Verification of Surface Dose for Flattening Filter and Flattening Filter Free Beams in Beam-Matched Medical Linear Accelerators

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Radiation Physics, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, India.

2 Division of Medical Physics, JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research, Mysuru, India.


Background: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the surface dose (SD) of 6 and 10 MV flattening filter beam (FF) and flattening filter free (FFF) beam for different square field sizes in three Beam-matched medical linear accelerators using a parallel-plate ionization chamber. Materials and Methods: The experiment was carried out in a phantom composed of 40×40 cm2 solid Water slabs of varying thickness. Further sheets of solid water phantom were added to take readings in the build-up region for both SSD and SAD technique. Surface doses are measured with a PPC-05 chamber and DOSE 1 electrometer, at measurement depth of 1 mm interval and all results are plotted relative to the dose measured at Dmax for various field sizes. Surface dose readings are therefore reported as relative surface dose. Results: Surface dose increased linearly with field size for both FF and FFF photon beams in all three beam-matched linear accelerators in both SSD and SAD setup. The surface dose of FFF was higher than FF beams in all field sizes. For the given energy the surface dose difference (relative to 10x10 cm2 field size of 6FF) between FF and FFF beam was larger for large field size. For 6FF and 6FFF beam the surface dose difference for 5x5 cm2 is -5.27%, and for 30x30 cm2 it is 12.91%. The measured surface dose differences between linear accelerators are not statically significant (P>0.989). Similarly, the surface dose difference between SSD and SAD setup was also analysed and had no statistical significance (P>0.849). Conclusion: Study showed that the surface dose difference between beam-matched linear accelerators are insignificant. The surface dose difference between SSD and SAD setup were also found negligible. Most importantly, changing patients between beam-matched linear accelerators will not have any significant changes in surface dose in clinical setup.


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