Purpose: To construct and test a semi-analytical model describing the effects on Monitor Unit (MU) verification caused by scattering in the treatment head. The implementation of the model should be accomplished using a small set of experimental data. Furthermore, the model should include a geometry dependent estimation of the resulting uncertainty.
Material and methods: The input required by the created model consists of basic treatment head geometry and 10 measured output factors in air (OFair) for square fields. It considers primary energy fluence, scattered radiation from an extra-focal source and from secondary collimators, as well as backscatter to the monitor chamber. Measurements and calculations were performed in open symmetric and asymmetric fields at points located both on and off the collimator axis, as well as at arbitrary treatment distances. The model has been verified for 19 photon beams in the range from 4 up to 50 MV, provided by nine different treatment units from six manufacturers.
Results: The presented model provided results with errors smaller than 1% (2 S.D.) in typical clinical situations for all beams tested. In more exceptional situations, i.e. combinations of unconventional treatment head designs, very elongated fields, and dosimetry points far away from the isocenter, the total uncertainty increased to approximately 2%. The spread in the results was further analysed in order to create a method for predicting the uncertainties under different treatment conditions.
Conclusions: A general head scatter model that is easy to implement has been developed and can be used as the basis for computerised MU verification. The model handles all commercially available treatment units adequately and also includes an estimation of the resulting uncertainty.
2003. Vol. 67, no 2, 225-238 p.