TH-E-BRE-06: Challenges in the Dosimetry of Flattening Filter Free Beams




In current dosimetry protocols [AAPM TG51, IAEA TRS-389] the beam quality correction factor kQ and the water-to-air restricted mass collision stopping-power ratio SPR are related to beam quality specifiers %dd(10)x respectively TPR20,10 Determining kQ and SPR using these regular beam quality specifiers for conventional accelerators (WFF) and flattening filter free accelerators (FFF) similarly could lead to systemic bias. The influence of the flattening filter on the relationship between various beam quality specifiers and SPR respectively kQ was studied using Monte Carlo simulations with realistic beam sources.


All Monte Carlo simulations were performed using the BEAMnrc/EGSnrc code system. Radiation transport through nine linear accelerator heads modeled according to technical drawings given by the manufactures and a 6 0 Co therapy source was simulated with BEAMnrc and then used as a radiation source for further simulations. FFF beam sources were implemented by removing the fattening filter from the WFF model. SPR was calculated applying the user code SPRRZnrc. The mean photon energy below the accelerator head and the mean energies of photons and electrons at the measuring point within the water phantom were calculated using FLURZnrc. Dose calculations within a small water voxel and the thimble ionization chamber PTW-31010 in a water depth of 10 cm were made using the egs_chamber code.


SPR and kQ as a function of fluence spectra based beam quality specifiers as well as conventional beam quality specifiers differ systematically between FFF and WFF beams. According to the results the specifier %dd(10)x revealed the smallest deviation (max. 0.4%) between FFF and WFF beams.


The results show that %dd(10)x is an acceptable beam quality specifier for FFF beams. Nevertheless the results confirm the expected bias between FFF and WFF beams which must by further investigated.