Investigation of a source model for a new electronic brachytherapy tandem by film measurement.

Research paper by Elijah E Martin, Keith K Sowards, Brian B Wang

Indexed on: 15 Aug '18Published on: 15 Aug '18Published in: Journal of applied clinical medical physics / American College of Medical Physics


To investigate the accuracy of a vendor-supplied source model for a new Xoft Axxent 0-degree titanium tandem by film measurement. We measured the anisotropy factors at varying distances and angles from the tandem in water using radiochromic film (Gafchromic EBT3) and an Epson Perfection v750 desktop flatbed scanner (US Epson, Long Beach, CA). A 0-degree tandem was placed vertically in a water phantom. Four pieces of film, each at varying depths, were positioned orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the tandem for azimuthal anisotropy measurements. Polar anisotropy measurements were taken with the film aligned parallel to the tandem. An absolute dose calibration for the film was verified with a PTW 34013 Soft X-Ray Chamber. The film measurements were analyzed using different color channels. The measured polar anisotropy for varying source positions was compared to the vendor's data. Azimuthal anisotropy was measured as a function of the radius and angle, and normalized to the mean value over all angles at the specified radius. The azimuthal anisotropy of the tandem and source was found to be consistent for different positions along the tandem's longitudinal axis and at varying distances from the tandem. Absolute dose using a calibrated parallel plate chamber showed agreement to within 2% of expected TPS values. The custom tandem, which has a thicker tip than the wall, was attenuating the 50 kV photons more than expected, at the angles where the photons had more wall material to traverse. This discrepancy was verified at different distances from the tandem and with different measurement techniques. As distance increased, anisotropy values had better agreement. We quantified the agreement between the measured and provided anisotropy factors for a new Xoft Axxent 0-degree titanium tandem. Radiochromic film response at low kV energy was also investigated. Our results showed that vendor-supplied TG-43 values were appropriate for clinical use at majority of the angles. A rigorous quality assurance method for new electronic brachytherapy sources and applicators, along with complete knowledge of all dosimetric measuring tools, should be implemented for all parts of the verification and commissioning process. © 2018 The Authors. Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Association of Physicists in Medicine.