Dosimetric Evaluation of Linac Photon Small Fields using MAGIC Polymer Gels

Document Type : Original Paper


1 M.Sc. Student in Medical Radiation Engineering, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Radiotherapy and Oncology Dept., Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Cancer Research Center, Center Institute, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Medical Physics Dept., Novin Medical Radiation Institute, Tehran, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Medical Physics Dept., Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 M.Sc. of Medical Physics, Novin Medical Radiation Institute, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: In radiotherapy, methods of treatment planning are becoming increasingly more complicated. This requires verification of the doses delivered to increasingly smaller and more precise regions. Radiotherapy techniques are continuously employing smaller and smaller field sizes to deliver tighter radiation doses with higher therapeutic ratios, generating interest among researchers to provide reliable dosimetry for beams and treatment plans collimated to small field sizes. In this study, the dosimetry of these fields was evaluated in clinical applications by using polymer gel dosimetry.
Material and Methods: The MAGIC polymer gel was used in this study. The gel samples were manufactured and poured into phantoms and calibration vials and were irradiated with a 6 MV x-ray beam. The R2 maps of the dose distributions were obtained from the gel MR images. The depth dose distributions and dose profile measurements were measured in different fields at a depth of 5 cm in gel, and were compared against another technique using a pinpoint chamber.
Results: Comparison of the results of gel and pinpoint chamber measurements showed largest differences between the dose profile measurements in the low dose regions (near the edges). In these regions, the pinpoint-chamber measured penumbra width was at most 3.2 mm wider than those given by gel dosimeters. For a 30 × 30 mm2 field, maximum difference between gel and pinpoint chamber was 2 mm within the depth of maximum dose region, and were 2 mm, 3 mm and 2 mm for 20 × 20 mm2, 10 × 10 mm2 and 5 × 5 mm2 fields, respectively. The maximum differences within the buildup region for 30 × 30 mm2, 20 × 20 mm2, 10 × 10 mm2 and 5 × 5 mm2 fields were 9%, 4.5%, 2% and 9%, respectively.
Discussion and Conclusion: The differences in the depth dose distributions and dose profile measurements between MAGIC polymer gel and pinpoint chamber are attributable to different factors. The dosimetry of these fields using ionization chambers has limitations regarding uncertainty, due to the relatively large sizes of ionization chambers with respect to small field sizes and the lack of charged-particle equilibrium in such small fields. Pinpoint chambers are too large for very small photon fields and smaller dosimeters should be used. Fewer limitations in the dosimetry of small fields exist when using polymer gel dosimeters. Hence polymer gel dosimeters are suitable for dosimetry of photon small fields.


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