Dosimetric characteristics of electron beams produced by a mobile accelerator for IORT

M. Pimpinella, D. Mihailescu, A.S. Guerra, R.F. Laitano

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Energy and angular distributions of electron beams with different energies were simulated by Monte Carlo calculations. These beams were generated by the NOVAC7® system (Hitesys, Italy), a mobile electron accelerator specifically dedicated to intra-operative radiation therapy (IORT). The electron beam simulations were verified by comparing the measured dose distributions with the corresponding calculated distributions. As expected, a considerable difference was observed in the energy and angular distributions between the IORT beams studied in the present work and the electron beams produced by conventional accelerators for non-IORT applications. It was also found that significant differences exist between the IORT beams used in this work and other IORT beams with different collimation systems. For example, the contribution from the scattered electrons to the total dose was found to be up to 15% higher in the NOVAC7® beams. The water-to-air stopping power ratios of the IORT beams used in this work were calculated on the basis of the beam energy distributions obtained by the Monte Carlo simulations. These calculated stopping power ratios, sw,air, were compared with the corresponding sw,air values recommended by the TRS-381 and TRS-398 IAEA dosimetry protocols in order to estimate the deviations between a dosimetry based on generic parameters and a dosimetry based on parameters specifically obtained for the actual IORT beams. The deviations in the sw,air values were found to be as large as up to about 1%. Therefore, we recommend that a preliminary analysis should always be made when dealing with IORT beams in order to assess to what extent the possible differences in the sw,air values have to be accounted for or may be neglected on the basis of the specific accuracy needed in clinical dosimetry. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6197 - 6214
Number of pages18
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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