A method for deriving the electron and photon energy spectra from electron beam central axis percentage depth dose (PDD) curves has been investigated. The PDD curves of 6, 12 and 20 MeV electron beams obtained from the Monte Carlo full phase space simulations of the Varian linear accelerator treatment head have been used to test the method. We have employed a 'random creep' algorithm to determine the energy spectra of electrons and photons in a clinical electron beam. The fitted electron and photon energy spectra have been compared with the corresponding spectra obtained from the Monte Carlo full phase space simulations. Our fitted energy spectra are in good agreement with the Monte Carlo simulated spectra in terms of peak location, peak width, amplitude and smoothness of the spectrum. In addition, the derived depth dose curves of head-generated photons agree well in both shape and amplitude with those calculated using the full phase space data. The central axis depth dose curves and dose profiles at various depths have been compared using an automated electron beam commissioning procedure. The comparison has demonstrated that our method is capable of deriving the energy spectra for the Varian accelerator electron beams investigated. We have implemented this method in the electron beam commissioning procedure for Monte Carlo electron beam dose calculations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging