A linear accelerator manufactured by Elekta, equipped with a multi leaf collimation (MLC) system has been modelled using Monte Carlo simulations with the photon flattening filter removed. The purpose of this investigation was to show that more efficient and more accurate Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) treatments can be delivered from a standard linear accelerator with the flattening filter removed from the beam. A range of simulations of 6 MV and 10 MV photon were studied and compared to a model of a standard accelerator which included the flattening filter for those beams. Measurements using a scanning water phantom were also performed after the flattening filter had been removed. We show here that with the flattening filter removed, an increase to the dose on the central axis by a factor of 2.35 and 4.18 is achieved for 6 MV and 10 MV photon beams respectively using a standard 10x 10cm2 field size. A comparison of the dose at points at the field edges led to the result that, removal of the flattening filter reduced the dose at these points by approximately 10% for the 6 MV beam over the clinical range of field sizes. A further consequence of removing the flattening filter was the softening of the photon energy spectrum leading to a steeper reduction in dose at depths greater than dmax. Also studied was the electron contamination brought about by the removal of the filter. To reduce this electron contamination and thus reduce the skin dose to the patient we consider the use of an electron scattering foil in the beam path. The electron scattering foil had very little effect on dmax. From simulations of a standard 6MV beam, a filter-free beam and a filter-free beam with electron scattering foil, we deduce that the proportion of electrons in the photon beam is 0.35%, 0.28% and 0.27%, consecutively.
In short, higher dose rates will result in decreased treatment times and the reduced dose outside of the field is indicative of reducing the dose to the surrounding tissue. Electron contamination was found to be comparable with conventional IMRT treatments carried out with a flattening filter.
|Advisor:||Parsai, E. Ishmael|
|School:||The University of Toledo|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Dose rate, Flattening filter, Intensity-modulated radiation therapy, Linear accelerator, Photon beams|
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