An assessment of the Photon Contamination due to Bremsstrahlung Radiation in the Electron Beams of a NEPTUN 10PC Linac using a Monte Carlo Method

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Medical Imaging Dept., Urmia University of Medical Sciences, Urmia, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Medical Physics Dept., Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran.


Introduction: In clinical electron beams, most of bremsstrahlung radiation is produced by various linac head structures. This bremsstrahlung radiation dose is influenced by the geometry and construction of every component of the linac treatment head structures. Thus, it can be expected that the amount of the contaminated photon dose due to bremsstrahlung radiation varies among different linacs, even for the same electron beam energy. The aims of this study were to simulate the NEPTUN 10PC linac electron beams and to calculate the photon contamination dose due to bremsstrahlung radiation in these beams using a Monte Carlo method.
Materials and methods: A NEPTUN 10PC linac was simulated in its electron mode using the BEAMnrc code. This linac can provide three electron beam energies of 6, 8 and 10 MeV. Detailed information required for the simulation, including the geometry and materials of various components of the linac treatment head, was provided by the vender. For all simulations, the cut-off energies for electron and photon transport were set at ECUT=0.521 MeV and PCUT=0.010 MeV, respectively. The KS statistical test was used for validation of the simulated models. Then, relevant bremsstrahlung radiation doses for the three electron beam energies of the linac were calculated for the reference field using the Monte Carlo method. 
Results: The KS test showed a good agreement between the calculated values (resulting from the simulations) and the measured ones. The results showed that the amount of contaminated photon dose due to bremsstrahlung radiation from various components of the simulated linac at the surface of the phantom was between 0.2%-0.5% of the maximum dose for the three electron beam energies.
Conclusion:  Considering the good agreement between the measured and simulated data, it can be concluded that the simulation method as well as the calculated bremsstrahlung doses have been made at a good level of accuracy and precision. The results of this study indicate that photon contamination in the NEPTUN 10PC electron beams is not significant. Therefore, it seems that this linac can be used for total skin electron irradiation.



Main Subjects

Volume 6, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
March and April 2009
Pages 21-32
  • Receive Date: 29 July 2008
  • Revise Date: 11 August 2009
  • Accept Date: 23 February 2009
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2009