A physics-based analytical model of absorbed dose from primary, leakage, and scattered photons from megavoltage radiotherapy with MLCs

Document Type


Publication Date



A burgeoning population of cancer survivors is at risk of late health effects following radiation therapy including second cancers, with the majority of these cancers occurring outside of the treatment volume of the primary cancer. Commercial radiotherapy treatment planning systems underestimate the out-of-field dose. Previous analytical models of out-of-field dose have assumed radial symmetry and/or approximated the dimensions of collimators as semi-infinite planes. The purpose of this work was to develop a physics-based analytical model of total absorbed dose from primary, scattered, and leakage radiation for square fields from a 6 MV beam at any arbitrary point in a phantom, including in-plane, cross-plane, and out-of-plane locations. The model includes the essential physics of radiation transport through beam-limiting-devices including rounded edges of MLC leaves. The model agreed well with measurements and Monte Carlo simulations of absorbed dose in a water-box phantom and was validated for field-sizes ranging from 2 2 to 20 20 cm2. The signed and unsigned average percent differences were and 15.9%, respectively, for all points and field-sizes considered. An extended gamma index analysis reveals a 92% pass rate with criteria of 3 mm distance-to-agreement, 3% relative dose difference in-field, and 3 mGy Gy-1 absolute dose difference out-of-field. The average wall-clock time to calculate dose to one million points was 3.3 min. These results suggest that it is feasible to calculate absorbed dose from both therapeutic and stray radiation using physics-based analytical models with good accuracy, thus overcoming a major obstacle to routinely assessing exposures. Additionally, this work demonstrates the importance of relaxing certain simplifications such as assuming a radially symmetric stray-dose distribution. Because the model is physics-based and may be reconfigured according to the dimensions of beam-limiting-devices, adapting it to other treatment units should be straight forward. Uses for such a model include clinical and research applications, such as clinical trials and epidemiological studies.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Physics in Medicine and Biology

This document is currently not available here.