Rodriguez, M.; Sempau, J.; Fogliata, A.; Cozzi, L.; Sauerwein, W.; Brualla, L. Physics in medicine and biology Vol. 60, num. 11, p. N219-N229 DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/60/11/N219 Data de publicació: 2015-06 Article en revista
Monte Carlo simulation of linear accelerators (linacs) depends on the accurate geometrical description of the linac head. The geometry of the Varian TrueBeam linac is not available to researchers. Instead, the company distributes phase-space files of the flattening-filter-free (FFF) beams tallied at a plane located just upstream of the jaws. Yet, Monte Carlo simulations based on third-party tallied phase spaces are subject to limitations. In this work, an experimentally based geometry developed for the simulation of the FFF beams of the Varian TrueBeam linac is presented. The Monte Carlo geometrical model of the TrueBeam linac uses information provided by Varian that reveals large similarities between the TrueBeam machine and the Clinac 2100 downstream of the jaws. Thus, the upper part of the TrueBeam linac was modeled by introducing modifications to the Varian Clinac 2100 linac geometry. The most important of these modifications is the replacement of the standard flattening filters by ad hoc thin filters. These filters were modeled by comparing dose measurements and simulations. The experimental dose profiles for the 6 MV and 10 MV FFF beams were obtained from the Varian Golden Data Set and from in-house measurements performed with a diode detector for radiation fields ranging from 3 x 3 to 40 x 40 cm(2) at depths of maximum dose of 5 and 10 cm. Indicators of agreement between the experimental data and the simulation results obtained with the proposed geometrical model were the dose differences, the root-mean-square error and the gamma index. The same comparisons were performed for dose profiles obtained from Monte Carlo simulations using the phase-space files distributed by Varian for the TrueBeam linac as the sources of particles. Results of comparisons show a good agreement of the dose for the ansatz geometry similar to that obtained for the simulations with the TrueBeam phase-space files for all fields and depths considered, except for the 40 x 40 cm(2) field where the ansatz geometry was able to reproduce the measured dose more accurately. Our approach overcomes some of the limitations of using the Varian phase-space files. It makes it possible to: (i) adapt the initial beam parameters to match measured dose profiles; (ii) reduce the statistical uncertainty to arbitrarily low values; and (iii) assess systematic uncertainties (type B) by using different Monte Carlo codes. One limitation of using phase-space files that is retained in our model is the impossibility of performing accurate absolute dosimetry simulations because the geometrical description of the TrueBeam ionization chamber remains unknown.