Protocols for the dosimetry of high-energy photon and electron beams: a comparison of the IAEA TRS-398 and previous international codes of practice. International Atomic Energy Agency.


Journal Article

A new international Code of Practice for radiotherapy dosimetry co-sponsored by several international organizations has been published by the IAEA, TRS-398. It is based on standards of absorbed dose to water, whereas previous protocols (TRS-381 and TRS-277) were based on air kerma standards. To estimate the changes in beam calibration caused by the introduction of TRS-398, a detailed experimental comparison of the dose determination in reference conditions in high-energy photon and electron beams has been made using the different IAEA protocols. A summary of the formulation and reference conditions in the various Codes of Practice, as well as of their basic data, is presented first. Accurate measurements have been made in 25 photon and electron beams from 10 clinical accelerators using 12 different cylindrical and plane-parallel chambers, and dose ratios under different conditions of TRS-398 to the other protocols determined. A strict step-by-step checklist was followed by the two participating clinical institutions to ascertain that the resulting calculations agreed within tenths of a per cent. The maximum differences found between TRS-398 and the previous Codes of Practice TRS-277 (2nd edn) and TRS-381 are of the order of 1.5-2.0%. TRS-398 yields absorbed doses larger than the previous protocols, around 1.0% for photons (TRS-277) and for electrons (TRS-381 and TRS-277) when plane-parallel chambers are cross-calibrated. For the Markus chamber, results show a very large variation, although a fortuitous cancellation of the old stopping powers with the ND,w/NK ratios makes the overall discrepancy between TRS-398 and TRS-277 in this case smaller than for well-guarded plane-parallel chambers. Chambers of the Roos-type with a 60Co ND,w calibration yield the maximum discrepancy in absorbed dose, which varies between 1.0% and 1.5% for TRS-381 and between 1.5% and 2.0% for TRS-277. Photon beam calibrations using directly measured or calculated TPR20,10 from a percentage dose data at SSD = 100 cm were found to be indistinguishable. Considering that approximately 0.8% of the differences between TRS-398 and the NK-based protocols are caused by the change to the new type of standards, the remaining difference in absolute dose is due either to a close similarity in basic data or to a fortuitous cancellation of the discrepancies in data and type of chamber calibration. It is emphasized that the NK-ND,air and ND,w formalisms have very similar uncertainty when the same criteria are used for both procedures. Arguments are provided in support of the recommendation for a change in reference dosimetry based on standards of absorbed dose to water.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Andreo, P; Huq, MS; Westermark, M; Song, H; Tilikidis, A; DeWerd, L; Shortt, K

Published Date

  • September 7, 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 47 / 17

Start / End Page

  • 3033 - 3053

PubMed ID

  • 12361209

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12361209

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0031-9155

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1088/0031-9155/47/17/301


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England