Dosimetry validation of treatment room shielding design

Sotirios Stathakis, Robert Price, C. M. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can lead to an increase in leakage radiation. The total number of monitor units (MUs) for IMRT is typically 2-5 times that for conventional treatments [the ratio of the two is used to derive the effective modulation scaling factor (MSFeff)]. Shielding calculations for IMRT can be done by applying the MSFeff to measured exposures under conservative conditions (standard beam setup 40 cm X 40 cm field, 45° collimator angle) to account for the increased leakage. In this work, we verified this approach for two existing vaults housing a Siemens Primart 6 MV linac and a Varian 21Ex 10 MV linac. We measured the cumulative exposures at various locations around the vaults for typical IMRT cases and for the standard beam setup using the same MUs. For the standard beam setup, the IMRT gantry angles and eight equally spaced angles were used. Estimations of weekly exposures for IMRT were carried out using exposure rates measured under standard beam setup and the MSFeff averaged over 20 treatment cases. The accumulated exposures under realistic IMRT conditions were 30%-50% lower than the estimated values using equally spaced gantry angles except for two locations where the real IMRT leakage was higher than the estimated value by approximately 10%. Measurements using the same gantry angles yielded similar results. Our results indicate that it is adequate to use the MSFeff and previously measured exposures to estimate the leakage increase due to IMRT for an existing vault. Different approaches should be followed when considering primary or secondary barriers since the standard beam setup is overestimating the exposures behind primary barriers compared to IMRT. In such cases, a 10 cm X 10 cm field can be used for more accurate shielding evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-454
Number of pages7
JournalMedical physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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