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A Comparative Study of Photo-Neutron Production from Flattened and Unflattened Beams in a Medical Linear Accelerator


Affiliations
1 Dept of Physics, Noorul Islam University, Tamilnadu, India
2 Dept of Physics, University of Calicut, Kerala, India
3 Dept of Physics, Noorul Islam University, Tamilnadu, India, India
     

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High energy x-rays from a medical linear accelerator (LINAC) is used to treat cancer patients in radiotherapy department. The medical linac can produce bremsstrahlung x-rays from 4MV to 18MV and the commonly used linac produces 6MV,10 MV and 15MV photons for treating major parts of the cancer patients. The photo neutron production during the radiation treatment is one of the major issues which have to be addressed with high impact because of the high LET nature associated with it. Photo neutrons are produced from several high atomic number (Z) elements present in the linac head mostly by the (ɣ,n) reaction. The flattening filter used in medical linac to produce uniform intensity distribution (made up of either tungsten,steel,lead,uranium, aluminum or a combination) is one of the photo neutron sources in the linac head. Advanced radiotherapy treatments like Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT) doesn’t require a flat radiation field, and hence the flattening filter could be removed. This is called flattening filter free beam (FFF beam)1,2. The removal of the filter will result in a forward peaked photon beam, which is very advantageous for these kinds of treatments3, 4. The purpose of this work was to find out the difference in the percentage of photo neutron production in a flattening filter free (FFF) and flattening filter (FF) beam using CR39 Solid State Nuclear Track Detector (SSNTD) from an Elekta Versa HD machine. The neutron fluence was measured at different positions with FFF and FF mode and the results were tabulated. The neutron fluence was lower for the FFF mode of operation than the FF mode. The reduction ranges from 2.27% to 44.22%.

Keywords

CR 39 SSNTD, Medical Linac, Flattening Filter.
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  • A Comparative Study of Photo-Neutron Production from Flattened and Unflattened Beams in a Medical Linear Accelerator

Abstract Views: 285  |  PDF Views: 0

Authors

K. R. Rajesh
Dept of Physics, Noorul Islam University, Tamilnadu, India
M. M. Musthafa
Dept of Physics, University of Calicut, Kerala, India
Hridya Raj
Dept of Physics, University of Calicut, Kerala, India
Naiby Joseph
Dept of Physics, University of Calicut, Kerala, India
R. Ganapathi Raman
Dept of Physics, Noorul Islam University, Tamilnadu, India, India

Abstract


High energy x-rays from a medical linear accelerator (LINAC) is used to treat cancer patients in radiotherapy department. The medical linac can produce bremsstrahlung x-rays from 4MV to 18MV and the commonly used linac produces 6MV,10 MV and 15MV photons for treating major parts of the cancer patients. The photo neutron production during the radiation treatment is one of the major issues which have to be addressed with high impact because of the high LET nature associated with it. Photo neutrons are produced from several high atomic number (Z) elements present in the linac head mostly by the (ɣ,n) reaction. The flattening filter used in medical linac to produce uniform intensity distribution (made up of either tungsten,steel,lead,uranium, aluminum or a combination) is one of the photo neutron sources in the linac head. Advanced radiotherapy treatments like Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) and Volumetric Arc Therapy (VMAT) doesn’t require a flat radiation field, and hence the flattening filter could be removed. This is called flattening filter free beam (FFF beam)1,2. The removal of the filter will result in a forward peaked photon beam, which is very advantageous for these kinds of treatments3, 4. The purpose of this work was to find out the difference in the percentage of photo neutron production in a flattening filter free (FFF) and flattening filter (FF) beam using CR39 Solid State Nuclear Track Detector (SSNTD) from an Elekta Versa HD machine. The neutron fluence was measured at different positions with FFF and FF mode and the results were tabulated. The neutron fluence was lower for the FFF mode of operation than the FF mode. The reduction ranges from 2.27% to 44.22%.

Keywords


CR 39 SSNTD, Medical Linac, Flattening Filter.



DOI: https://doi.org/10.37506/v10%2Fi12%2F2019%2Fijphrd%2F191983