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Neutron source strength measurements for Varian, Siemens, Elekta, and General Electric linear accelerators.

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      Abstract

      The shielding calculations for high energy (>10 MV) linear accelerators must include the photoneutron production within the head of the accelerator. Procedures have been described to calculate the treatment room door shielding based on the neutron source strength (Q value) for a specific accelerator and energy combination. Unfortunately, there is currently little data in the literature stating the neutron source strengths for the most widely used linear accelerators. In this study, the neutron fluence for 36 linear accelerators, including models from Varian, Siemens, Elekta/Philips, and General Electric, was measured using gold-foil activation. Several of the models and energy combinations had multiple measurements. The neutron fluence measured in the patient plane was independent of the surface area of the room, suggesting that neutron fluence is more dependent on the direct neutron fluence from the head of the accelerator than from room scatter. Neutron source strength, Q, was determined from the measured neutron fluences. As expected, Q increased with increasing photon energy. The Q values ranged from 0.02 for a 10 MV beam to 1.44(x10(12)) neutrons per photon Gy for a 25 MV beam. The most comprehensive set of neutron source strength values, Q, for the current accelerators in clinical use are presented for use in calculating room shielding.

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      Author and article information

      Affiliations
      [1 ] Department of Radiation Physics, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. dfollowi@mdanderson.org
      Journal
      J Appl Clin Med Phys
      Journal of applied clinical medical physics
      American College of Medical Physics (ACMP)
      1526-9914
      1526-9914
      2003
      : 4
      : 3
      12841788 10.1120/1.1571671

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