Int J Med Sci 2004; 1(2):63-75. doi:10.7150/ijms.1.63 This issue
Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
This work is a report on the commissioning of low energy electron beams of a medical linear accelerator for Monte Carlo dose calculation using NXEGS software (NXEGS version 22.214.171.124, NX Medical Software, LLC). A unique feature of NXEGS is automated commissioning, a process whereby a combination of analytic and Monte Carlo methods generates beam models from dosimetric data collected in a water phantom. This study uses NXEGS to commission 6, 9, and 12 MeV electron beams of a Varian Clinac 2100C using three applicators with standard inserts. Central axis depth-dose, primary axis and diagonal beam profiles, and output factors are the measurements necessary for commissioning of the code. We present a comparison of measured dose distributions with the distributions generated by NXEGS, using confidence limits on seven measures of error. We find that confidence limits are typically less than 3% or 3 mm, but increase with increasing source to surface distance (SSD) and depth at or beyond R50. We also investigate the dependence of NXEGS' performance on the size and composition of data used to commission the program, finding a weak dependence on number of dose profiles in the data set, but finding also that commissioning data need be measured at only two SSDs.
Keywords: Monte Carlo, electron beam commissioning, NXEGS