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Monte Carlo simulations are increasingly used for dose calculations in proton therapy due to its inherent accuracy. However, dosimetric deviations have been found using Monte Carlo code when high density materials are present in the proton beamline. The purpose of this work was to quantify the magnitude of dose perturbation caused by metal objects. We did this by comparing measurements and Monte Carlo predictions of dose perturbations caused by the presence of small metal spheres in several clinical proton therapy beams as functions of proton beam range and drift space. Monte Carlo codes MCNPX, GEANT4 and Fast Dose Calculator (FDC) were used. Generally good agreement was found between measurements and Monte Carlo predictions, with the average difference within 5% and maximum difference within 17%. The modification of multiple Coulomb scattering model in MCNPX code yielded improvement in accuracy and provided the best overall agreement with measurements. Our results confirmed that Monte Carlo codes are well suited for predicting multiple Coulomb scattering in proton therapy beams when short drift spaces are involved. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Radiation Measurements

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