Journal of Medical Physics
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TECHNICAL NOTE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 38  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 205-209

Estimation of absorbed dose in clinical radiotherapy linear accelerator beams: Effect of ion chamber calibration and long-term stability


Department of Radiotherapy, Medical Physics Unit, Royal Hospital, Muscat, Oman

Correspondence Address:
Ramamoorthy Ravichandran
Medical Physics Unit, National Oncology Centre, Royal Hospital, PBox-1331, PC 111, Muscat
Oman
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-6203.121199

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The measured dose in water at reference point in phantom is a primary parameter for planning the treatment monitor units (MU); both in conventional and intensity modulated/image guided treatments. Traceability of dose accuracy therefore still depends mainly on the calibration factor of the ion chamber/dosimeter provided by the accredited Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratories (SSDLs), under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) network of laboratories. The data related to N d,water calibrations, thermoluminescent dosimetry (TLD) postal dose validation, inter-comparison of different dosimeter/electrometers, and validity of N d,water calibrations obtained from different calibration laboratories were analyzed to find out the extent of accuracy achievable. N d,w factors in Gray/Coulomb calibrated at IBA, GmBH, Germany showed a mean variation of about 0.2% increase per year in three Farmer chambers, in three subsequent calibrations. Another ion chamber calibrated in different accredited laboratory (PTW, Germany) showed consistent N d,w for 9 years period. The Strontium-90 beta check source response indicated long-term stability of the ion chambers within 1% for three chambers. Results of IAEA postal TL "dose intercomparison" for three photon beams, 6 MV (two) and 15 MV (one), agreed well within our reported doses, with mean deviation of 0.03% (SD 0.87%) (n = 9). All the chamber/electrometer calibrated by a single SSDL realized absorbed doses in water within 0.13% standard deviations. However, about 1-2% differences in absorbed dose estimates observed when dosimeters calibrated from different calibration laboratories are compared in solid phantoms. Our data therefore imply that the dosimetry level maintained for clinical use of linear accelerator photon beams are within recommended levels of accuracy, and uncertainties are within reported values.


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