SU-E-T-10: A Dosimetric Comparison of Copper to Lead-Alloy Apertures for Electron Beam Therapy




To evaluate dosimetric differences of copper compared to conventional lead-alloy apertures for electron beam therapy.


Copper apertures were manufactured by .decimal, Inc. and matching lead-alloy, Cerrobend, apertures were constructed for 32 square field sizes (2×2 – 20×20 cm2) for five applicator sizes (6×6–25×25 cm2). Percent depth-dose and off-axis-dose profiles were measured using an electron diode in water with copper and Cerrobend apertures for a subset of aperture sizes (6×6, 10×10, 25×25 cm2) and energies (6, 12, 20 MeV). Dose outputs were measured for all field size-aperture combinations and available energies (6–20 MeV). Measurements were taken at 100 and 110 cm SSDs. Using this data, 2D planar absolute dose distributions were constructed and compared. Passing criteria were ±2% of maximum dose or 1-mm distance-to-agreement for 99% of points.


A gamma analysis of the beam dosimetry showed 93 of 96 aperture size, applicator, energy, and SSD combinations passed the 2%/1mm criteria. Failures were found for small field size-large applicator combinations at 20 MeV and 100-cm SSD. Copper apertures showed a decrease in bremsstrahlung production due to copper's lower atomic number compared to Cerrobend (greatest difference was 2.5% at 20 MeV). This effect was most prominent at the highest energies with large amounts of shielding material present (small field size-large applicator). Also, an increase in electrons scattered from the collimator edge of copper compared to Cerrobend resulted in an increased dose at the field edge for copper at shallow depths (greatest increase was 1% at 20 MeV).


Apertures for field sizes ≥6×6 cm2 at any energy, or for small fields (≤4×4 cm2) at energies <20 MeV, showed dosimetric differences less than 2%/1mm for more than 99% of points. All field size-applicator size-energy combinations passed 3%/1mm criteria for 100% of points.

Work partially funded by .decimal, Inc. (Sanford, FL).