Monte Carlo dose calculation improvements for low energy electron beams using eMC

Fix, Michael K; Frei, Daniel; Volken, Werner; Neuenschwander, Hans; Born, Ernst J; Manser, Peter (2010). Monte Carlo dose calculation improvements for low energy electron beams using eMC. Physics in medicine and biology, 55(16), pp. 4577-88. Bristol: Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.1088/0031-9155/55/16/S11

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The electron Monte Carlo (eMC) dose calculation algorithm in Eclipse (Varian Medical Systems) is based on the macro MC method and is able to predict dose distributions for high energy electron beams with high accuracy. However, there are limitations for low energy electron beams. This work aims to improve the accuracy of the dose calculation using eMC for 4 and 6 MeV electron beams of Varian linear accelerators. Improvements implemented into the eMC include (1) improved determination of the initial electron energy spectrum by increased resolution of mono-energetic depth dose curves used during beam configuration; (2) inclusion of all the scrapers of the applicator in the beam model; (3) reduction of the maximum size of the sphere to be selected within the macro MC transport when the energy of the incident electron is below certain thresholds. The impact of these changes in eMC is investigated by comparing calculated dose distributions for 4 and 6 MeV electron beams at source to surface distance (SSD) of 100 and 110 cm with applicators ranging from 6 x 6 to 25 x 25 cm(2) of a Varian Clinac 2300C/D with the corresponding measurements. Dose differences between calculated and measured absolute depth dose curves are reduced from 6% to less than 1.5% for both energies and all applicators considered at SSD of 100 cm. Using the original eMC implementation, absolute dose profiles at depths of 1 cm, d(max) and R50 in water lead to dose differences of up to 8% for applicators larger than 15 x 15 cm(2) at SSD 100 cm. Those differences are now reduced to less than 2% for all dose profiles investigated when the improved version of eMC is used. At SSD of 110 cm the dose difference for the original eMC version is even more pronounced and can be larger than 10%. Those differences are reduced to within 2% or 2 mm with the improved version of eMC. In this work several enhancements were made in the eMC algorithm leading to significant improvements in the accuracy of the dose calculation for 4 and 6 MeV electron beams of Varian linear accelerators.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Radiation Oncology > Medical Radiation Physics

UniBE Contributor:

Fix, Michael; Frei, Daniel; Volken, Werner; Born, Ernst Johann and Manser, Peter




Institute of Physics Publishing IOP




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:09

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:00

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 201789)

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