Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 45  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 134-135

Khan's the physics of radiation therapy

Radiation Oncology Centre, Army Hospital (R&R), New Delhi, India

Date of Web Publication20-Jul-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Manoj Kumar Semwal
Radiation Oncology Centre, Army Hospital (Research and Referral), Delhi Cantonment, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmp.JMP_17_20

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How to cite this article:
Semwal MK. Khan's the physics of radiation therapy. J Med Phys 2020;45:134-5

How to cite this URL:
Semwal MK. Khan's the physics of radiation therapy. J Med Phys [serial online] 2020 [cited 2022 Jun 27];45:134-5. Available from:

Title: Khan's The Physics of Radiation Therapy

Edition: Sixth


Acquisitions Editor: Nicole Dernoski

Development Editor: Sean McGuire

Editorial Coordination: David Murphy

Author: Dr. John P. Gibbons

Series Editor (if applicable): NA

Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Health

Local Publisher (if applicable): Wolters Kluwer (India) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi

Pages: 598

ISBN No (Indian Reprint): 978-93-89335-92-7

Price: Rs. 11,000/- (Online)

Year: 2019

The Sixth Edition of this classic book entitled, “Khan's The Physics of Radiation Therapy” was recently published in India by Wolters Kluwer (India) Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi. For the first time since itsFirst Edition in 1984, Dr. Faiz M. Khan, the Principal Author of the Book till the Fifth Edition, is not an active author for the Sixth Edition. Dr. John P. Gibbons, Chief of Physics, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, Lousiana, USA, who was a coauthor with Dr. Khan for the Fifth Edition of the book published in 2014, is the sole author for the present updated edition.

The book, over three decades of its existence, has established itself as one of the most sought after books among students, as well as seasoned practitioners, of Clinical Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology. In the own words of Dr. Khan, the book, when initially conceptualized, was aimed at fulfilling the needs for a dedicated book on Radiation Therapy Physics with emphasis on practical details. The popularity of the book is evidence enough that it has succeeded in keeping the promise. In the present edition, Dr. Gibbons has updated the content of the book by incorporating newer aspects in dosimetry, Image Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT), Quality Assurance (QA), calculation algorithms, treatment planning, and delivery technology, in addition to minor revision of almost all the chapters. However, the structure of the book has remained similar to the preceding editions.

There are a total of 28 chapters (598 pages) in the book divided into three parts. The first part including eight chapters deals with basic physics; the second part (10 chapters) deals with classical radiation therapy; and the third part (10 chapters) deals with modern radiation therapy techniques. Similar to the preceding editions, the titles of the first eight chapters of this book read as (1) structure of matter, (2) nuclear transformations, (3) production of X-rays, (4) clinical radiation generators, (5) interactions of ionizing radiation, (6) measurement of ionizing radiation, (7) quality of X-ray beams, and (8) measurement of absorbed dose. All these chapters, understandably, are retained with their original content, except some additions in the eighth chapter dealing with the measurement of absorbed dose. In this Chapter, the addendum to TG-51 dealing with flattening filter-free photon beam dosimetry involving new-quality conversion factors has been discussed. Surprisingly, like the earlier editions of the book, the description of Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) and Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor (MOSFET) dosimetry continues to be missing in the eighth chapter, despite the fact that most of the other dosimeters, namely calorimeter, chemical dosimeter, Thermoluminescence dosimetry (TLD), silicon diodes, and films, have been discussed in the chapter. Some other chapters in which additional details have been incorporated are as follows: in Chapter 10, the recommendations of TG-71 on normalization depth for Tissue Phantom Ratio (TPR), Tissue Maximum Ratio (TMR), and other dosimetric quantities needed for Monitor Unit (MU) calculations have been included (Section C of the Chapter); in Chapter 17, some additional information related to the failure mode and effects analysis described in TG-100 report has been included in the section describing risk assessment; in Chapter 19, a section (B.3) has been added on discrete ordinates method in the model-based algorithms; in Chapter 26, sections (G and H) dealing with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) guidance and optical surface imaging technologies that are increasingly coming into clinics have been added. Further, a new chapter, Chapter 28, addressing the issue of knowledge-based planning has been added. This is one of the most evolving fields in Radiotherapy. As a result of the additions, the number of pages in the present edition has gone up slightly from 572 to 598.

The remaining chapters are retained with their original structure and content with minor revisions at some places. These chapters are as follows: (11) treatment planning I (isodose distributions), (12) treatment planning II (patient data acquisition, treatment verification, and inhomogeneity corrections, (13) treatment planning III (field shaping, skin dose, and field separation), (14) electron beam therapy, (15) Low Dose Rate (LDR) brachytherapy (rules of implantation and dose specifications, (16) radiation protection, (17) quality assurance, (18) total body irradiation, (19) three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, 20) intensity-modulated radiation therapy, 21) stereotactic radiotherapy and radiosurgery, (22) stereotactic body radiotherapy, (23) High Dose Rate (HDR) brachytherapy, (24) prostate implants: technique, dosimetry, and treatment planning, (25) intravascular brachytherapy, (26) image-guided radiation therapy, and (27) proton beam therapy. In addition, the book continues to provide useful data for ready reference in the Appendix Section for medical physics practitioners and researchers in the form of tables. The Index Section at the end has a list of topics/subtopics in the alphabetical order for ready referencing of the reader.

Overall, the Sixth Edition of this remarkable book is updated thoughtfully to remain as contemporary as ever in a field that is technologically evolving at a rapid pace. At the same time, the book retains its old charm for students and practitioners of Medical Physics and Radiation Oncology. It is printed on a glossy high-quality paper with colorful diagrams and figures that further enhance the reading experience. I believe all students and practicing medical physicists and other professionals working in the field of Radiotherapy should have a ready access to this seminal book. The online price of the book is Rs 11,000/-.

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