. Orientation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4198
III.C. Scan mechanism and movement. . . . . . . . . . . 4199
III.C.1. Array detector weight. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4199 I.A. Purpose
III.C.2. Speed and position accuracy. . . . . . . . . . . . 4199 Beam data commissioning should be independent of indi-
III.C.3. Hysteresis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4199 viduals collecting the data and scanning systems if it is per-
III.C.4. Corrosion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4199 formed with appropriate knowledge and proper tools. Data
III.D. Premeasurement test. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 variation among beam collectors should be as minimal as
III.D.1. Dry run. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 possible 共⬍1 % 兲. To achieve this goal, this report has been
III.D.2. Water run. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 prepared to facilitate accelerator beam data commissioning
III.D.3. Saturation test. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 by describing specific setup and measurement techniques,
III.D.4. Extracameral volume. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 reviewing different types of radiation phantoms and detec-
III.D.5. Energy response test. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 tors, discussing possible sources of error, and recommending
III.E. Data acquisition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4200 procedures for acquiring specific photon and electron beam
III.E.1. Scanning parameter protocol. . . . . . . . . . . . 4201 parameters.
III.E.2. Speed. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201
III.E.3. Delay time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201 I.B. Background
III.E.4. Sampling time and signal. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201 I.B.1. Need for commissioning data
III.E.5. Radio frequency noise interference. . . . . . . 4201
III.F. Data file. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201 Radiation treatment outcome is directly related to the ac-
III.F.1. Data file organization. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201 curacy in the delivered dose to the patient that is dependent
on the accuracy of beam data used in the treatment planning
III.F.2. File name. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201
process. These data are obtained during the initial commis-
IV. PHOTON BEAM DATA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4201 sioning of the linear accelerator and are treated as the stan-
IV.A. Photon scanned data measurements. . . . . . . . . 4201 dard data for clinical use and should be verified periodically
IV.A.1. Depth dose. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4202 as described by TG-40 共Ref. 1兲 by a qualified medical physi-
IV.A.2. Tissue maximum or phantom ratio, cist to ensure that machine parameters have not changed dur-
TMR/TPR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4202 ing normal operation. For any substantial changes in a treat-
IV.A.3. Surface dose and buildup region. . . . . . . . . 4203 ment planning system 共TPS兲, for example, change in dose
IV.A.4. Beam profiles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4203 algorithm, additional commissioning data may be warranted
IV.B. MLC data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4204 based on the TPS requirements.2
IV.C. Photon point dose data. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4205 As the manufacturing processes for linear accelerators
IV.C.1. Total scatter factor 共Scp兲. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4205 have significantly matured, there has been an attempt by ven-
IV.C.2. In-air output ratio 共Sc兲. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4205 dors to standardize machines to have identical beam charac-
IV.C.3. Phantom scatter factor 共S p兲. . . . . . . . . . . . . 4206 teristics. In some cases, “golden” beam data sets are pro-
IV.C.4. Wedge factors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4206 vided which contain most or all of the commissioning beam
IV.C.5. Tray factors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4207 data required by the TPS. If the same vendor provided the
IV.C.6. Small field considerations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4207 TPS, the golden beam data may already be input into the

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4188 Das et al.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4188

computer. In such cases, users have the choice of measuring I.B.2. Issues with beam commissioning
all the required data, or verifying a carefully selected subset measurements
of the data at time of beam commissioning. The preferred Even though most of the beam data measurements seem
option will depend on a number of factors, such as the make relatively simple, results could vary significantly depending
and model of the accelerator and TPS, and the accuracy re- upon the detector system and the phantom used. With avail-
quired for clinical use. ability of a large selection of radiation detectors covering all
The following concerns should be carefully evaluated be- sizes 共regular, mini- to microdetector兲, type 共ionization
fore the use of any golden beam data within a clinic. First, it chamber, semiconductor, etc.兲, and shapes 共thimble, spheri-
is not evident that manufacturing procedures for all linear cal, plane parallel兲, the choice of a proper detector can be
accelerators have produced a level of reproducibility accept- overwhelming. In some situations, an improper choice of a
able for clinical use. For example, variations in beam param- detector may lower the quality of the collected beam data.
eters have been noted between beams with the same nominal An example of this is found in Fig. 1 that shows a wide
energies.3–5 Second, on-site changes made during installation variation in PDD of a 6 MV beam obtained with a variety of
and acceptance of the user’s accelerator 共e.g., changes in detectors for small, reference 共10⫻ 10 cm2兲 and large fields.
beam energy and/or profiles from beam steering兲 will not be The variations seem unforgiving for small and large fields.
modeled in the golden data. Third, the beam characteristics Manufacturers often provide guidelines and tolerance lim-
of the soft wedges are made by moving jaws that depend on its for acceptance testing of a machine through their accep-
the speed parameters of the jaws and a deviation at site could tance testing procedure. However, machine commissioning is
affect the beam profile of the soft wedge. Fourth, although the responsibility of the institution’s qualified medical physi-
acceptable agreement with the golden data set may be found cist. Previous task groups14,15 provided guidelines for accep-
in individual checks, it may be that some clinical setups will tance testing but provided no information for commissioning
have multiple errors, which combine to produce unaccept- beam data. The recent publication16 on acceptance testing
able results. Finally, the commissioned beam data also pro- and commissioning of linear accelerator provided details of
vide a thorough check of the accelerator, which may uncover acceptance testing of various components but did not address
problems that may not otherwise be discovered with a mere the commissioning aspect. There is a misconception between
spot check. acceptance testing and commissioning. The acceptance test-
ing implies the verification process of the machine based on
At a minimum, however, a golden beam dataset is an
manufacture’s guidelines for a very small subset of beam
excellent source of quality assurance for verifying the user’s
data whereas commissioning is a process where a full set of
commissioning results. These data along with those available
data is acquired that will be used for patient treatment. There
from the Radiological Physics Center at MD Anderson Can-
is very little information available in the literature for ma-
cer Center6–8 can be used to ensure that the user’s beam data
chine commissioning in providing dosimetry data for clinical
are in reasonably good agreement with those from other in-
use in radiation oncology.
stitutions. Monte Carlo simulation could also provide good
standard data. However, measurements are still required as
benchmarks for validation of any Monte Carlo9–13 simula- I.B.3. About this task group
tion. This task group was formed to review the physics of com-
It is beyond the scope of this report to make any specific missioning linear accelerators and to provide guidelines and
recommendations as to what measurements are required at recommendations on proper selection of detector, phantom,
the time of beam commissioning of a linear accelerator. and methods to reduce measurement errors below ⫾1% in
However, at a minimum, the following data should be col- beam data acquisition. This task group does not provide the
lected during commissioning: gold standard data for a machine nor does it deal with data
collection for a specific TPS. However, the task group has
• For photon beams—percent depth dose 共PDD兲 and pro- attempted to cover the breadth of data collection as com-
files 共in-plane and/or cross-plane兲 at various depths for pletely as possible. The charge of this task group was aimed
open and wedge fields, data related to multileaf colli- directly at detectors and techniques for “beam data commis-
mator 共MLC兲 such as inter- and intraleaf leakage, pen- sioning,” characterizing and documenting beam-specific be-
umbra, tongue and grove effect, etc., head 共collimator兲 havior which is typically then used for commissioning dose
scatter, total scatter, tray, and wedge factors. calculation algorithm behavior. Although inhomogeneity cor-
• For electron beams—PDD, profiles, cone factors, insert rection is an important aspect to characterize, especially for
factors, and virtual source positions. contemporary algorithms 共Monte Carlo and convolution/
The commissioning measurements should be made by a superposition兲 those kinds of commissioning checks are sig-
qualified medical physicist. The procedures described in this nificantly more difficult to perform and are dependent on the
report should assist in either measuring a complete set of treatment planning systems. Therefore, it seems quite reason-
beam data, or in verifying a subset of data before initial use able for the TG report to note that the inhomogeneity mea-
or for periodic quality assurance measurements. TPS related surements are an important part of commissioning, but that
commissioning data, as described by TG-53 共Ref. 2兲, should they are beyond the scope of the current task group report
also be considered. and need to be addressed by a future task group. It is also

Medical Physics, Vol. 35, No. 9, September 2008

The typical time allotted for the commis- 0. for group refers directly to those reports. a validation FIG. that required to be performed.6cc 0. limitations.19 head scat.6 PTW-0.125cc 0. 10x10 cm 1.. and corrections for not match accurately.23 and total body irradiation. etc.18.5 To account for equipment setup. this task agreement in the beam data. etc. 0.4189 Das et al.5 weeks.7 PTW-Pinpoint PTW-0. 40x40 cm ⫻共open + 4 wedges兲 ⫻ 共60 points/scan兲 1. However.7 PTW-diamond group is limited only to the beam data commissioning for Relative Dose PTW-0. allowed for commissioning may place pressure on the phys- ics staff to complete the task promptly. in-house data tables.1 of five beam modifiers 共one open and four physical wedges兲 0. 共1兲 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 below (b) Depth (cm) Time ⬇ 关共PDD + 5 profiles兲/beam energy兴 2 6MV. phantoms..7 PTW-0. 1.24 This task 0. there could be a fairly good 共TG-70兲. Depth dose data for a 6 MV beam for 共a兲 1 ⫻ 1 cm2.125cc 共1兲 Relative Dose 0.0 sioning process is 4 – 6 weeks. i. photon and electron beams. Attempting to perform the recognized that there may be an overlap of materials with commissioning quickly with minimal qualified medical other task groups such as stereotactic radiosurgery 共SRS兲. 0. quantitative evaluations of beam ommendations and guidelines for machine commissioning.6 PTW-0.0 Scanditronix-SFD 0.B. etc.6 PTW-0. An additional week is needed for 0. Where appropriate. 1–3 0. TG-106 provides rec. making the com- Exradin-A16 PTW-Pinpoint missioning of a modern accelerator an enormous task.3 I. The time ⫻ 10 cm2.17 physics staff may affect the quality of the data collected. Commissioning effort 0.22and other reports. the time required for scanning six data sets 0. CyberKnife.4 quisition time should be made prior to machine acceptance. If there are multiple machines of the identical type and ter 共TG-74兲. benchmarking. 1 – 2 weeks for electrons. 1 – 2 weeks are needed in analysis 0. typical time for photon beam scanning is 1.4.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4189 2 6MV.0 from 0 to 40 cm is further compounded by the number of Scanditronix-SFD 0. as described by Marshall25.5 PTW-Markus availability of the physics staff. Tables I共a兲 and 共b兲 show 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 a sample list of beam commissioning measurements for pho- (a) Depth (cm) ton and electron beams.3 For example. including the TPS. change in machine pa- 0.3 point data collection.17 Gamma Knife. It is 0.e. especially in clinics with minimum physics support.2 共one PDD and five depth profiles兲 for 15 field sizes for each 0.8 Exradin-A16 ⫻15 fields ⫻ 2 energies ⬇ 9 ⫻ 105 s ⬇ 30 h. 9.8 Wellhöfer-IC4 photon energies and 0–8 electrons energies. Typically. However.3cc PTW-0. The large amount of commissioning 2 data from 1 ⫻ 1 cm2 – 40⫻ 40 cm2 fields and depths ranging 6MV. However. and a week 0. 35. Vol.4 0.9 Scanditronix-PFD ⫻关1 s/pts + 1 s共movement and delay兲兴 Wellhöfer-IC4 0. total skin electron therapy.0 for a dual energy accelerator could be estimated as in Eq. measur.6cc PTW-Markus 0.9 Scanditronix-PFD Wellhöfer-IC4 procedures such as SRS.0 Scanditronix-SFD scope of this task group to provide guidelines for any special 0. Reduction in time is possible by elimi- Medical Physics. 0.. monitor unit 0.6cc mined based on both the amount of data to acquire and the 0.8 Exradin-A16 PTW-Pinpoint 0. 共b兲 10 of TPS data. baseline QA readings.1 and report writing. intensity modulated radiation therapy 共IMRT兲. additional time es- 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 (c) Depth (cm) timates should be made for integrating nonscanned data mea- surements.5 PTW-0. and 共c兲 40⫻ 40 cm2 fields using different detectors.125cc important that the time allowed for commissioning is deter- Relative Dose 0.21 electron beam matched beam characteristics. 1x1 cm commercially available systems.1 on the user’s clinical need. gamma analysis26 showed that 30% of the beam profiles do ing devices 共electrometer兲. matching for modern machines using one-dimensional such as comprehensive data on detectors.2 for verification. An estimate of the data ac- 0. September 2008 .2 The amount of commissioning data requirements depend 0. No.20 film dosimetry 共TG-69兲.3cc linear accelerators. low energy beam. it is beyond the 1.0 programs. machine faults.4 rameters.9 Scanditronix-PFD radiation beams available from modern accelerators.

共b兲 Typical commissioning measurements for electron beam data for each energy. it may be necessary to let the water sit scanning water phantom. No. 9. photon beams should allow scanning in both cross. temperature of the water in the tank should be at room tem- missioning. September 2008 . However.A.27 Thus. Before embarking ciated with tank rotation. This is indicated by a change in Medical Physics. 35. it is not uncommon to have algae buildup in the water variations of two-dimensional and three-dimensional 共3D兲 after a few days of scanning. measurements for MLC insure that errors are not being introduced into beam data shaped fields are still needed for verification of the models. If a storage tank is not available. large field beam profile scans兲 be performed to modeled in the TPS. typically. water phantoms. Water tanks that are not large enough to chines only when a proper analysis of a sample data set is permit at least a 40⫻ 40 cm2 field and a scanning depth of conducted and agreement is within institutional tolerances. PHANTOM MATERIALS. Square field size 共cm兲 共a兲 Description 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 12 14 16 20 25 30 40 ⬎40 Application IMRT data Traditional radiation oncology fields Magna field Scan PDD/TMR ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ data Profiles @ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ 5–7 depths Diagonal or star profiles Nonscan Sc ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ data Scp ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ WF/TF ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ Surface dose ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ 共b兲 Description Cone size 共cm⫻ cm兲 5⫻5 10⫻ 10 15⫻ 15 20⫻ 20 25⫻ 25 Scan PDD ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ data Profiles @ 5–7 ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ depths Nonscan Cone factor ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ data Cutout factor ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ Virtual source ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ Surface dose ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ ⫻ nating full length of the commissioning for identical ma. a plastic tank filled with for a period of time to equilibrate with the room temperature.4190 Das et al. reducing these scanning parameters provides convenience and avoids alignment problems asso- may compromise the quality of beam data. 40 cm should not be used since full scatter condition will be typically 艋 ⫾ 1%. Further time savings could be achieved by compromised with possible errors. it is recommended that the temperature of II. addition of biocidal chemicals to prevent growth of algae AND DETECTORS that interferes with the driving mechanism. as shown in Table I: 共i兲 scanned data and 共ii兲 perature before starting measurements. Scanned beam data collection is carried out with a temperature. Scanning systems for reducing the time per point acquisition. Phantom material the tap water be monitored when filling the tank and the There are two types of data that are acquired during com. it is recommended that trial only for fields defined by the primary jaws.and in- ning speed. care must be taken to use distilled water with the II. For some TPS. Point dose data can be some chambers are not fully accounted for. Scanning in both dimensions measurements. it is measured in a solid phantom 共discussed later兲 or in a water advisable to maintain the temperature very close to the room phantom. METHODS.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4190 TABLE I.. water to a level deep enough to allow central axis PDD and Since beam scanning usually takes more than several profile measurements to a depth of 40 cm. If water is stored in a reservoir and pumped into the scan- ning tank. and hence. Thermal response for nonscanned data or point dose data. data are required in such time saving measures. and reducing the time delay between successive planes 共x and y directions兲. collection. There are several days. 共a兲 Typical commissioning measurements for photon beam data for each energy and wedge.g. Vol. However. increasing the scan. and the MLC is scans 共e.

very few commercial scanning sys. as noted in Table II and various references.040 1. with these materials may result in values that may require tems require larger lateral scans and diagonal profiles for the additional corrections due to differences in electron density. Inc. from clear to a some. Most scanning system manufactures also provide minimal asymmetry 共⬍0. the size of the tank could be much solid phantom. largest field size and at a depth of 40 cm for modeling. Norfolk..031 1. it is important to verify that the open beam show ing setup. maintained for each detector. An effective way to remove the algae overscan at depths of ⬎30 cm for a 40⫻ 40 cm2 field at from the water is to add a very small amount of laundry 100 cm SSD. Middleton. Radiation Measurements. 9. surface dose..052 Plastic water. RPD Opaque 1050 1. leakage/transmission. Depending on the size of the the central axis on the short side so that there is sufficient tank.. September 2008 . A factor of 1. may be mirrored to represent the entire beam. No. If the the radiological properties of water. CIRS: Computerized Imaging Reference Systems.031 1.059 Acrylic/PMMA. CIRS Lavender 1012 1. manufacturer Color 共kg/ m3兲 6 MV 10 MV 15 MV 18 MV Polystyrene.039 1. solid phantoms that mimic water may be used scanning of beam profiles up to the largest field size required for convenience.044 Solid water. An additional collected for maximum field sizes that require an offset of advantage of detergent in water is to reduce the surface ten. Radiation Product Design. etc. A solid phantom should have an appropriate cavity drilled onal scans. RPD Clear 1185 1. such as output factors. however. the tank relative to the central axis. wedge and tray factors.30 The quality practical terms. Inc.035 1. NY. RMI. the table pedestal should be rotated to acquire the for tight fit of the detector which should be verified with a desired data.030 1. NA White 1045 1. NA: Nuclear Associates. Whatever time- tank should be completely drained and dried. MN. NA. provide a safe limit. Solid phantom mechanisms and may void the warranty of the scanning sys- tem. scans. It is also ad- Additionally. In some cases. tems are capable of scanning the full diagonal plus 5 cm what murky looking.035 1. may also be required to generate a complete set of scans.049 1. half scans will have to be as soon as the water appears to be murky. Upon completion of beam scanning. 40⫻ 40 cm2 with sufficient lateral polystyrene should be used with caution. especially during long peri.29 Tello et al. Some planning sys. Simple calculation shows that a tank It was pointed out that solid phantoms do not truly represent size of 75⫻ 75 cm2 is an optimum recommended size.6 times the maximum field size should in electron and photon beams depending upon beam energy.032 1. evaporation of the tank water is common visable that the half field scan be extended at least 5 cm past over the course of the scanning.056 appearance of the water in the tank.033 1. Different slabs of phantom should be used for tended to provide. Some data maneuvering surface be verified periodically.037 1. It is advisable especially not to leave tap water in the input. When detectors are placed in a For diagonal profiles. In general.29 scan and the beam divergence at 40 cm depth should be con. It is recommended that the water field scans require more setup time. as data collected buildup 共5 cm兲 and overscan distance. and hence. make a small amount of oil should be kept on the scanning hard. evaporation can sometimes lead to a measurable lateral buildup for the central axis at deeper depths.28.5% 兲 so that a half beam profile chemicals to add to the water to safeguard the hardware. Albertsville. sure that it is compatible with the system using the data as ware. for photon beams. Point dose and nonscanned 共integrated兲 measurements. 共␮en / ␳兲med water Density Material.g. However.049 1. In equilibrate with the temperature in the cavity. can be measured in a water II. Consequently. the phantom.C. Other plastic material such as acrylic or 共e.4191 Das et al. Dimension of phantom phantom. 35.030 White water-RW-3. Physical characteristics of commerically avialable water equivalent materilas. RMI Maroon 1030 1. the over. This should be done before scanning or only half scans.036 1. and can often be performed with the scanning sys- The size of the water tank should be large enough to allow tem. Some compromise could be made by taking detergent or chlorine. such data should not be taken different designs of the detector to ensure that a tight fit is with collimator rotation. Half- change in detector depth.032 1. the depending on planning system requirements.B. showed that radiologically solid phantoms differ from water sidered. Before setting up for half sion to help visualize the exact position of the detector dur. To stopping power 共S兲 and energy absorption coefficient 共␮en / ␳兲 determine the appropriate size of the scanning tank. saving procedure is used to cover the area of interest.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4191 TABLE II. VA. scanning tank for a long period of time after scanning as mineral deposits and algae growth can damage the scanning II.049 1. enough time should be given to thermally larger than 75⫻ 75 cm2 with the same overscan distance. ods of scanning. collimator rotation does not provide radiograph taken with low kVp with the detector inserted in the flattening filter information that diagonal profiles are in. Vol. WI. of the phantom material should be checked with a computed Medical Physics. scanning software does not have the ability to perform diag.

E.. II. before using a diode detector. Even 共dynamic wedge or virtual wedge兲 profile measurements. Commercially available buildup caps 共Radiation est research and need.E.40–43 hence.46–50 The response of a brated against a national standard. Detectors should compare it with ion chamber measurements to con- II. A detector array system can be tectors including ion chambers. Detector types tive hole mobility making them attractive semiconductor de- II. 20兲 recommends a miniphantom to electron beams. and/or a miniphantom is tradition- PTW. Products Design.2. mini. No.34–36 Thus. readily available. it should be checked for accuracy before use..2.45 surgery.20 It is im- dence as well. depending on the manufacturer. Diamond detector. diation is absorbed. The theory of diamond detectors used since the discovery of radiation and are still widely is very similar to that of diode detectors. These detectors can be categorized in terms beam and offers the most suitable method for soft wedge of their size as standard. and reproducibility. Standard Imaging. excellent spatial resolution. spherical. II. 39兲.E. CyberKnife. and parallel plate兲 and sizes bers may differ from water if the solid materials are designed 共standard. In order to achieve the required accuracy rec- portant to choose a buildup cap of sufficient thickness in Sc ommended by TG-62 共Ref. the array must be calibrated in a field size recom- for a standard Farmer-type ionization chamber is on av. Various manufacturers offer a wide range of radiation de. hence.c. etc. TG-74 recommends that a preferable solution is to beams with energy between 4 and 20 MeV兲. For small field sizes 共艋4 ⫻ 4 cm2兲. corrected or a diode with minimum dose rate and energy Further discussion on the fundamentals of the output factors dependence should be used. and are manufactured in various in electron density via CT number. otherwise erroneous Sc data will be obtained. electrical conductivity of the material. either these effects should be measurements. source-chamber distance 300 cm兲 can be em- energy independence of mass collision stopping power ratios ployed if one has to use the same water-equivalent mini- 共between silicon and water for clinically usable electron phantom.g. and micro兲. surement. It is important that specific types of diodes used at the isocenter because of its much smaller size31 pro- should be used for specific radiation and hence electron di- vided appropriate correction factors are applied as recom- odes should only be used in electron beam and photon diodes mended by TG74. When ionizing ra- used due to their small variation in response to energy. Vol. Diamond detectors do not exhibit any directional Medical Physics. Semiconductor diode detectors are used move contaminant electrons at the energies for which they widely for beam data commissioning for both photon and are rated. Ion chambers. and ideally suited for small field dosimetry such as radio. September 2008 . and high sensitivity.36–38 and some may have angular depen- tion and recommendation can be found in TG-74. however.a. extended dis- nal bias. diamond detector.b. dose rate 共SSD or as long as a correction factor is applied.007 cm3 and chamber array for dynamic wedge data measurement.E. they can provide a direct diamond detector is directly proportional to the absorbed measure of the dose. Availability of detectors firm its correct operation and accuracy in data.2. detector before it can be used for the scanning. shapes 共cylindrical. mini. it induces a temporary change in the dose rate. MN兲230 are inadequate to re- II.1. although other thicknesses can be used diode detectors depends on temperature. Since an array consists of several detectors arranged in a linear • Standard chamber 共⬇10−1 cm3兲—The active volume fashion.and microdetectors. mini-ionization chamber is on average 0.D. absence of exter- completely.4192 Das et al. Characteristics of diodes include quick re- provide electronic equilibrium and elimination of contami- sponse time 共microseconds compared to milliseconds of an nant electrons provided that the field covers the miniphantom ion chamber兲. energy. Diodes. dose rate. a buildup cap. Ionization chambers have been tector for ionizing radiation. dose.05 cm3. Buildup cap different ion chambers for a variety of applications in radia- tion dosimetry.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4192 tomography 共CT兲 scan for any artifacts and inhomogeneity sive. It has • Microchamber 共⬇10−3 cm3兲—The active volume for a been noted that there is no difference between diode and ion microionization chamber is on average 0.44. gamma knife. In addition.E. IBA. one II. Often these • Minichamber 共⬇10−2 cm3兲—The active volume for a detectors are calibrated from the factory with proper gain.2. di- use a high-Z miniphantom and all Sc measurements be made odes are particularly attractive for radiation dosimetry in an at the same distance. used for simultaneous data acquisition over the entire open and other types. Since chambers can be cali. diodes provide tance 共e. most vendors are now marketing II.6 cm3. Humphries and Purdy33 pro- to be water equivalent at megavoltage energies only. Note that these CT num. IV C.20 Typical longitudinal thickness of a mini- should be only used in photon beam. There are conflicting publica- can be found in Sec. Diamond detectors are a solid-state radiation detector with a high electron and posi- II. vided a list of chambers and their characteristics for beam data scanning. 9.34. An assortment of radiation detectors for spe- For the in-air collimator or head scatter factor 共Sc兲 mea- cific tasks can be acquired from various manufacturers 共i.32 A detailed descrip- wedge兲. Albertville.2.d. tions on the use of diode detectors for beam data acquisition. mended by the manufacturer to set the amplifier gain of each erage 0. BEST.E. However.e. ionization chambers could The array system may be an ion chamber array 共air or liquid- be divided by their active volume as indicated below: filled兲 or a diode array. TG-74 共Ref.E. though there is no clear definition. a metallic miniphantom can be electron beam. and IMRT. Thus.兲 based on the lat- ally used. Ion chambers are relatively inexpen. either of these systems could be used. The response of the phantom is 10 g / cm2. Detector arrays. 35. diodes.

Bang gels. and ease of cent dosimetry51 共TLD兲 has been used for point dose mea.4193 Das et al. The sensitive vol. III. or optical even require rescanning. sponse over the sensitive volume that smears the profiles.2. and diamonds are well suited for and hence are more expensive than other solid state detec. However. these effects in 艌4 ⫻ 4 cm2. energy.58 and the detector size could be explained by the detector convo- for soft wedges. depth. MOSFET dosimeters have been in. acquired for all field sizes. increased to improve the signal-to-noise ratio as discussed in silver halide and Gafchromic. III A 3 g. a considerable amount of processing and sometimes may nance imaging.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4193 dependence and they are tissue equivalent. scanning 共sampling兲 time should be factors as described in TG-69. several different forms. Before setting up the water phan- computer tomography. Since signal in these detec- field size. and other tors are relatively small.59 When film is used for small field dosime. tively that the broadening of the measured penumbra due to nity for acquiring planar dose maps in small fields57. commissioning beam data in a scanning water phantom. Thermoluminescent dosimetry.21 There are two types of films. field size.E.72 This problem could be solved if transistor (MOSFET).52. and more importantly. the relatively low cost. Detector response and corrections dependence for photon beams but their response is relatively The finite size of the detector provides an average re- independent in megavoltage electron beams. fading. They can be used in water with any scanning system for data commis.E. II. respectively. availability. The diamond detectors are difficult to manufacture Ion chambers.2. Vol. However. SCANNING SYSTEM SETUP They are energy independent over a wide range of energies.4. chambers are by far the most commonly used due to their II. Setting up the water phantom system properly can help making them ideal for measuring three-dimensional dose dis.h. accuracy on the order of ⫾1% is achiev. 55兲 Sec. No. Diamond de. The selection of detectors should be carefully surements and in vivo dosimetry.e. It has been proven defini- with ion chambers.62 Due to their small size. September 2008 . TG-69 and TG-55 共Ref. check the existing Medical Physics. Deconvolution observed by Yin. tectors do exhibit a small dependence on dose rate. a deconvo- acquired with films may not be as accurate as data acquired lution method69–76 could be used.61 ment. diodes. TLD exhibits strong energy dependence. Due to this rea. both the penumbra and detector convolution kernel are ex- vestigated for their use in clinical dosimetry61 and IMRT pressed as analytical functions. Ion tors. scribe correctly the penumbra region due to blurring. x-ray computed tomography. which may result in butions. susceptible to imaging artifacts. brachytherapy. Thermolumines. and time needed to complete the data collection.70–76 It is possible to extrapolate the true pen- try. To avoid such a lengthy process.22.E. accuracy. such as rods. linearity.0– 6. In order to generate an image of the dose distri. Film. resolution.53 The accuracy is for the small field data required for IMRT and cannot de- limited to the irradiation and measuring techniques. lution kernel. reduce the tributions. diodes tend to have different characteristics for large fields able. detector convolution kernel. MOSFETs are ideal for vided analytical expressions for the penumbra77. film does provide an opportu. 54兲 can be small volume ion chambers or diodes are often used for achieved. likelihood of collecting suboptimal data. 9. The TLD material comes in examined with the type of application.g. MOSFET dosimeters are similar to conventional dosimeters user should choose a microchamber for small field measure- in reproducibility. Film is used for dose measurement based measured with microchambers such as stereotactic field di- on optical density variation that is generally dependent on odes or pinpoint ion chambers. inner diameter of 4 – 6 mm. beam energy. and in vivo dosimetry. improve the workflow. application. In general. blurring due to film scanner should be considered as umbra using the detector convolution kernel. The deconvolution method is complex and time con- The MOSFET detectors have a short life span 共total dose兲 suming to be effective for a large number of profiles and and are not suitable for beam commissioning but can be used should be reserved as a last choice for only a limited data set for specialized point dose measurements.60 algorithms are susceptible to noise and require tuning to II.E. provide overviews of silver halides films. these chambers are not appropriate megavoltage beams are relatively small.2. processor condition. Rather cally an accuracy of less than ⫾5% 共Ref. the gel needs to be imaged by using magnetic reso. Metal–oxide–silicon–semiconductor field effect eliminate the noise effect. For the Radiological Physics Center and calibra. II. 35. and Gafchromic films. Several studies have pro- verification. However. and powder. Each of these imaging techniques is tom and planning for data collection. TLD is usually not suitable for data commissioning compared to small field and should not be used for all field except for verification and cross reference of point dose in sizes unless it can be documented that accurate data can be small fields and IMRT.78 and the small field dosimetry. Typi.64–68 Small volume chambers and tion laboratories. Bang gel detectors63 are tissue equiva- lent and provide a 3D dose map with high spatial resolution.E.f. which is adequate for field sizes and nonlinear dose response. commissioning except for SRS and IMRT.E.2. small fields 艋4 ⫻ 4 cm2.3. the use of gels is ume is small 共1. most scanning systems utilize ion chambers with an annealed.56 Beam data When small volume detectors are not available. son film could be used for electron beam. unless a commercial software is available. Selection of detectors sioning. which makes it ideal for small an extensive process and has limited usefulness in beam data field dosimetry and for profile measurements. Small field profiles should be II. For ex- Rods and chips are reusable once they have been properly ample.0 mm3兲. chips. and angular responses. Silver halide films exhibit strong energy II.

and mechanical stability. 35. as well as the qual- the case. Detec- Furthermore. September 2008 .1. 9. and diagonal these detectors to the scanner. III D 4. Metallic adapters and hold. Detector mounts.1. chamber兲 and a correctly functioning chamber 共good cham- ber兲 with an incorrect and correct gain setting.A. is determined by the high voltage 共HV兲 bias polarity and will tions or drifts in the incident beam output. surements. some basic quality assurance as sug- ence chamber. as dis- should be adopted. ers should be avoided for securing the detector in the scan. the detectors sup- curacy and linearity should be checked over the long range plied with scanning systems have nearly identical dimension of the scanning system. 共ii兲 perpendicular but in sumed that these components are matched to provide good cross-plane. that the electrometer can accommodate the polarity.A. However. when connecting the free movement of each arm. most detectors can be operated with either polarity. it is possible to add components. the user should still verify that there are no tion plays an important role in profiles and penumbra mea- defects or communication errors in any of the components. The reference detector may be positioned anywhere in the beam where it does not shadow the field detector for the III.a. However. an appropriate adapter should be sary to run cables under or over the door. diode signal polarity is determined by its in- with custom or vendor specific holders in order to produce ternal construction. This can trim considerable time from the total data sistent data increasing the time for commissioning. It is recommended that before connect- There has been an increase in detector specialization. a Modern water scanning systems are extremely accurate time integration method could be used instead of the refer- and precise. Verification and validation of scanner entire area of programmed positions. positive and negative polarity for the same model detector. typically uses 100 V. When parallel orien- not be compatible with the original scanning system. and the x . On the other Such futuristic interface devices are not yet available from hand. a good practice to check the bias requirement while changing The resulting scanning system may be a collection of com- detectors in between data collection and before turning the ponents from different manufacturers and it is incumbent electrometer to the ON position.4194 Das et al. cracks. In gen- racy. long axis of the When using a scanning system where all components are detector could be mounted in three possible ways: 共i兲 perpen- manufactured by the same vendor.1. The diamond detector commercial vendors. Generally. Most ion chambers are op- Schmid and Morris80 should be tested for flawless operation. When using a detector. however. Do not at- to set up the scanning computer alongside the accelerator tempt to tape or shim the detector into position since submer- controls to reduce the unnecessary movement across the con. diodes must have zero bias. Incorrect application of de- upon the user to verify the integrity of the hybrid system. y . such in active length and inner diameter. z. It is cables. This removes the instantaneous fluctua. iar with the type and voltage requirement of the detector. it can generally be as- dicular but in gun-target direction. which will be discussed in Sec. two detectors are needed for scanning.A. which is stationary in the field. Both the scanning not be an issue if the HV bias is controlled by the electrom- detector and the reference detector must be securely mounted eter. Medical Physics. from the same vendor and those components may minimum volume in the scan direction. If existing cable runs cannot be used.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4194 cable run.A. which was not originally eral. No. Scanning „field… and reference detectors ance of abnormal pattern or spikes observed in the scan data In general. consideration should be given to chamber dimen- ity of connecting cables for leakage and reproducibility sion when determining scan directions. or scanning detector that moves in the tank as programmed In such situation the scanning should be interrupted immedi- and a reference detector. In tation is used. Polarity. use of a reference detector is strongly recommended for all III. where the reference detector may shadow the field detector. Figure 2 shows PDD Detector attachments typically require a proper attachment data collected with a chamber with excessive leakage 共bad kit for a specific scanning system. particularly tor should be mounted such that the scanning arm has detectors. the movement of the detector should be considered. supplied with the scanner. commissioning beam data. Vol. adaptors兲 to an existing scanning system. a field could be an indicator of improper detector bias and or gain.79 and Humphries and Purdy33 chosen based on the application of the beam data. It is also beneficial used from the manufacturer of the new detector. the user should be famil- may require the user to connect new accessories 共detectors. A periodic quality assurance or at least cussed earlier in this document. collection time. For very small fields.1. However. The polarity of an ion chamber signal scanning systems. erated in the voltage range of 300– 400 V. This ing the detector to the electrometer. the user must ascertain when ordering the detector ning system. An appear- III.33 With respect to the central axis of the beam. as scatter radiation could affect the data accu.b. These two detectors do not before the use of the water tank may be warranted to check have to be of the same type. Physical condition of the tank. and 共iii兲 parallel to the beam. it is neces. The diode manufacturer may offer both accurate and reproducible scans. The ately and the detector bias should be checked properly. ventive maintenance services that should be performed. Ac- III. the following parameters motion. care should be taken for leakage and cameral house controllers to link scanner with accelerators to provide effect as discussed in Sec. Detector orienta- data. tector bias may damage the detector. High voltage (bias). Manufacturers of scanning systems offer annual pre- should be considered carefully.c. IV A 4 a.A. sion into water may loosen such mounts and produce incon- trol area. However. Apart from the di- should also be checked before the use of scanning system for mension. connector. The field and reference detectors should be gested by Mellenberg et al. Therefore. if this is not as leaks. automated field change and batch job as described by III.

enced by many subtle factors that will lead to incorrect beam cifically for scanning at relatively high 共艋300 V兲 voltages. September 2008 . The sen- 15 MV good chamber 10 sitivity of the field and reference detectors should also be 0 balanced. connectors. If 110 possible. Both of these 1. as noted in Fig.1. III.A. which are discussed below. Figure 3 shows the ratio of PDD taken with positive on the other hand.d. and conductors 共triaxial.1. correct gain 20 should be available from the detector manufacturer. then this is an indication of to be clearly evaluated. set the bias at half voltage and check the recombi- 100 nation effect82 at the dose rates used during scanning to 90 verify that no recombination correction is needed.00 important. Percent Depth Dose 80 70 III. 2. The BNC 共Bayonet PDD Ratio with Different Bias Neill-Concelman兲 is named after its inventor and has a 1. ion chambers have however. both detectors when field size is changed. The diode energy 1.94 parenthesis are most common among radiation detectors and electrometers used in water tanks. Details of 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 these connectors can also be acquired from various vendors Depth (cm) such as CNMC. may have an energy response in photon and negative 共⫾兲 polarity for various detectors. and adapters. incorrect gain 30 checked before scanning. However. the detector signal can be influ- not a problem in most ion chambers that are designed spe. 6 MV good chamber 40 The measurement range of the electrometer should be 6 MV bad chamber. the difference should be less PDD measurements in large x-ray fields. No.90 an electrical pin inside the connector housing.2.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4195 Comparison of PDD with Chamber and Gain lower recommended voltage bias than the standard 300 V.A. from vendors for future use. a large 共40⫻ 40 cm2兲 field with the corresponding ion cham- tors in Fig. sexes 共male. It is a good practice to check the gain of FIG. The integrity of scan data requires a high quality cable III. Differences. Vol. Ion recombination is generally and electrometer.02 A-16 IC-4 connectors are used in dosimetry and some familiarization is PDD Ratio (+/-) 1. It is FIG. PTW. The sensitivity of the detector must 60 be sufficient to provide a reasonable signal-to-noise ratio in 50 the electrometer but not as high as to cause signal saturation. Energy response.04 PinPoint-steel axial and triaxial cables.5%.2. etc. otherwise.6 cc twist-on attachment.e.A. 3. BNC and TNC connectors. Kim et al.81 provided the magnitude of polarity ber measurement. which appears as a coaxial and 0. coaxial兲. The examples in 0. BNC. polarity. some differences with ⫾ energy response. Standard Imaging. 35. 3. repeated measurements. III.A. unless specific than 0. 9.96 female兲.0 corresponds to no polarity effect and either polarity can response can be detected by comparing its PDD for 6 MV in be used. Medical Physics. and Wellhöfer. Cables. quality of connections. TNC 共Threaded Neill-Concelman兲 Pinpoint-Al is a threaded version of the BNC connector. the user should make sure that data collected in the an almost constant energy response for megavoltage photon positive 共⫹兲 polarity is in agreement with the negative 共⫺兲 beams and can be used without corrections. It is made for both co- 0. Figure 4 shows examples of these connectors.a. In general. diodes should not be used for polarity are expected. The 0. Recombination. The sensitivity of the detector 6 MV bad chamber.125 cc 1. Generally. like a bayonet. Some small volume chambers may have a aware of various types of connectors. Ratio of depth doses with positive and negative 共⫾兲 polarity on always helpful to mark these connectors when they arrive various chambers. Comparison of depth doses with good and bad chambers with cor. and adapters and choosing an appropriate detector that has minimum po- larity effect. Users should be scanning chamber. gains may need adjustment when scanning is switched from open to wedged fields. If the diode curve does not drop off as effect in thimble ion chamber at low dose rate that also needs rapidly as the ion chamber PDD.98 BNC and TNC connectors look alike from outside. can be avoided by selecting one polarity for the entire scanning III. It is recommended that data collection be per. data. Of course. In general. the rect and incorrect bias. Diode detectors.1. One vendor has a modifi- 0. Some of these factors are related to the fidelity of the Check the manufacturers’ recommended bias settings for the cable. The line at beam that may affect the scanned data.06 0.92 cation of a “triax” connector.f. Large deviations could be observed for some detec. Sensitivity. Some scanning software packages adjust the gain 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 automatically in both the field and reference electrometers to Depth (cm) equalize the signal.兲. 3. compensation or corrections with validated test results indi- formed at a consistent single polarity that is reproducible in cate otherwise. Connec- tors come in various types 共TNC.A. 0.4195 Das et al.

and handling of the cable. zero. TNC. a coaxial cable particularly the length near the detector where it will be sub- cannot be used with an ion chamber.3. a situation is noticed. PTW is one such vendor that has differ. Leakage noise current is typically dependent on the ends that connect to different connector types. 4. Do not force. HV bias兲 that require a triaxial cable. and III. 35. kept in the radiation beam. Measurement polarity. 9.83–85 The leakage is sig. whereas III. Heavily III. Some electrometers have leakage. such signals are nonreproducible. electrometer re- lection has a certain amount of leakage current that depends sponse is much critical in scanning.c. There are two types of twisted and badly bent cables may result in significant cable input polarity to an electrometer: bipolar and unipolar. and 共2兲 the electrometer’s measure charges in the range of 10−6 – 10−14 C. detector response is typically microseconds 共␮s兲. A sharp kink and nick can cause discontinuity as there is high voltage in the ion chamber cables. off. 300 MU/min 50 CNMC K&S white Electrometer Reading (pA) 40 K&S black Standard Imaging 30 PTW Sun Nuclear 20 10 FIG. Every cable used in data col. A collected reading is necting. on the quality. Effect of cable length in radiation beam. Leakage current. Most commercially available cables have a leakage lar electrometers can measure input signals of both positive level in the range of 10−13 – 10−14 A. If such option is avail- axial adapter ends with male and female connections. Special precaution is needed when large amount of cable is guard. Medical Physics. Furthermore. or turn the cable as that may short the bias when con. Prior to scanning.2.b. BNC. Vol.. the electrometer when submerged. to offset any leakage. all concen- tric • Coax: Two-conductor cable or connector. Bipo- noise. Even with inaccurate connection one may still see a composite response of the detector and electrometer.86 Ion chamber connectors have three electrodes 共collector.A. 5. tion be made only with the equipment powered off. They can forcing the coax and triax together. 10 MV. Forcing a coax BNC connector into a triax BNC connec- tor is the most common error when trying to connect a diode III. and kinked cables. Most cables used in connectors. or null radiation dosimetry and with the scanning system have tri. quality of the cable. Electrometers high voltage bias supply is shorted with improper connection should be reset to null or zero before scanning. reduction coating. care must be well as damage the inner dielectric insulator and the noise taken that there is no shock hazard to personnel or to sensi. upkeep. the leakage signal can overwhelm the measurement • Adapter: A connector union or short cable with two signal. and negative polarity. The some signal.e. any data in various gain range settings. Common connection errors. since merged.A. It is imperative that every connec. The amount of cable in the beam could be a serious trodes 共anode and cathode兲 and these require a coaxial cable. September 2008 . It is possible. Ion able. special adapters from manufacturer Figure 5 shows the effect of cable length in the radiation should be acquired. one should with proper adapters. it should be used to offset the leakage signal with beam chambers are directly connected to the triaxial cable end. but the reverse is not applicable. The cables are of different • Female: Center conductor is a socket hole types from various manufacturers.A. to use a triaxial cable with a diode inspect the cable length for kinks and nicks in the jacket. The user that may damage the detector or electrometer. See the discussions above on polar- When data are collected in small fields or beyond the field ity and leakage. No. However. twisted. With a diode.3.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4196 Cable Length Effect. If such signal. ers. all concentric edge. should verify that the response is linear before measuring twist. detector.A.a. Two Electrometers used with a water scanning system have a serious problems can happen: 共1兲 damage to the connector by high degree of fidelity with a wide dynamic range.2.4196 Das et al. Unipolar input can only measure input nificantly higher for poorly kept. i. hence. beam for various types of cables from different manufactur- ent triaxial adapter ends. there are two elec. • Triax: Three-conductor cable or connector. 0 0 1 2 3 4 5 Cable Length (m) • Male: Center conductor is a pin FIG. The orientation of the detector mount also affects the Some manufacturers market unusual looking triaxial ends amount of cable in the beam which may introduce a leakage 共nonstandard兲 that may not fit standard ion chambers. signal with one polarity. which may cause electrical problems in tive electronic equipment. and components of the triaxial cable. circuit options. Electrometers detector into an electrometer designed for ion chambers. matter in electron beam which was discussed by Das et al. electrometers are millisecond 共ms兲. length of the cable in the beam.

for example greater than 1 mV.4197 Das et al. ning detector sensitivities. form either over a water reservoir or stand-alone platform to cables. However.g. Electrometers also have an of cables with minimum noise. abnormal scan should be analyzed in the context of signal x scans are smoother and less problematic. Response time. With an ion chamber. The signal from the scanning detector cause current to flow. III. This is a difference of a factor of 100.B. between guard and electrode.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4197 III.3. Input offset voltage. much like the III. The response time of the elec- effect of input offset current.3. Signal-to-noise ratio. and good quality III. Use of a scanning detector The tank origin 共0. one should look tains these two inputs at 共or near兲 the same voltage. one may still collect what appears to be a good signal.0兲 should be close to the machine that is not included with the original design of the scanning isocenter. this will result in penumbra broadening. Position the tank based on manually or automatically.3. etc.. there is limited testing to assure good III. September 2008 .c.1.A.. the gain the desired conventions of the scan and treatment planning should be checked for both field and reference chambers nomenclature. The gain can be adjusted either disturbing the water surface less. Apart III. measuring with a diode on an electrometer setup for most machines. is to change the polarity. for ensuring the quality of data and/or detecting possible to see if the signal polarity changes as well. an offset 共leakage兲 current contributes to the where signal range varies significantly from toe to heel of the measurement signal. difference.3. Such a scenario often happens in wedge profiles signal current. A factor of at least 100 for a offset voltage is significant. Disturbing and transposing scanning tank la- such that they produce nearly identical readings at a refer. The electrometer’s basic operating principle main. Positioning and labeling continuity. Scanning water tank from invasive testing. 9. a high speed the types of voltages present at the electrometer input offset up to 100 mm/ s may not be a problem. Electrometers may the entire arm to move in the water. These are Modern scanning systems have speed from 1 to 500 mm/ s and typical response time of 艋10 ms.3.d. If scanned data are not input offset voltage between the inverting and noninverting smooth.A.0. vide reasonable 共but not saturated兲 ion collection. the orientation occur under the right conditions. In addition.e. signal-to-noise ratio is a good criterion that should be main- then different effects can occur. will be an offset in the signal measurement. ⫾1% in x and y profiles could be expected and tolerated for Thus. If an HV bias is failing or if there is not good contact to the chamber HV electrode. along a scanning arm. scanning. No.A. cleaner scans since less material is passing through the water. when collecting beam data. If this into the signal-to-noise ratio. One method. adapters. If the response time is too long and the scan speed III.A. Gain and autorange change. systems use different approaches and varied response time. treatment tables. if the electrometer and bias control Positioning and labeling the tank appropriately is critical permit. Continuity. Comparison of scans in the should be such that the chamber can scan with the least dry run and water run tests described below could show a amount of moving parts. It is difficult chambers is reasonably good ion collection with a low volt. A good practice is to align the tank with the small volume ion chambers have sensitivities of the lasers such that x axis is the cross-plane 共left-right兲 and y 0. this offset voltage is directly across the diode and will tracked and measured. It is recom- Medical Physics.h. The opposite of signal and cause offsets in the profile measurement especially with saturation is “not enough signal” above the noise level. kept high by choosing proper detector. this should be an in. Input offset current (leakage). beling during commissioning is not recommended as it adds ence point. then the sources of error in scan data. Another issue with small dimension is fast. Hence. to generalize and provide numerical values since scanning age bias. If it is a manual system. Otherwise. on many 3D systems. whereas some diodes could have sensitivities of axis is the in-plane 共gun-target兲 direction. insensitive and small volume detectors as discussed above on low signal-to-noise ratio.A. For example. which is well beyond the weight tolerance of the scanning chamber and cable are submerged in the water tank. If so. it may become significant III. especially in the penumbra region for photon beam inputs. Some of field measurements. Signal saturation. wedges. When setting up the tank. Even voltages as low as a few millivolts can pro. If measuring with a scanning trometers determines how quickly the changing signal is diode. gain. load could easily damage the table support mechanism. Any where beam steering is only available in the radial direction. The x scan may give have different gains that allow the use of a variety of scan.e. For some linear accelerators like Siemens small ion chambers may easily saturate the electrometer. there tained for scanning. i.A.3. In addition to the saturation.5 nC/ Gy.b.A. whereas the y scan dimension requires III. and bremsstrahlung tail for electron beam. The scanning tanks should change in signal polarity is likely due to the bias change never be placed on the machine treatment table as the water because the stray contact and input voltage offsets will gen. just as if it were coming from the diode changes very quickly at the beam edge with high speed of signal. typical large scanning tank with water weighs nearly 280 kg Another problem with continuity could occur when the 共616 lbs兲.3. 35.B. extra time and may confuse the machine parameters. The signal-to-noise ratio should be leakage current. In most systems. Differences about 50 nC/ Gy or more. significant contribution. the offset could pose problems for large system may cause the electrometer to over-range. a “short” of the bias supply to the chamber could support the tank.f. Most manufacturers provide a sturdy plat- If proper care is not taken in the connections. A erally not change with the bias polarity switch. the polarity reversal test in the above the x scan dimension requires only the chamber to move paragraph would also show a problem. Vol.

for does not “walk” from the crosshair. This position should be denoted as the zero III.5 and 2 mm.a. For correct scanning. 6. and z.a.82. This can be and should be checked at the beginning of the day and peri. This would require the axes.2. must be positioned so that it is aligned with the radial 共in- pose. it should be used as it provides precise leveling of the tank.2. fied before use.2.2.87.B. 35. the field size of the profiles will not be correct and Medical Physics. For these types rectly. The correct position is when both images form a perfect all four corners of the tank. the center of the detector is not the point of mea- depth dose by following methods: surements. For some could verify the detector movement to follow central axis for protocols. cross mark on the cap is available to check the horizontal level in all four corners of the tank. 6.3. Orientation position on the sides of the tank and the ODI and/or a me. It is quite apparent if the noninteger values. the chamber should If performing tests on the tank prior to each use. the distance should be verified by at least two methods. 6 for the cylindrical along the nonwedged direction in the transverse plane.B. Improper orientation the detector position should be set such that the center of the and definition of orientation can compromise the data when detector splits the water surface. If a vendor-provided alignment circle.3. and hence. the tank position and should be set in the computer for scanning pur. and hence. water phantom. When the water surface is the cross-plane direction. For example. but in fact. Vol. this chamber where the reflected image and the detector make a would seriously compromise data entry. cally between 1. Scanner movement FIG. The ion chamber shift can be flash on the sides of the detector and one jaw in the made from this initial position.B. Some scanners the side of tank or aligning the probe holder to a field edge. Most scanners have a built-in Air labeling system. the geometrical center can be accurately de- • Close the jaws to a field size that gives about 1 mm termined as shown in Fig.B. If this is not done cor- a large tank such errors are relatively small. It is very convenient if the laser fine the relationship between the tank position and gantry could be used as distance indicator. the low the central axis of the machine at 0° gantry angle.88 When a cylindrical ion chamber is used in a exactly vertical. perfect circle.B. The proper from the end of table to the gantry with the toe of the wedge way to ensure that the center of the chamber is set precisely facing the gantry. Most scanning systems have an orientation method to de- chanical measuring stick. Zero depth. but also the relationship offset. Central axis scanner movement.. when looking underneath at the reflec. In setting the SSD. Water evaporation may cause a change in zero depth plane兲 y axis and transverse 共cross-plane兲 x axis. The scanning software usually corrects for along one of the axes while ensuring the center of the probe the change in depth based on the displacement. operational instructions should be care- mark on the detector or any other device to check the level. One origin on the scanning system can be established.4198 Das et al. correct and that the motions are correct.e. the shift to an effective point of mea- surement is needed. Many scanning systems will other direction gives about 1 mm flash on the end of the account for this offset in the software.B. With the tank and/or scanning movement of the detector should be parallel and should fol. Sequential appearance of chamber and its reflection in water viewed Make sure the detector is level with the water surface in from tank side. y. have motors that displace water when they are immersed This can also be checked by manually driving the probe during scanning. 9. fully followed and software compensation needs to be veri- ing. as this influ- will be then the correct position for scanning. ences leveling of the tank.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4198 mended that manufacturer-supplied alignment devices should be used when available. the above be lowered by the shift amount from the zero position. Water Correct Position III. No. September 2008 . TPS reads scan data as if a 45° wedge scan was performed tion of the detector onto the surface of the water. The shift for photons is different from • Check the vertical travel of the detector with a simple that of electrons and also different for different dosimetry string plumb bob to make sure that the arm travel is protocols. the scan was really performed at the water surface is illustrated in Fig. if the cylindrical chamber. III. Make sure that this orientation is properly aligned with laser/mechanical pointer for 100 cm. i. Chamber shift. accomplished by aligning lasers to the alignment marks on odically 共at least every 6 h兲 during the day. For most ion chambers. The z-direction III. x. Axis alignment. It is advisable and expected that labeling is consistent with the TPS. such as laser III. Typically the y axis is the gun-target and the x axis is accuracy of the laser be verified. arms leveled and the water surface at the correct SSD. One can also use a of scanning system. III. this offset is typi- probe “walks” when going from surface to depth.c. Then by driving the detector from surface to performing a manual offset 共turning software correction off兲 depth. one can follow not only the location of the is provided.b. However. and/or an option of detector. This tests should be carried out with the tank full. This is easily done with a input into a treatment planning system. the depths associated with the measured data may be of the detector to the jaws. If the scanning software is used to correct for the crosshair image on the probe.

the effect can be dramatic systems. Scan mechanism and movement 40 III. 0 deg mechanism are typically designed to support small. i. it is Medical Physics. the two profiles for alignment. facturer on water additives. Arrows and circle are should be checked before collecting data. 共b兲 electron beam profiles at depth of 80% weight of an array system. scan across 40 cm III. 8兲. III.b. If these two profiles do not align and match the descending portion of the curve. This is typically a problem with older scanning part of the wedge. especially for low energy moderate speed in one direction and then reverse the scan- electrons in which the percent depth dose curve is steep for ning direction.3..3. Hysteresis ing depth as shown in Fig. scanning probe is moving. 9. They can be tested by scanning the same field at a for profiles at depths past dmax.e.5 cm Relative Dose 90 90 10 cm 80 80 20 cm Relative Dose 70 70 60 60 50 50 40 40 30 30 0 deg 20 20 2 deg 10 10 0 0 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 20 25 (a) Distance (cm) Distance (cm) Electron profiles with Gantry Tilt FIG. Such scanners should be sent to the scanning system manu- III.B. (b) Distance (cm) Check with the scanner manufacturer before adapting a scan- ning system to use a detector array. movement of the scanning arm depth dose for 20⫻ 20 cm2 cone with gantry tilt. The effect may be subtle such that. A tilt in the gantry during data col. 7. the sensitivity some profile data. as shown in which the scanning system cannot respond as fast as the Fig. To test this. This can become significant for small field and/or wedged fields. there may be situations in curate.C.2. 0 deg 20 6 MeV. Due to the size and FIG. 60 50 III.C. Leveling of scanning systems may in. It is Follow the recommendations of the tank/scanner manu- essential that the gantry be leveled prior to data collection. III.C.B. there is a hysteresis in the scanning movement. the detector mount and scan 10 20 MeV. etc. Tank tilt. Figure 7共b兲 shows the perfectly. and/or sampling time of the scanning system electrometers. No. facturer for repair and should not be used for scanning. Gantry tilt.C.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4199 Effect of Scanning Arm Tilt Effect of Gantry Angles on Profiles 100 100 1. Array detector weight 30 6 MeV. the scans III. but a one can scan. with a 20 cm field at the highest and lowest speed. 1 deg In a water phantom system. 100 90 80 The gantry angle should be checked with a precision level to Relative dose 70 avoid the appearance of asymmetry in the transverse scans. If photon and electron beam profiles do not look ac. marked change in the centering of each individual scans. Effect of gantry angle tilt on the profiles of a 6 MV beam for 30 110 ⫻ 30 cm2 field at 10 cm depth. the effect of a tilt in the but there is a shift.C. For electrons.4199 Das et al. and corrective action should be taken. since PDD is not fol. For x rays. 7共a兲.3. shown to represent the impact of arm and gantry tilt.1. 共a兲 Beam profiles of a 6 MV beam at different depths with scanning arm tilt for a 4 ⫻ 4 cm2 field. Speed and position accuracy Depending on the detector signal strength. A scanner should be tested for hysteresis in its position lowing the central axis but drifting off axis under a different encoding. and the accuracy of positioning. can be compro. Generally. effect of tilting of the scanning arm on electron profiles. Vol. light- 20 MeV.4. 35. If the relative shape agrees ing a precision level.c. Some multidetector arrays may have a sig- -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15 nificant weight beyond the design of the scanning mount. then there may be a limit as to how fast scanning arm will be a subtle change in symmetry. water storing. Compare volve leveling the entire tank or only the scanning arms us. 8. mised. beam appears to become increasingly off center with increas. Corrosion may appear to be off center at deeper depths 共Fig. September 2008 . 1deg 0 weight detectors. 7. lection can have an effect on cross-plane profiles and/or depth dose data. arm tilt and tank tilt may be responsible. such as wedge profiles.

Save the scan and inspect thimble where the ionization is measured. Repeat the test again at the maximum scanning depth machine commissioning. position the scanning detector This ratio should be greater than or equal to the known sen- at isocenter and the monitor detector at an appropriate posi. but with no water in the tank. calculate the and place it on or near the electrometer. of gain in the electrometer. Premeasurement test After filling with water and submerging detector and cables. Saturation test an in-air scan of a 20⫻ 20 cm2 field. the settled to a flat value. it is essential to perform the test before the same. acquired such that sets of data can be collected at the same Medical Physics. This is nor- mal and the subtraction of mean should preserve the III.e. A dry run may not work on some scanners that stop the scanning when there is no signal III. After connecting all components required. This will result in the lowest signal-to-noise ratio. Compare the profiles.. there may be other tests. A buildup cap may be used with the scanning detector. The mean value then this is an indication of energy response variations. Also. Make any necessary ad. non- the data either using the scanner’s software or export it to a thimble area. turn the beam off when the Scanning detectors have a very small volume in the detector reaches the cross hairs. Water run when not in use for prolonged periods. Do not sub- merge connectors unless they are known to be waterproof. Then repeat the • Electrometer offset: If there was no autorange changing measurement with a large volume scanning ion chamber. 35.3. III. If the diode nonirradiated area should be nearly equal to that calcu- curve does not drop off as rapidly as the ion chamber PDD. ⫻ 20 cm2 field. negative values and even a negative mean. 9. if a negative mean.1. then it is possible that there is many scanning systems will greatly improve the ability to a suppressed zero in the data collection. allowing the scan to run Repeat the above dry run procedure with an open 20 from −20 to + 20 cm 共40 cm total兲. which should be subtracted large volume chamber 共e. Perform III. This is closely related to the the maximum dose rate.D. tion as to not to interfere with the scanning detector. calculate the mean and standard energy response can be detected by comparing the measured deviation of the nonradiation value. Repeat the scan. however.83. stant 共or response time兲 of the system. connector. This is related to the time con. This is the within a chamber with good collection efficiency.D. and cable irradiated either with scat- spreadsheet for analysis of the following items: ter or primary radiation produce ionization contributing to the scan signal known as extracameral effect. as instructed dose rate.6 cm3兲 scanning should not be from all measurements 共on the same gain兲. The standard deviation of noise should not in- an annual calibration which happens more often than the crease. However. Dry run it is best to allow at least 21 h or more to pass before pro- The premeasurement tests should be performed for every ceeding with the test.. including any residual detector currents.E.D. Vol. saturation test. lated in the flat radiation region above. It is assumed that the detector • Time constant: At the point where the beam turned off. the standard deviation in the Compare the two PDD curves beyond dmax. volume is significantly less than the extracameral volume. Repeat the same tests as performed on new scanner before the first use of the tank before beam data the dry run and make sure that above parameters are nearly commissioning. The order of scan acquisition on zero and never changes. the data should be in a measurement error in penumbra and tail regions.5.4200 Das et al. III. Data acquisition should be conducted in an organized • Null value: If the nonradiation value 共background兲 is fashion to avoid confusion. assuming the chamber passes all • Polarity: If the electrometer is bipolar. especially overnight. After the standard deviation of the noise with the beam on. In addition. calculate the standard deviation. Extracameral volume from the reference channel.84.g. Start a scan and note coefficient of variation that is the standard deviation the scanning detector response with and without beam on at divided by the mean.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4200 not advisable to let the scanning mechanism stay submerged III. The is the electrometer offset. then subtracting the nega- tive value will actually add a positive value. PDD at 6 MV in a large 共40⫻ 40 cm2兲 field. at the maximum dose rate and a moderate justments to the scanner’s electrometer controls. Any change in detector response is signal-to-noise ratio. i. sitivity of the system. September 2008 .D. This will result access the scan data later.4.2. due to extracameral volume. in the manufacturer’s user guide.89 The ex- • Noise: In a flat region 共slope of profile equals zero兲 of tracameral volume is not constant since it does not originate the profile.D. remove the scanning detector from its mount • Signal-to-noise ratio: In the same region. profile measurement for its significance. examine the time it takes for the scan values to settle to Compare this response with the signal from the tails of a the nonradiation value.D. 0. III. Data acquisition sign. Energy response test • Leakage: In the region after the nonradiation value When performing PDD measurements with a diode. The cracks in the cable jacket or any leak in the detector may change the circuit parameters of the scanning device and possibly change the results when the tank is filled with water and the detector and cable is submerged. No. affected by stem leakage.

which greatly complicates the ripples in the acquired data due to wave motion induced by file naming convention process. Before collecting Relative Dose 70 60 data. The sampling time should be 80 long enough based on the gain of the electrometer and the size of the detector 共amount of signal兲.g.E.E.E.F.. connector adapters. Scanning parameter protocol Data collection has several components that depend on III. As discussed in Sec. the user could subdivide photon data into open amount of time is needed to commission beam data. Data file organization features of the scanning software for optimum management For easy data retrieval. as noted in user saves a lot of time retrieving specific data from a huge Eq. 35.2. 共1兲.E.E. Data file the software being used. For many scanning systems.A. Delay time IV. variation in the chamber signal. open or wedge. I B 4. Vol. Radio frequency noise interference 0 There is no radio frequency interference with the detector -14 -12 -10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Distance (cm) signal when conductive shielding of the entire measurement system: the shell of the chamber or diode. a file name convention should be III. and the electrometer chassis. creativity is required to eliminate confusion for profile acquisition at depths greater than dmax for low and/or duplicate names. are intact. induced will cause the scanning probe to see a varying depth 6P15WDD.2. Due to the small signal. File name As data are acquired. braid shield. one should check this in the penumbra region at the 50 deepest depth and choose the appropriate sampling time.” In some older sys- also be critical for a small field in which a small volume ion tems. TPS.5.F.4. a significant Furthermore. Speeding and undersampling produce suboptimal data especially for low energy electron beams. and type of scan. PHOTON BEAM DATA III. beam scanning since small ripples in water could change the monitor unit calculation system. 9. the cable outer FIG. such as “6 MV open depth dose set” or observed in PDD data with wavy curves. detail comments of each scan should be scan speeds will be required to help smooth out the statistical saved which will help in data retrieval and analysis. for a change in measurement response may reveal possible connection problems. Scanning speed can “18 MV 15 deg wedge 10⫻ 10 profiles. However.4201 Das et al.. Additional data may data significantly. the a tendency to reduce the overall scanning time. touching the components and looking collection. coarsely. 9. e. dry 共not humid兲 environment by simply shuffling of shoes on Organization of the measurements needed with a spreadsheet the floor and waving hands over the proximity of the com- as shown in Table I. If the file name is limited to the movement of the scanning arm. These will be discussed in their respective sections.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4201 6 MeV. This is especially critical eight characters. a naming convention should be adopted to elimi- wave. No. slower such a situation. In chamber is being utilized. and should be placed in separate folders with different identifiers.g. Longer delay time can increase data col. Figure 9 illustrates this effect for profiles but it is also nate confusion later. time delay. An example of a naming convention energy electrons. etc.3. With a good file organization. one should utilize the III. Scanning Speed III. 20 Slow Scan (50 mm/s) Fast Scan (100 mm/s) 10 III.1. data files are internally managed in a single file.1. It is 40 also advisable to check the impact of these parameters over 30 the allocated time for commissioning. There is and wedged beam folders. the file name is automatically assigned or High scanning speed can result in noisy scans and/or is limited to eight characters. Sampling time and signal 100 Sampling time is the time when the detector is stationary 90 as data are being collected. the photon and electron beam data and quality of data which depends on speed. If the motion is too fast. Speed established to assist data retrieval for later times. by increasing scanning speed and sampling data number of data files. III. sampling time. September 2008 . Photon scanned data measurements A delay time is introduced between measurements at two consecutive points.兲. be measured to confirm the accuracy of the planning system Medical Physics. the wave motion would be energy.F. Impact of scanning speed on the quality of electron profile. The scope of data measurements will depend on the re- lection time but it is certainly advantageous for electron quirements of the user’s dose calculation systems 共e. In addition. III. the electrometer connector. will be helpful in expediting the data ponents. IV. A simple conductive shield test could be performed with electrostatic charges in a time to improve the consistency and accuracy of beam data. Even if there is only a Windows type limit to the depending on whether at the peak or valley of the water file name.

lateral electron equilibrium. The nonscanned mea. However. TPR.a. but otherwise the above recom- at 10 cm. • Penumbra: It cannot be scaled from one SSD to another should be followed. Tissue maximum or phantom ratio. For such small fields. Vol. as discussed IV. 9. more scatter which is the main cause of the difference so that fewer data are typically required. see above兲.1. which is typically the isocenter will imply different results both for PDD 共different mix for most modern linear accelerators. the natural SSD to represent isocentric conditions mendations regarding measurements should be followed. It is recommended that these data should the surface for different SSD will be generated with not be used for commissioning the machine.2. A spreadsheet might remaining between PDDs 共at depths beyond the maxi- be helpful in organizing the amount of data to be taken as mum depth of electron contamination兲 for different shown in Table I.e. regarding speed. SSD in addition to field size 共s兲 and depth 共d兲. so as not to introduce errors be used to scale between small differences in SSD 共small through auxiliary scaling operations. such as 共the head scatter field goes outside the direct beam兲. several phenomena render a simple SSD cor- TSEI). should be taken as close as possible to the conditions perti- For simple QA purposes. sioning for isocentric cases would be 90 cm. Other precau- slightly different effective spectra. IV A. Conversion between PDD taken at different SSD.4202 Das et al. i.. However. an inverse square factor could nent to most clinical situations. etc.. the flattening filter. depth 共i. September 2008 . The missioning since there is a long tradition of such setup. step. PDD is often taken with a limited scatter device. SSD. With a calibration depth field warning. ing devices. air column 共standard versus extended SSD兲 as head quired either using beam scanning systems or point dose scattered electrons decrease with increased scattering in measurements 共nonscanned data兲.23. This tomarily at 100 cm distance. is 90 cm. as mentioned earlier. etc.c. should be collected at the extended • Electron contamination: The surface dose and buildup distances as described by specific AAPM report. Ad- PDD is customarily measured at 100 cm SSD. the natural specification for TPS commis- IV.g. It is a good practice to start depth dose when scanning with a chamber that has a significant from the bottom of the tank rather than from the top as it spread function. No. gain. For special procedures like total body irradiation. IV. ently with SSD: TPR or TMR. During acceptance test- of direct to head scatter兲 and transversal beam profiles ing. variation of field size with depths may change the equi- eters defining the beam 关e.24 Such region are associated with the complex behavior of data are difficult to collect due to the tank size limitation. Depth dose center for head scattered photons is close to the flatten- ing filter. available profiles could be deconvoluted.. beam modify. They depend on various factors such data are collected they should be verified against point including field size. ancillary device共s兲. In these cases. the Wellhofer Buddelschif or PTW system used by the linear • Energy: The off axis softening is driven by the off axis accelerator installer to match the beam parameters provided angle so scatter factors for the same field size defined at from the factory. SSD.103 The relative amount TMR data are often difficult and time consuming to mea- of electron contamination changes with the length of the sure. the surements are usually performed in cases where the param. Such a table also provides a place to write SSDs while removing the inverse square factors.102. One can Scaling of data taken from a different SSD should only be derive the relationship for PDD measured at different SSD as used as QA checks to ensure consistency. The require PDD data measured at 100 cm SSD. Hence. it ditionally.A.1. data in Sec. There are water phantom systems that collect TMR/ Medical Physics.. to- rection inadequate since different components scale differ- tal skin electron irradiation beam data such as depth dose. PDD is a function of should be checked as part of the beam commissioning. photon beams.兴 are varied.A. presence of librium level in a nonscalable way. 35. profiles. the ability to model correctly the dose at any SSD coverage of large field sizes. the output • Scatter dose: Larger projected field sizes contribute change is usually measured at a single normalization depth. Extended distance 共⬎100 cm兲 beam data (TBI. Standard and nonstandard SSD.1.A. • Head scatter: It scales primarily by inverse square to the dominant source.e.A. rather than to cir- described in various references. field size.2 All of these data may be ac. If electron contamination. thus the inverse square factor is different for The PDD measurements are taken with a fixed SSD cus- the direct and head scattered beam components. cept that it can be minimized with proper techniques TMR/TPR adopted by the manufacturer. to measure the characteristics of the beam when the param. The variation of dose with different SSDs just by applying the inverse square law. measurements in a large phantom.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4202 for specific treatment setups. TPS Percentage depth dose is often used for fixed SSD treatment vendors might have specified 100 cm SSD for beam com- and for determining other depth dose data..1. • Primary dose: It is well behaved and can be scaled for eters defining the beam are fixed. Independent of advantage of a shorter SSD is the ease of phantom setup for the SSD.104 cumvent the need to acquire data for the specified SSD. the name of the file when data are collected. tions.A. some of the current protocols for beam calibration can be measured at any distance such as SSD= 90 cm. For IV. Normally. beam energy. The effective IV.88. except for small field sizes close to what is required for pling the beam at different positions.g.b. However. angle of the beam. etc. Scanning systems are used air. PDD兲 and off-axis position is determined by sam. If small dimension detector is not minimizes the wake and disturbance in the water. e.90–101 Electron con- tamination cannot be generally scaled by any SSD ex.

Measurements of the surface dose by thin layer of source to surface distance. interpolation of the PDD is surface dose.5 15. MOSFET.6 cc 90 0. The proper detectors. Point with the extrapolation chamber and their small guard ring. for relatively large mended that the surface dose measurements should not be fields. the size of the detector along the beam detector and detector orientation should be maintained when direction should be as small as possible. The actual surface dose is also marked by the arrow. relatively smaller in surface dose measurements is very time consuming.5 10. Only half scans are shown. diode of small active max兲 ⫻ 10 cm2 fields: 共a兲 long axis scan.125 cc Markus Markus 70 A16 60 A16 IC-4 Dose (%) Dose (%) IC-4 60 PinPoint 50 PinPoint 50 Diamond Diamond Scanning direction PFD 40 SFD PFD 40 30 SFD 30 Actual surface dose 20 20 10 10 0 0 0 2. the chambers IV.A. 6 MV Beam Profile 110 100 100 90 90 0. the presence of beam modifiers.3 cc 80 0. Because of their relative large separation compared depths since extrapolation might result in poor results.6 cc 0. Surface dose and buildup region may exhibit a polarity effect. Profiles (penumbra and off axis factors).90. The ations are required in the selection of detectors.0 7.125 cc 80 Markus TPR data by pumping a known amount of water for mea. and can be af. IV.5 20. fixed-separation plane-parallel chambers are com- used to convert the PDD to TMR. Most software 30 rely on the BJR Supplement 25 共Ref.115–118 Figure choice of detector orientation is critical for profile measure- 10 shows the buildup and surface dose taken with different ments for small fields and high gradient regions. 20 scribed by Khan88兲 and have built-in conversion processes. 50 PFD SFD dent point measurements.6 cc 0.3.3 cc 80 0. September 2008 .121 ing of an accelerator normally includes the measurement of surface dose. careful consider. 9. It is highly recom.5 5.119 The inac- curacy may be reduced by using chambers with a small plate separation and wide guard ring. 11. However.97.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4203 Surface & Buildup Dose.4203 Das et al. the polarities. 10. measuring a profile. 10 TMR at a depth d and field size rd can be calculated from the 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 PDD measurement as shown below (b) Distance (mm) TMR共d.A. When vendor provided software is stead. its availability is limited and its use needed. Because of the steep dose gradient near the IV.cd兲 TMR values created from the above equations should be carefully verified especially at extreme field sizes and deeper Extrapolation chambers are the detectors of choice for depths. Surface and buildup dose for 10⫻ 10 cm2 field of a 6 MV beam 110 with various detectors. or radiochro- and the angle of beam incidence. 共2兲 detectors.SSD兲 共SSD + d兲2 S p共r. measurements are recommended to check the validity of the plane-parallel chambers show an over-response in the these conversions.0 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 Depth (mm) (a) Distance (mm) Beam Profile FIG. ume averaging when measuring a field profile and clearly Medical Physics. 100 0. 70 A16 IC-4 surements at each depth. as shown in Fig. including the field size. Figure 11共a兲 demonstrates the effect of chamber vol- made with a scanning device. averaging the readings obtained with positive and negative fected by many parameters.125 cc 70 0. buildup region and especially at the surface. The simplest approach is creating 40 Scanning direction TMR/TPR from depth dose measurements. Beam profiles surface as well as in the buildup region. one should be extremely monly used for surface dose and the dose in the buildup careful to check the calculation at small fields and deeper region. and hence for small field TMRs.90 which may be corrected by The surface dose is machine dependent. Effect of chamber orientation on photon beam profiles for a 10 PDD共c.a.0 17. Vol.rd兲 FIG. No. 100 共SSD + dmax兲2 S p共r.117. 共b兲 short axis scan with various size = · · . 11. To create these tables. TLD.dr.120. 104兲 approaches 共de. Generally. 35.3 cc 0.4. mic film have also been reported.A.4. Such measurements are time Dose (%) 60 PinPoint Diamond consuming and the accuracy needs to be verified by indepen. In- field PDDs are needed. Furthermore.0 12.105–115 The commission.

145兲 and IPEM Report 94. The mechanical stability and characteristics should should be taken. and micro兲 that have sufficient. Many scanning systems provide soft.141 Except penumbra. the profiler is limited in the maxi- converting profile data to an off-axis table. such as the mercial computer software. The data should be collected with a maximum most cases. Physical wedges at. A problem with film dosimetry is need to be excessive since the basic shape of the beam does its spectral dependence of the sensitometric curve. The numbers of profiles do not processor is also required. profiles at 5–7 depths are sufficient for each 1 cm spaced field size up to 6 ⫻ 6 cm2. These diode arrays have been model the penumbra and off axis factors for the open and shown45 to give good agreement with water scans and in wedged fields. Star patterns. the star pattern the parameters. In general.4204 Das et al.125–145 In general. the leafs positioning should be determined to account for the as shown by various authors. Soft or electronic wedge.147 resentative of the flattening filter. and imaging software for analysis. the numbers of scanning Dose profiles are collected during commissioning for in. cross-plane profiles should be acquired since system utilizing a single chamber cannot be used to collect steering of the electrons in some machines is only possible in such wedge profiles. Vol.59 have been used. are usually stable and should be the choice of the direction since all the measurements are being made in water under for the data collection. The profiles in cross-planes can be mounted on the scanning arm44. Physical or hard wedge. Some water scanning systems have their commissioning had been provided by the AAPM Re- built-in software to collect the star patterns diagonally at cer- port 72 共Ref. with the inclusion of dmax profile.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4204 indicates that a small volume detector is preferred for pro. as described below. Another option is to use a diode array. If such software is not available. however. • Interleaf leakage 共leakage between two leaves兲 IV.4. No.b. systems that offer this option are limited and the cost for a put into the treatment planning computer and for additional one-time application may be difficult to justify for some in- monitor unit calculations with either manual method or com. • Intraleaf leakage 共transmission though a leaf兲 ally taken in the wedge direction similar to open beam and as • Tongue and Grove effect across the field outlined in Table I共a兲. MLC data field sizes 10⫻ 10 cm2 and greater is sufficient. wedge 共dynamic or virtual wedge兲 profiles require different should be used. in terms of field size and depths. is usually available in various sizes 共regular. ends.21 Film not change dramatically with depth and/or field size. size limitation is another problem that should be considered. The profiles are gener. Detail discussions on the various MLC designs and the largest field size. MLC commissioning data axes in a given plane. Since the soft wedges are formed by the moving ing. 180°. With film dosimetry.122 The star pattern scan should never be acquired by rotating the collimator. system. In addition. the film must be calibrated to generate a The number of profiles. 11共b兲.A. smaller spacing in high gradient area. should be quantified for should be taken manually by rotating the tank on the ma- each photon energy and a minimum of four gantry angles chine pedestal at certain angular intervals. ware to facilitate the process. A spacing of MLC is now an integral part of a linear accelerator and is 5 cm with depth. typically 10°. 90°. Melbourne. A good QA on the film are dependent on the TPS. mini.4. September 2008 . be known and verified during the acceptance testing of the IV. dose response curve. and diag- been developed for specific uses depending upon the leaf onal profiles and for those systems all of the required profiles widths.124 due to oblique incidence fact that the 50% isodose line is not at the tip of the curved of the beam and selectively higher attenuation at off axis. The profile requirements depend profiler 共Sun Nuclear.4. Some TPS algorithms may require machine which has been reported for various beam profiles at several angles with respect to the collimator manufacturers. conditions of full scatter. positional accuracy critical in dosimetry148 tenuate beam in both the gradient and nongradient directions may be determined either with film or electronic portal of the wedge. Care should be taken to collect data at • Penumbra. Such profiles are called star patterns depend on the clinical usage but more importantly on the typically taken at 10° interval and at dmax or 10 cm depth for TPS. both in-plane 共gun-target兲 and type of data collection equipment than the standard scanning cross-plane 共left-right兲 profiles are needed for commission.147. However. stitutions. For large fields data should also be taken in the imagers. solid or virtual water.c. density vs. cally. 9. The types of detector systems such as gun-target direction and prone for asymmetry and loss of films and linear detector arrays 共ion chamber or diode兲 which flatness over a period of time. all these parameters should be Medical Physics. Some TPS require in-plane. 35.d.A. FL兲 with different thick- on the TPS. as it • Light and radiation field congruence does not provide the shape of flattening filter. an offset for nongradient direction to examine the impact of rounding off.123. Soft or electronic files. However.A.149 For MLC with curved end leafs.B.16 However. IV. The standard scanning cross-plane. Orientation and data collection. commercial software exists to convert the diode of 1 mm spacing in the penumbra region and preferably no array profiles to a format which the treatment planning com- more than 2 mm spacing in the remainder of the field. and then 5 cm spacing for IV.146. Typi. 270°兲 to examine the effect of gravity on leaf patterns provide a knowledge of the beam characteristics rep- motion. If there is an option to choose between in-plane and machine jaws while the beam is on. each profile needs mum field size that can be measured. Star 共0°. In puter can read. Another option is to to be renormalized to the central axis value and scaled to the use film dosimetry with a film sandwiched between slabs of distance at isocenter. cross-plan. most TPS require profiles from very ness of solid or virtual water slabs to achieve various thick- small fields to the largest field size available in order to ness up to at least 20 cm. as shown in Fig.45. some of tain angles.

Relative output should be mea. For MLC with versus field size. as jaws and MLC leaves兲 are significant for small tity in a reference geometry.e. Monte Carlo system to the other. SSD or SAD head. scatter factors. Sc. under almost all circumstances.dref兲/M latter two names were somewhat misleading since they em- where D is the dose measured in phantom.. However. Total scatter factor „Scp… scatter factor.163. SSD could be decreased. s.C. If IMRT data are required. 共Ref. After processing the film.1. Photon point dose data accurate information about the particles emerging from each component of the accelerator head.C. reference source-to-detector distance. It has been proven that This will help reduction in MU which is typically 10–20 the Monte Carlo method can precisely model the physical times the reference MU.32 The lateral dimensions of compared to the smallest field size. It is suggested that these data can be compared from the side. KERMA in free-space. A large film that covers the be 5–10% lower than the true value. benchmarked appropriately.and intraleaf leakage to data collected with a larger chamber for larger field sizes could be measured with a well calibrated film or portal im. 10 cm兲 will be Sc ⬅ .2.151–153 compared to the MLC field size. The material composition of the miniphantom Medical Physics.. Scp.zref兲/M that the values determined at depth 共e. 共4兲 K p共cref . 9. In-air output ratio „Sc… This quantity is also called in-air output factor. which can be used to The data required by TPS vary considerably from one characterize the beams.157–159 In particular.160–162 Monte Carlo approaches have been introduced depth and field size. K p.13. the relative output in Experimentally. The total scatter factor. 共3兲 collimator-scatter factor.C. in this case at the phasized a single component of the output ratio. and zref is the IV.5 cm in the miniphantom should provide lateral electronic equilib- any dimension 共diameter or length兲 to avoid chamber aver.C.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4205 acquired using film dosimetry. provided that relevant published data in the literatures150 for the type of manufac. The use of a tio.b. The depth of water beyond arbitrary collimator setting and the reference collimator set- the deepest point of measurement in the phantom should be ting at the same location at least 10 cm to ensure full backscatter. Vol. No- sured in water at a defined reference point 共e. September 2008 . may exhibit significant stem effect or effect of cable irradia- A reference film at a reference depth should be exposed that tion for the reference 10⫻ 10 cm2 field. depending on precision entire MLC leaves should be exposed. and the refer. calibration. Monte Carlo approaches. cref is the refer- proceeding. 100 cm SSD or SAD for a variety of field sizes as collision kerma generated in any surrounding phantom but shown in Table I. per monitor unit 共M兲 between an lished for the field in question. as well as filter contaminant electrons aging effects. to see if the data overlap and form a smooth curve of Scp ager that provides high resolution data.dref兲/M Scp共s兲 ⬅ . By simulating the detailed accel- erator head geometry. it is known provide correlation between optical density and dose. These values should be compared with tions.154–156 In principle. IV. and defines it as the ratio of primary collision water large water phantom ensures that full lateral buildup is estab. Sc can be determined as the ionization water should be measured with a small volume chamber for ratio measured in a miniphantom with sufficient thickness to small field sizes.g. sref. the following data should be collected. ence collimator setting. Ideally. On occasion. Monte Carlo techniques can provide IV. usually 100 cm. No. at least for manual dosimetry studies have been carried out to 共1兲 determine the relative calculations. usually 10⫻ 10 cm2.165 D共s.88 or head scatter factor. the small volume chamber backup jaws. and for the field size.4205 Das et al. i. Measurements. the data should be acquired with jaws retracted. Monte Carlo simulations The relative output from a treatment machine is defined as have shown that scatter contributions from collimators 共such the dose for a given field in water relative to the same quan. Also.and Monte Carlo technique can produce accurate dose calcula- intraleaf leakage. The that the readings for 艋3 ⫻ 3 cm2 field may have chamber MLC leaves should be closed with the non-MLC jaws re.g. e. which usually is the reference fields.zref兲/M significantly different from the values determined at dmax. Inter.166.g. and M is the monitor unit. The TG-74 reference depth dref.153. it should processes involved in radiation therapy and is powerful in be scanned and proper correction factors should be applied to dealing with any complex geometry. the convert optical density to dose to quantify the inter.164 field of interest to the dose for the reference field. If the film is small of chamber positioning and beam profile. volume averaging effects and consequently the readings may tracted to fully open positions. rium at the detector. the data should be collected in the includes all scattering that has occurred in the treatment same manner as the machine is calibrated. is defined as for either validating the measurements or generating the the ratio of the dose for the same monitor units 共M兲 for the small-field data.1.167 The D共sref. phase space data are available and the calculations have been turer.a. 35.. and 共3兲 designs new methods to measure the IV.C. less than 0.13 For example..11.10. It should be noted K p共c. 20兲 report describes the details of the in-air output ra- ence field size. both mea- sured in a large water phantom with the detector at a refer- ence depth at the isocenter IV. at 10 cm or tice that the primary collision kerma excludes the scattered dmax兲.1. thus it is important to know what data is required before where c is the arbitrary collimator setting. 共2兲 analyze the various components of the scatter factor. The chamber dimension must be small eliminate electron contamination.

and field size than the fixed jaw position.176–179 Both vendors the scatter factors between the actual field size. TG-74 recommends using be verified. Generally.g.175. Varian EDW wedge Medical Physics. For some accel- situations when the beam quality is different from reference erators. one must chamber will respond not only to the electrons generated by acquire readings at one wedge orientation and then repeat the photon interactions in the cap. for conditions 共e. The indication of mator angle. Physical wedge. 100 cm SSD for different field sizes. however.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4206 must be carefully chosen so that significant medium-based as noted by various authors. Soft wedges are electronic wedges miniphantom. phantom and that of the reference field size. The phantom scatter factor can be approxi. depth.0% ⫾ 2% with no observable relationship dose D p = ␤ p · K p. as an estimator of the energy fluence ratio. Equa.0 cm around the IV.4. Sc is measured using an ion chamber with a beam center. there is sufficient “flash” of at least 1. 共6兲. No. significantly different from the wedge factor measured at nounced in-air scatter ratio 共Sc兲 with field size.4206 Das et al. which can produce erroneous results. between wedge factors and field size or wedge angle. tance so that the two sets of output factors measured at dif- for example Varian’s lower and upper wedges. while in VW.dref兲 speed and the dose rate are variables. factor is taken as the average of the two wedge orientation The reader is referred to the report from TG-74 for the ap. The selection of buildup cap is very important. If the buildup cap is not of sufficient thickness. the TPS will dictate the depth of measure- will cause the calculated phantom scatter factors 共S p兲 to be. both at the while keeping the other Y-jaw stationary. En- IV. where SF is the ratio of the total dose in water 共D兲 to the The wedge factors for these different types of electronic primary dose 共D p兲 for the same field size and depth at the wedges can be quite different from physical hard wedge fac- same location. For small field sizes 共艋4 ⫻ 4 cm2兲 tables in which both open field and wedged field PDD and extended distance can be employed if one has to use the TMR tables are present. 共5兲 speed is constant and the dose rate varies according to an SF共sref. Typically. The wedge factors are nearly identical for lower and upper minimum field size is determined by the requirement that wedges. The wedge tamination in the beam. beam.171. Once the detector is centered in the beam.174 Most planning systems allow the user biased by the collision kerma and attenuation at measure. s.175 found that same SSD as those for other field sizes 共⬎4 ⫻ 4 cm2兲.C. respectively. for manual dosimetry come flat with field size. it has to be which a larger range of field sizes should be included in the noted that Sc. Due to the inaccuracy of placing the detector at the exact Traditionally. 9. 35.4. sref.b. to specify the particular field sizes for wedge factors. fied by the vendor 共10 cm or dmax兲 at 100 cm SSD or SAD for different field sizes. ments for wedge factors. ␤ p. with detector axis along nonwedged direction by tak- It is better to err on the side of excess buildup material than ing readings with a 60° wedge at two collimator angles 共180° too little. x-ray energy. we have used Eqs. However.C. tors.170. Wedge tion 共6兲 holds exactly if the primary dose-to-kerma ratio is factors should be measured at the reference depth as speci- field size independent: ␤ p共s兲 = ␤ p共sref兲. 共3兲 and 共4兲 because the beam quality is not changed by these which define Scp and Sc. but also to the electron con. ence between EDW and VW is that for EDW. When two sets of physical wedges are available. readings divided by the open field reading at a single colli- propriate dimensions of the buildup cap.C. the jaw S p共s兲 ⬅ . or nonphysical wedges known as dynamic or virtual wedges that vary in operation depending upon the manufacturer. the Siemens virtual wedge factors dose-to-collision kerma ratio. to the primary water collision kerma. September 2008 . it may be appropriate to use wedge same water-equivalent miniphantom. while the The phantom scatter factor. However. Additional wedge factors for rectan- IV. data need to ferent SSDs can be merged. The wedge factors for the EDW. in dmax兲. while using physical wedges兲. Phantom scatter factor „Sp… hanced dynamic wedge 共EDW兲 is used by Varian. dref.4. The major differ- reference depth. is defined as the ratio of virtual wedge 共VW兲 is used by Siemens. a wedge factor is a have a greater dependence on the moving jaw dimension function of wedge angle. and Scp wedge angle dependency. the wedge factor is a strong function of field size. ment depth. one can relate the primary exhibit values of 1. with values 10%–30% higher than S p共s兲 ⬇ . defined at a depth of mately determined by 10 cm at the center of the open field..180 By contrast. exhibit field size. Using the primary wedges. 共6兲 the corresponding physical wedges.dref兲 analytical function. it is necessary to first center the chamber in the buildup cap. measurements with the wedge reversed 180 deg. Wedge factors gular field should be measured since wedge factor seems to IV. Vol. both the jaw SF共s. which in turn dmax.168–173 Hard or physical wedge deviations in water kerma ratios due to spectral differences factors should be measured at the reference depth 共10 cm or between beam c and cref are not introduced. It is advisable to spot check the wedge factors for high-Z miniphantom and making the measurement at the field size and depth. is measurement. the apart兲. Studies have shown that Sc the wedge factors for the EDW are independent of depth In deriving S p in Eq. The wedge factor measured at depth can be insufficient buildup cap thickness is the presence of pro. in the utilize the movement of one Y-jaw to simulate a wedge. For example.3.a. Soft wedge. S p.C. It is important also to factors measured at dmax to avoid correcting for beam hard- measure the output factor at 10⫻ 10 cm2 at an extended dis- ening twice. Cheng et al.

d20. d60. Small field considerations beam can be used to check if the zero depth is set correctly. Elekta accelerators use the dose levels. d30. Due to the small transmission through the parallel plate ion chamber. ence in R p obtained from depth ionization data is not clini- mum energy.67.203 The beam scanning as these parameters impact the quality of the actual field size used during the output measurements should scan.88. However. Additionally. d50. Note that strictly speaking. III should be properly evaluated for electron rate method has recently been proposed by Li et al.1 cm.185 stitutions and manufacturers as shown by Followill et al. Most scanning systems have built-in smaller detector.152 Small-field dosimetry is challeng.205 ning across the field in both lateral dimensions to check that Scanning speed. closer to the toe end of the profile as the combination of an open field and a built-in 60° physical maximum is less than the equilibrium value. SRS.202 This could be performed by scan. dose.163. the open field. Tray factors V. as required by various TPS and described in various publications.g.153 converted to the corresponding depth dose curves using the If a scan through the field center varies more than 1% over appropriate replacement correction factors and restricted the range of the detector diameter. R p been covered in some detail by several should be determined from the depth dose data corrected for authors. for SSD艌 100 cm. It is extremely critical to establish the correct zero of the electrometer/detector system and to ensure good sta- depth to obtain good percent depth dose data. Thus. No.11. depth ionization curves.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4207 factor for 10⫻ 20 cm2 will have a value very similar to the profiles for fields where lateral disequilibrium prevails will wedge factor for 10⫻ 10 cm2. Microion cally significant from that determined from the depth dose chambers are best suited for small field dosimetry. a large monitor unit setting is often are the most commonly used detectors in electron beam required to ensure readings are collected in the linear range scanning. software to convert ionization to dose. For cylindrical tistics.22. Traditionally. cylindrical ion chamber.187–189 Several d70.. width at half maximum estimated from 共correctly measured兲 The ideal detector for electron beam scanning is a small vol- Medical Physics. and stopping power ratio. Diode detector. and R p can be determined to define problems and trends in the dosimetry of small field have the depths of the profile scans. might provide a means for field edge location the field. Cy. however.2 cm for 6 MeV. 0. a phenomenon that is not not yield the correct field sizes.6. average value of 1.5. field size since the half maximum is now located at lower IV. The wedge factor should be measured for various field sizes and at various depths.204 It and are defined as the ratio of the reading with the blocking is therefore recommended that each electron beam data tray or jaw or MLC bank to the reading for the same point in should be measured during commissioning.C.4207 Das et al. extremely small fields of the more than 0. and dose rate dependency. data. d40.145 A quick depth ionization scan for a low energy 共e. and films jaws and/or MLC bank. d90. check and calibration of the light field. Electron scanned data measurements IV. the 10⫻ 10 cm2 or 15⫻ 15 cm2 cones are com- the geometrical penumbra due to the size of detector. relative to the chamber center can be used.151. Universal wedge. the full istics should be investigated in terms of scanning parameters. Output factors are very sensitive to the po. fields in radiation therapy span from 4 The resultant curve will have a well-defined dmax. A measured ionization dmax outside of this range by berKnife. A more elabo.. eters. Figure 12 shows the effect of water ripple on an elec- also be verified. Depth dose Transmission factors for blocking trays. An independent wedge to achieve different wedge angles by software control. Tray transmission factors may also be measured with- ion chambers. In electron beam commis- ing due to lack of lateral electronic equilibrium. or universal wedge.1.56. and MLC Electron beam depth doses differ significantly among in- are measured at reference depth 共10 cm or dmax兲 in water.64.152 monly chosen as the reference cone. Vol. verification of centering of the racy of the conversion must be verified at selected positions detector is important.181–184 V.151. with depth increment of 0. Percent depth ionization curves should be scanned for and future trend in the dosimetry of small field has been all energies for the reference cone to a depth of R p + 10 cm described by Das et al. the differ- Small volume detectors should be used that have mini.164. September 2008 .C. and sampling time as de- the maximum along each dimension coincide. since a small error in the field size setting tron depth dose curve. regardless of the cialized radiation treatments. This type of wedge system is known as an internal checks. delay time. jaws. their signal-to-noise issue should be evaluated.C.13.A.152. 6 MeV兲 electron IV.164 and Francescon et al. consider changing to a stopping power ratios.1⫾ 0.163. scribed in Sec. based on the data provided in the references. They will overestimate the present with physical wedges. 35. such as IMRT.5 radius shift for the point of measurement out a water phantom system. and gamma-knife. A detailed list of problem depth. 9.e. the following depths: dmax.186 overlap of sioning.c.2 cm may indicate an error in establishing zero order of few millimeters are used.4. From these percent change in energy spectrum and associated dosimetric param. vendors. However. i. the accu- sition of the detector.56. in advanced and spe. or shifting position of The wedge is motorized so that it can be moved in and out of the leaves. However. However. When an ionization chamber is used for measuring depth perturbation factor of these detectors should be taken into ionization curves in a water phantom the readings should be account.187–202 beam divergence.66. ELECTRON BEAM V. d80. with an ⫻ 4 cm2 up to 40⫻ 40 cm2. Any abnormal depth dose character- will produce a large error in the output. as shown by Sauer et al.A.

for the low energy electrons. the direction of scan motion. d90. size. Several factors should be path. d70. tron diodes do not respond accurately to photons. placement of the refer. 1 ⫻ 2 or electron cutout is measured with an electron diode. d30.4208 Das et al. 12.2. however. or by V. ods listed in the literature208.207 For very small cutouts 共e. Cutout factors ume electron diode since it does not require an ionization A cutout factor is the ratio of the dose with and without reading to dose conversion and there is no shift in its position the cutout for a given cone measured at their respective dmax except for a small amount of waterproof coating on the top depths. If the PDD for an references. ellipses. i.g. especially at large depths. include rectangles. the profiles could be have been suggested for the estimation of the virtual source. e.B. d50.2. If a pronounced asymmetry is observed in the profiles. This method is relatively sampling time as beam profiles are very sensitive to scanning simple and requires the determination of the effective SSD speed for low energy beams and at deeper depths as shown for electron beams. and/or sampling time. function of energy for standard cutouts for clinical applica- For some TPS. The gap or effective SSD method. used for the other machine of the same model. Effect of water ripple on low energy electron beam depth dose. Virtual and effective source position With low energy electron.B. respectively. September 2008 .211 mode.4 18 MeV 艌30⫻ 30 cm2 if the output of the 25⫻ 25 cm2 cone is mea- 21 MeV sured. and/or repetition rate on machine acterization by a single source.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4208 PDD Electron Beams V. It is Depth. the leveling of the tank and/or scan- ning arm and accuracy of gantry angle should be rechecked. 110 cm SSD兲 may be determined by measurement.3. Electron point dose data 1. The component of bremsstrahlung ra.B.205. V.A. the dmax may be different from that of a larger bremsstrahlung component is usually inaccurate since elec. 35.22. 50%. and 10% dose. No. 30%. the cone output fac- tors may be different for two different 21EX machines兲.e. Depth Dose (%) 15 MeV typically 10⫻ 10 cm2 or 15⫻ 15 cm2. there are empirical approaches to solve this problem by de- erators. Cone factors 9 MeV 1.56 The gap method and ␴␪x method205.2 6 MeV V. Cutout factors at extended distance 共e. output for electron beams is discussed in various sured by eliminating different components. Yet..2 have different cone output factors 共e. 9. The calculation of equivalent squares and into three components 共head.0 Cone output factors are defined as the ratio of dose at dmax 12 MeV 0.. V. especially accuracy within ⫾2%. For certain scanning systems. improved by readjusting the autogain setting and back. the probe motion tered from collimators and cones are not amenable to char- rate.g. 9.209 that use a sector integration but may vary depending on the specification of the planning technique similar to the Clarkson method to predict cutout system.8 for a given cone to the dose at dmax for the reference cone. it is common to see “ragged” Due to electron scattering through various materials in its scans. In particular. z (cm) recommended to verify cone factors of all cones for all en- ergies to confirm if the cone factors of one machine can be FIG. When collecting profile scans. The stan- diation can be accurately acquired by the method described dard cutout output factors are usually tabulated versus their by Zhu et al. Different machines of the same make and model may 0. cerrobend. a high abundance of indirect radiation scat- ence probe. ground. Profiles calculation. bremsstrahlung is divided equivalent squares. There are several meth- 100%. as described by Khan88.210 For beam characterization.1. and d10. It is useful to prepare a table of cutout factors as a the detector. the profiles could be improved also by turning off the termining the source position that would allow the use of dose servo. For some linear accel.. circles.56. it should be verified also in clinical inverse square law. the 2 ⫻ 2 cm2兲. Vol. law. typically ⬃0. to see if the scans could be improved. cutout and should be determined for the cutout measurement.. which depends on the machine. for some linear accelerators. electron beams do not follow a strict inverse square examined: the gain of electrometer. Cone factors should 0. al- 0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 though the difference may not be large. Cutout shapes diation is important. 90%.206 In this method. accurate knowledge of bremsstrahlung ra. tions where the respective dmax is specified. depths at achieved between the two methods. field in Fig. using the virtual SSD determined for a set of standard cutouts during machine commissioning and the cut- While dose profiles are typically measured at various out factor at 100 cm SSD.. ⬍2%. the only solution allows the user to use the inverse square law to calculate appears to be slowing down the scan rate and increasing the electron dose at any distance. and beam energy. Agreement within 2% can be depths such as dmax. and squares. 70%.B.g.g. attention should be output 共dose/MU兲 for any irregular cutout at any SSD with given to the profiles at depths greater than dmax.2 mm. and water兲 and mea.212–216 By taking measurements at dmax Medical Physics. The choice of ion chamber and its placement for small cut- outs are critical.6 be measured in a water tank or in solid phantom with size 0.

Gauss. and characteristics of the ma- published information as to how much smoothing should be chine itself.13. mirroring to particle兲.. 35. the plot of output factors 共Sc . i. VI. it is recommended that planning. given to repeating the scan using slower scan speeds and/or 205兲 and van Battum et al. moving aver- Monte Carlo. The profile penumbra 共80%–20%兲 for different isocenter-to. most scanning systems data. scanning with diodes or in continuous dose rate smoothing with an iterative approach. to keep the original data intact for future evaluation.C.223. sharp... However.5% simulation. eliminate the straight line with a particular slope that provides the effective noise in the scan without changing the basic shape. The data including the phase space data 共i.e. mirroring. No. outli- moving average. of functions are available on scanning software. Numerous smoothing routines exist.210. mirroring. For example.B. Processing nonscanned data filtering.211 This method requires in-air increased sampling time to improve the data acquisition. However. centering of the beam. centering tool on most scanning systems works well with detector distance for the largest cone that can be measured open fields. there may be other commissioning information required for a Monte Carlo VI. consideration should be given to im- proving the scanning setup to achieve better centering on the V. consideration should be the final collimating device as described by ICRU-35 共Ref.. and history tag for each nificant processing. geometric mean. September 2008 . Processing and manipulations Following collection of both scan and nonscan beam data. thereby introducing an error in the position. i. such as penumbra cal.. PDD. In data set should require minimal processing. such as smooth- Smoothing original data often distorts the data.g.4. Mathematical functions and filters based system.05 cm兲.157. This is also a low pass VI. data for validating Monte Carlo generated energy spec- the functions and filters used for smoothing. Most scanning software has a “make symmetrical” or “mirror” tool Many studies have been carried out on the commiss- which works well with open fields.4209 Das et al. i. exponential.1. either the scanning setup the potential of Monte Carlo techniques for generating beam should be checked for level or the machine adjusted to im- data normally obtained by measurement during the commis- prove symmetry as there is no method to remove open field sioning. If the degree the Gaussian projected angular distribution at the plane of of smoothing required is excessive. output factors.. Monte Carlo simulations need to be combined with consideration be given to recollecting beam data as a good measurements to validate the Monte Carlo calculations. With all these tools. smoothing. Typically.B.218–221 These studies have demonstrated asymmetry兲 in an open field scan. It is always a good practice All measured data have a varying degree of noise depend.13. which are ing. spike. such as voxel Monte Carlo222 or macro formation relevant to your system. i. and trum and dose calculation can be acquired. median. not all TPS. ers on curve兲 to improve the accuracy of data entered into ian. There is no rule or mode兲. Specific data for Monte Carlo based dose beam since the centering tool will not work on the wedged calculation fields.e. Vol. ing on the system. Medical Physics. Fourier transform. ⬎0...220–226 During electron beam commission- Most scanning systems provide a complete description of ing.e. Refer to the manufacturer’s description for in- Carlo algorithm. 9. and making the beam symmetri- pronounced in the high gradient region.e.224 may require a different set of data spe- age. The amount of processing depends on the type of scan- and in wedge profiles. if the amount of recentering is exces- with films217 or a diode. In general. it is recommended that all the beam least square. it eliminates high frequencies 共abrupt. Sigma-theta-␹ 共␴␪x兲 is the root-mean-square value of clipping the peak in dose profile of 60° wedge.g.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4209 at various air gaps between the electron cone and water sur. Different Monte summarizing. cubic spline.e. and Beziér.9.2. such as SSD. position. the asymmetry from a wedged field.227–229 However.. VI.34 sive 共e. Smoothing and filtering routines help re- move noise and extract actual data. absolute dose兲. if the amount ioning of electron beams using Monte Carlo of asymmetry being removed is excessive 共e. and wiggle兲. Distortion in smoothing it may be necessary to do some processing before entering Most scanning systems have various filters to smooth the data into a TPS. field size should exhibit a smooth curve with slope that is periment with different smoothing routines available to see steep for small fields and relatively flat for large fields. One to two passes of VI. energy. PROCESSING BEAM DATA by comparing published reference field data. envelope. cubic-spline. have numerous tools to process beam data. ⬎0.B. allowed. and Fourier transform type cific for commissioning. parameters be plotted to highlight obvious errors 共i. centering. direction. The most common one is the cubic-spline method. one must ex. Smoothing. However. For scan data.g. may be required for Monte Carlo based treatment correct for asymmetry. The user should use caution and check the validity of these functions VI.e. the accuracy of setup. interpolation.B. which routine produces the desired results without compro- face. Figure 13 shows the impact of ner 共e..g. arithmetic mean. a plot of the square root of I0 / I and the gap gives a mising the basic shape of the scan curve. if sig- charge. addition to those conventional measured data 共e. For nonscan data. and summarizing smoothing should be acceptable. profiles. is required. the user should use common sense not to distort the data but simply to smooth it. S p兲 versus routines will give acceptable results.A.

mathematical filters.4210 Das et al. requirements specific to the TPS. sizes Medical Physics. energies. Circles spread sheets. 100 共13兲 Use normalization points and procedures that are as close as possible to the reference conditions for TPS. what was measured. 共17兲 Vendor provided data could be used as a reference but it should never be used as a substitute for the commis- sioned data. 共3兲 Do not scan in the axial direction of the detector.B. lung component. Commissioning report 共3兲 Use a proper detector that has high sensitivity. analyzed data. machine’s operational condition. 共8兲 Open field off axis tables at selected depths. The following is a sample of what should be 共5兲 Diodes are preferred detectors for relative dosimetry in included in the report. which clearly outlines response. As with any report. Any anomaly should 共1兲 Define the scope of data collection based on type of be investigated and understood immediately before pro- machine. 20 共14兲 Write a concise report with all the collected data. time delay. September 2008 . Sc . gies. 共6兲 Soft wedge 共electronic wedge兲 factor tables 共9兲 Adjust the step size for data collection appropriately to 共7兲 Transmission factor tables optimize the time needed for the collection and accu. 共2兲 Roughly. and the results. Dose (%) 80 for photon beams pay particular attention to avoid er- 60 rors from electron contamination at superficial depths. are drawn to show the effect of smoothing. VII. mendations in this report. 共1兲. 60 Degree Wedge Profiles 共10兲 Maintain proper bias and polarity of detectors. calculate the time needed to commission the machine based on assumption as noted in Eq. Precautions 共1兲 Do not rely on the manufacturer supplied beam data. For accurate measurement of a bremsstrah. planning. No. Vol. VII. 共5兲 Pay attention to the data collected. some degree of accountability can be ferred for relative dosimetry in a photon beam. and acquisition time for 共3兲 Wedged field x-ray PDD and TMR tables the scanning system. Effect of data smoothing on the 6 MV 60° wedge profiles. and minimum dose rate and the commissioning data with proper signature and date be energy dependence. operational ceeding to further scanning. often taken under limited scatter condition. S p兲 共8兲 Scan from the deepest depth to the surface rather than 共5兲 Field size and depth dependent wedge factor tables surface to depth when scanning for PDD. 13. avoid dmax normalizations. 40 i. as these are for reference purposes only and are place in the machine. what equipment was used. if re- quired. VII. difficulties. Recommendations same vendor. an ion chamber should be used. 共15兲 Check on the report and collected data.C. this document reflects the state of the 共2兲 Do not use acceptance testing data for commissioning art at the time of writing. but will age as developments take data. Points. 35. Unsmoothed 140 AM x 1 共11兲 Minimize the amount of cable in the beam. which obviously do not fit the curve.. if neces- sary. low noise. Some of these developments may conflict with recom. Have a quali- 0 fied medical physicist perform an independent audit of -7 -6 -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 the collected data and subsequent report. and measurement technolo.: TG-106: Accelerator beam data commissioning 4210 Arithmetic Mean (AM) Smoothing. how. the scope of the project. written so that this data can be verified in the future and in 共4兲 Ion chambers with small volumes are generally pre- case of litigation. large field racy of data. so the reader should always review 共4兲 Do not overprocess the data by smoothing or the use of recent developments and use this report as a general guide. an electron beam except the bremsstrahlung portion where an electron diode may have a different photon 共1兲 Formal commissioning report. Distance (cm) 共16兲 Backup entire electronic data. to improve the accuracy of the data.e. 9. 共2兲 Open field x-ray PDD and TMR tables 共7兲 Set optimal speed. SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATION Always verify the accuracy since beam data can vary from machine to machine of the same model from the VII.A. priate attention to describing normalization procedures ning system before starting measurements. and beam 共6兲 Check the water phantom level at least once a day. should be re- checked for computational errors or remeasured. with appro- 共6兲 Verify the labeling and positional accuracy of the scan. 共4兲 X-ray output factor tables 共Scp . and FIG. small It is recommended that a clear and descriptive report of dimensions. maintained. 120 AM x 2 AM x 3 共12兲 Orient the detector mount so that it provides the high- AM x 5 est resolution.

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