Session Item

August 29
10:30 - 11:30
Online Stream 1
Poster highlights 11: Dosimetry 1
Brigitte Reniers, Belgium
Poster highlights
11:18 - 11:26
Quality assurance of electronic brachytherapy treatment units with a plastic scintillation detector
Peter Georgi, Denmark


Quality assurance of electronic brachytherapy treatment units with a plastic scintillation detector

Peter Georgi1, Gustavo Kertzscher1, Thorsten Schneider2, Jacob Graversen Johansen1, Kari Tanderup1, Lars Nyvang1

1Aarhus University Hospital, Department of Oncology, Aarhus, Denmark; 2Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Radiation Protection Dosimetry, Braunschweig, Germany

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Purpose or Objective

Standardized quality assurance (QA) methods are limited in electronic brachytherapy (eBT) [1]. The purpose of this experiments was to design a simple and accurate method for verification of the relative absorbed dose to water distribution. For the first time, the dose distribution from an eBT source was measured in water using a small plastic scintillation detector (PSD). 

Material and Methods

The Papillon 50 (P50; Ariane Medical Systems Ltd, UK) is an eBT source mainly used for rectal cancer treatment. It delivers 50 kVp X-rays (half value layer ~ 0.7mmAl). The beam is collimated using cylindrical steel applicators (Ø22-30 mm). The absorbed dose from the P50 source, with a Ø25 mm applicator, was measured with a PSD. The system consisted of a cylindrical plastic scintillator (Ø1 mm, L=0.5 mm) coupled to an optical fibre which transmitted the scintillation light to a photo multiplier tube (PMT) (H5783 SEL3, Hamamatsu). The PMT was coupled to an electrometer (Unidos Webline, PTW Freiburg Germany). The PSD was placed on a motorised stage in a water phantom (MP3, PTW), while the P50 applicator was pointed vertically downward, with the tip just breaching the water surface of the phantom. The applicator was rigidly fixed in a custom build frame. The PSD was moved to predetermined positions where the relative dose rate was measured. The movement and measurements were automated with the software Mephysto (PTW). The dose depth curves and dose profiles at various depths were measured in steps of 0.5-5 mm. The width of the dose profiles at 50% of the central dose was determined.


Depth-dose curves:

The measured percentage depth dose (PDD) shows an almost exponential decay with 1-order reduction every 25 mm (fig. 1). The measurements are in good agreement with Monte Carlo (MC) simulations performed by Croce et. al. [2].

Dose profiles:

The dose profile smears out and the width increases for larger depths (fig. 2). The increase follows a linear behavior (dashed lines in fig. 2 bottom right). There is no significant directional dependency. The z=5, 10, and 20 mm profiles are asymmetric, with a shoulder to the right, likely due to the X-ray rod not being exactly centered inside the applicator.


The PDD and dose profiles, at various depths, of an eBT source have been measured under full scatter conditions in a water phantom for the first time with high spatial resolution. The measurements were performed with a novel PSD system, which offers a simple method for QA of the relative absorbed dose to water of eBT treatment units. The method can easily be transferred to other low energy X-ray sources.


[1] Primary Standards and Traceable Measurement Methods for X-ray Emitting Electronic Brachytherapy Devices, Publishable Summary (2018):

[2] O. Croce, S. et al.  Radiation Physics and Chemistry 81 (2012) 609-617