Beam modeling and verification of a photon beam multisource model

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Dose calculations for treatment planning of photon beam radiotherapy require a model of the beam to drive the dose calculation models. The beam shaping process involves scattering and filtering that yield radiation components which vary with collimator settings. The necessity to model these components has motivated the development of multisource beam models. We describe and evaluate clinical photon beam modeling based on multisource models, including lateral beam quality variations. The evaluation is based on user data for a pencil kernel algorithm and a point kernel algorithm (collapsed cone) used in the clinical treatment planning systems Helax-TMS and Nucletron-Oncentra. The pencil kernel implementations treat the beam spectrum as lateral invariant while the collapsed cone involves off axis softening of the spectrum. Both algorithms include modeling of head scatter components. The parameters of the beam model are derived from measured beam data in a semiautomatic process called RDH (radiation data handling) that, in sequential steps, minimizes the deviations in calculated dose versus the measured data. The RDH procedure is reviewed and the results of processing data from a large number of treatment units are analyzed for the two dose calculation algorithms. The results for both algorithms are similar, with slightly better results for the collapsed cone implementations. For open beams, 87% of the machines have maximum errors less than 2.5%. For wedged beams the errors were found to increase with increasing wedge angle. Internal, motorized wedges did yield slightly larger errors than external wedges. These results reflect the increased complexity, both experimentally and computationally, when wedges are used compared to open beams.


  • Anders Ahnesjö
  • Lars Weber
  • Anders Murman
  • Mikael Saxner
  • Ingvar Thorslund
  • Erik Traneus
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biophysics


  • beam modeling, convolution/superposition, verification
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1722-1737
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Publication categoryResearch