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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 216-222

Assessment of radiation leakage from treatment applicator of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators


1 Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
2 Department of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Medical Physics, Reza Radiation Oncology Center, Mashhad, Iran

Date of Web Publication13-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mahdi Ghorbani
Department of Biomedical Engineering and Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Velenjak, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_1096_16

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 > Abstract 


Aim: The purpose of this study is to measure radiation leakage of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators in electron mode and to compare the leakage level with that recommended by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard.
Materials and Methods: In this assessment, Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator with 10 cm × 10 cm, 15 cm × 15 cm, and 25 cm × 25 cm applicators was used. The radiation leakage in lateral and vertical directions was measured for Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators.
Results: Data derived from radiation leakage measurement for Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators in lateral direction from the field edge and in vertical direction from the applicator were reported. The radiation leakage data were then compared with the IEC standard to evaluate in-air field leakage.
Conclusion: Comparing the radiation leakage level from fields with the IEC standard for two applicators, the maximum that was occurred for 12 MeV electron beam and applicator size of 10 cm × 10 cm in Siemens Artiste linear accelerator was 2.3%, which is less than the IEC's recommended limit of 10%. It is concluded that the leakage amount is much less than the specified limit and that both of the linear accelerators have high level of safety. Considering the measurement stage, it also needs to be noted that the beam angle affected the radiation leakage level from field edge, and in 25° angle, it is higher than in 0° angle. Comparing radiation leakage from the right side of the field for the two linear accelerators, the amount of leakage for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator is more than Siemens Artiste linear accelerator.

Keywords: Applicator, electron beam, linear accelerator, radiation leakage, radiotherapy


How to cite this article:
Karbaf M, Hadizadeh Yazdi MH, Ghorbani M, Abdollahi S. Assessment of radiation leakage from treatment applicator of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators. J Can Res Ther 2019;15:216-22

How to cite this URL:
Karbaf M, Hadizadeh Yazdi MH, Ghorbani M, Abdollahi S. Assessment of radiation leakage from treatment applicator of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators. J Can Res Ther [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Aug 26];15:216-22. Available from: http://www.cancerjournal.net/text.asp?2019/15/1/216/243467




 > Introduction Top


Electron therapy has been one of the most state-of-the-art treatment techniques of superficial tumors (with depths <5 cm) with a characteristically sharp drop-off in dose beyond the tumor[1] since early 1950. The most clinically useful energy range for electron beams is 6–20 MeV. According to recent clinical implemented experiments, there does not seem to be alternative treatment to electron beam therapy under various encountered situations.

Electron dose leakage on the outer side of an applicator is of utmost importance in radiotherapy mainly because the uncontrolled large dose of electron can pose secondary cancer risks, especially in the skin and lymph nodes.[2] This is due to the fact that lymph nodes are very sensitive and susceptible to development of secondary cancer in this area, during the main cancer treatment, for example, in treatment of prostate cancer. Given that electron beam is used in treatment of a number of cancers, evaluation of the safety of this treatment is very important. The safety outside the treatment field should be checked because, in the process of electron radiation treatment, the applicators are set above tissues. The outside dose from an applicator should be checked because any radiation dose outside the external borders of applicator increases the risk of skin burn problem and it is critical for skin health. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), a standard report which is used for electronic medical linear accelerators, specified a limit for dose leakage, and based on this report, the maximum radiation dose outside the boundary of applicator relative to the maximum dose should not exceed 10%.[3],[4],[5] In previous experimental investigations reported by Olsson,[6] a new applicator was designed to reduce radiation leakage. The research was conducted on Elekta SLi Plus linear accelerator in which the amount of radiation leakage was reduced from 5% to 2% relative to the maximum dose on the central axis of the field by changing the applicator's design. In a previous study reported by Yeboah et al.,[7] radiation leakage from Siemens Primus linear accelerator field edge was measured for 18 MeV electron beam using 10 cm × 10 cm, 25 cm × 25 cm applicators. The amount of radiation dose outside the applicator at distance of 2 cm from the applicator's outer edge in 1 cm water depth was measured. In that work, the amount of radiation leakage was reported to be 17% relative to maximum dose at central axis of the applicators.

The aim of this study is to evaluate the radiation leakage at lateral and vertical distance from the applicator's bottom of edge in vertical direction of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators and to compare the results with IEC report.[1] Moreover, the effect of the oblique beam in radiation leakage is examined at angles of 0° and 25° for Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators.


 > Materials and Methods Top


Measurement of in-air radiation leakage in lateral direction

Siemens Artiste linear accelerator

Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator is a therapeutic accelerator designed with having 5 applicator sizes of 5 cm × 5 cm, 10 cm × 10 cm, 15 cm × 15 cm, 20 cm × 20 cm, and 25 cm × 25 cm with 4 energy levels of 6, 10, 12, and 15 MeV. Siemens Artiste linear accelerator is similar to Siemens Primus Plus except that it has 3 energy levels of 6, 10, and 12 MeV.

Based on Technical Reports Series (TRS398), quality control exerted for two linear accelerators, Chambers and Phantom, includes setting patient plan, administering dose depth, checking linear accelerator output, and forming the appropriate angle.[8]

In this study, radiation leakage was examined for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator in air. 10 cm × 10 cm and 25 cm × 25 cm applicators, 12 MeV electron beam energy and semiflex ion chamber with 1 cm cap were used. The 5 cm × 5 cm, 15 cm × 15 cm, and 20 cm × 20 cm applicators were not put into this evaluation since they have less clinical application than the other applicators. The PTW-MEPHYSTO software (version 2.1, PTW, Freiburg, Germany), capable of measuring radiation dose, was used. The setup as illustrated in [Figure 1] was used. First, a 50 cm × 50 cm × 50 cm water tank phantom (without water) was placed under the linear accelerator's head as the ion chamber (with 1 cm cap) had already been setup on the phantom. Then, the 25 cm × 25 cm applicator was installed on the linear accelerator's head, and the ion chamber was adjusted in the applicator's center and the SSD was set to 100 cm. Having followed this procedure, radiation dose was measured at the center of the field. After that, the ion chamber was put at 2 and 4 cm distances from the applicator's outer edge. Having the steps carefully taken, radiation dose was read and then the percentage of radiation leakage dose was calculated using Formula 1. The same set sequence of steps was repeated for the 10 cm × 10 cm applicator employing similar necessary methods.
Figure 1: Setup employed for in-air measuring radiation leakage on lateral direction from applicator body for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator in air

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Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

This part of study was carried out on Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator, the setup which was used included 15 cm × 15 cm and 25 cm × 25 cm applicators and Farmer ion chamber (PTW FARMER 31013/005306-PTW UNDOSE/020944) with 1 cm cap. Since in previous stage, moving the phantom and accurately measuring in phantom using PTW-MEPHYSTO software (version 2.1) inflicted hardship, a jig made of polyethylene was used for positioning the ion chamber as it is illustrated in [Figure 2]. The 25 cm × 25 cm applicator was installed below the linear accelerator's head, and then, the Farmer ion chamber was put on the jig in the center of the field. Similar to the preceding stage, by adjusting SSD to 100 cm and putting ion chamber in 2 and 4 cm distances from applicator, the radiation leakage was measured. Leakage percentage was calculated using Formula 1.
Figure 2: Setup employed for in-air measurement of radiation leakage vertical distance from the applicator's body of the bottom of edge at vertical direction for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

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In-air radiation leakage in vertical direction from field edge for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

This part of the experiment was performed on the Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator with 25 cm × 25 cm applicator and 15 MeV electron beam. The setup as illustrated in [Figure 2] was used. Farmer ion chamber was put in the arm of the jig at a distance of 2 cm from the inner edge of the applicator. When it was accurately put, SSD was adjusted to 100 cm. Then, the ion chamber was moved at different heights of 6, 15, 27, and 35 cm from the applicator's bottom of edge according to [Figure 2], and the percentage of radiation leakage dose was calculated using Formula 1.

In-phantom evaluation of the effects of radiation leakage from the field edge in applicators with different sizes and energies for the gantry angle

This part of experiment was performed on the Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator. This part was performed with 10 cm × 10 cm and 15 cm × 15 cm applicators on 10 and 15 MeV electron beams. The setup which is illustrated in [Figure 3] was used. For the experiment at first, 50 cm × 50 cm × 50 cm water tank phantom was set under the linear accelerator's head. Then, 10 cm × 10 cm applicator was installed on the linear accelerator's head and SSD was adjusted at 100 cm. The semiflex ion chamber was positioned at 1 cm depth in water phantom in center of the applicator. In this case, gantry angle was set at 0° at 10 MeV electron beam. In this setup, PTW electrometer was set, ion chamber was moved from the center axis in the field to distance of 14 cm from the outer edge of the applicator, and radiation dose was read with using the PTW-MEPHYSTO software (version 2.1). The above experiment was repeated with rotational clockwise gantry angle of 25° and 10 MeV electron beam. This experiment was repeated for 15 cm × 15 cm applicator and 15 MeV electron beam.
Figure 3: A schematic view of the setup employed for evaluation of the impact of beam angle on radiation leakage from the applicator body for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

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In this part of experiment, impact of beam obliquity was evaluated for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator. The 15 cm × 15 cm applicator, since the 15 cm × 15 cm applicator has more clinical applications than other applicators, and 6 and 12 MeV electron beams and semiflex ion chamber were used. In this section, a similar setup to that used for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator, which is illustrated in [Figure 1], was applied in this study; the peripheral dose from the field's edge was measured up to distance of 14 cm from the outer edge of the applicator with two gantry angles of 0° and 25°.


 > Results Top


The measurement data in air on lateral direction for the Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator are presented in [Table 1]. The corresponding data on lateral direction for the Siemens Artiste linear accelerator are listed in [Table 2]. The data for evaluation of radiation leakage in air in vertical distance from the applicator's body of the bottom of edge at vertical direction for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator are presented [Table 3]. The radiation leakage in phantom based on dose profile for 10 and 15 MeV electron beams and 10 cm × 10 cm and 15 cm × 15 cm applicators is shown in [Figure 4]. The effect of beam obliquity on dose distribution and radiation leakage in phantom for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator is seen in [Figure 5]. The effect of oblique beam incidence on peripheral dose at 1 cm depth in water phantom is demonstrated in [Figure 6].
Table 1: Leakage (percentage relative to the maximum dose at central axis of beam) measured in air. A cylindrical ion chamber was used with 1 cm buildup cap at lateral distances of 2 and 4 cm from applicator's body for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

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Table 2: Leakage (percentage relative to the maximum dose at central axis of beam) measured in air. A cylindrical ion chamber was used with 1 cm buildup cap at lateral distances of 2 and 4 cm from applicator's body for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator with 12 MeV electron beam

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Table 3: Leakage (percentage relative to the maximum dose at central axis of applicator) measured in air. A cylindrical ion chamber was used with 1 cm buildup cap at vertical distances of 6, 15, 27, and 35 cm from the applicator's body of bottom of edge at vertical direction for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator with 15 MeV electron beam

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Figure 4: Relative dose versus distance from the central axis for 10 MeV electron beam and 10 cm × 10 cm applicator (a) 15 MeV electron beam and 10 cm × 10 cm applicator (b) 10 MeV electron beam and 15 cm × 15 cm applicator (c) 15 MeV electron beam and 15 cm × 15 cm applicator (d) The data were measured at 1 cm depth in water phantom for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

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Figure 5: Effect of beam obliquity on dose distribution. The data were measured at 1 cm depth in water phantom for 10 MeV electron beam and 10 cm × 10 cm applicator (a) 15 MeV electron beam and 10 cm × 10 cm applicator (b) 10 MeV electron beam and 15 cm × 15 cm applicator (c) 15 MeV electron beam and 15 cm × 15 cm applicator (d) At gantry angle of 25° for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator

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Figure 6: Dependence of radiation leakage on beam obliquity for 15 cm × 15 cm applicator for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator. For at 6 MeV electron beam and angle of 25° (a); and 12 MeV and angle of 25° (b)

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A comparison of radiation leakage for Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators at distances of 2 and 4 cm from the field's edge for 25 × 25 cm2 applicator and 12 MeV electron beam is presented in [Figure 7].
Figure 7: Comparison of radiation leakage for Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators at distances of 2 and 4 cm from the field's edge for 25 cm × 25 cm applicator and 12 MeV electron beam

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 > Discussion Top


In the present study, radiation leakage dose from field edge in electron mode for the Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators was studied. Radiation leakage at lateral direction and on vertical distance from the applicator's bottom of edge in air was evaluated. Then, impact of beam angle on radiation leakage in phantom was studied.

Radiation leakage in lateral direction from the field edge

Radiation leakage dose in lateral direction from field edge was obtained for two different applicators and three electron energies. The results of measurement data of radiation leakage are low in lateral direction from the field edge. Increasing the applicator size or having the energy levels of 10, 12, or 15 MeV, this low leakage is reduced. For example, the leakage has formerly been reported to be 0.84% relative to the maximum dose at central axis of field for 15 cm × 15 cm applicator at distance of 4 cm from the applicator's outer edge in 12 MeV electron beam. However, the leakage as obtained in the measurement is reported as 0.78% relative to the maximum dose at central axis of field for 25 cm × 25 cm applicator. This decrease in the leakage has been neglected. This means that increasing the applicator size does not have considerable effect on leakage dose. It is concluded from the measurement data of radiation dose in lateral direction from the applicator that by increasing energy and applicator size, the radiation leakage increases. Therefore, it is reasoned out that one must be cautious while treating with the high-energy electrons. There is a leakage variation in low- and high-electron energies at distances from the axis. Accordingly, whatever the electron energy is, the amount of dispersion increases and as a result the radiation leakage increases.[9] The aforementioned experiments were repeated for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator with two different applicators and one type energy. The results of the measurement data of radiation dose on lateral direction from the applicator's body show that the leakage is low, but this low leakage is reduced with increase in applicator size and electron energy.

In comparison of radiation leakage dose of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators, the results indicate that the amount leakage on lateral direction from the applicator's body for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator is less than the Siemens Artiste linear accelerator. For example, in 12 MeV electron beam and 25 cm × 25 cm applicator for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator at distance of 2 cm from the outer edge of the applicator's body, the leakage is reported to be 0.78% relative to the maximum dose at central axis of the applicator. For Siemens Artiste linear accelerator, the radiation leakage is reported to be 1.57% relative, to the maximum dose at central axis of the beam.

In the study reported by Key and Purdy,[10] radiation leakage from field edge in lateral direction was measured with thermos-luminescent dosimeter chips for 10 cm × 10 cm and 25 cm × 25 cm applicators with 6, 9, 12, and 20 MeV electron beams. The amount of radiation leakage was reported to range from 5% to 8.5%, relative to the maximum dose at central axis of the beam. It was expected that with keeping out from field edge body, the leakage is decreased, but it did not occur. For example, the leakage was reported to be 5.6% relative to the maximum dose at central axis for 25 cm × 25 cm applicator and 20 MeV electron beam at 14 cm distance from the central axis, but the leakage was reported to be 8.5% relative to the maximum dose on central axis at 22 cm distance from the central axis. In the present research, this effect can be observed for Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator, as well according to [Table 1].

In a study performed by Yeboah et al.,[7] the amount of radiation leakage decreased by providing shielding material. Percentage of the leakage through the shielding in the patient plane indicated that radiation leakage can be reduced to at least one-third of its original value by application of shielding with 4–10 mm thick piece of Xenolite-NL. The leakage measurement was performed in X direction (off-axis) as the amount of radiation dose was limited. In a study performed by Keys and Purdy,[10] the radiation leakage was measured in X and Y directions. The results show that the amounts of leakage in two directions are the same. Subsequently, in the present study, the leakage was not measured in the Y direction and is proposed to be measured in future studies.

Radiation leakage in vertical direction from the field edge

In this part of the study, the dose of radiation leakage in vertical distance from the bottom of the field edge in Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator was evaluated. In this evaluation, it is concluded from the measurement data that the radiation leakage is low and that whatever approaches the linear accelerator's head, the radiation leakage decreases unexpectedly. This is mainly because, as it is expected, by approaching the linear accelerator's head close to the radiation source, the leakage increases. The results of this section of experiment indicated a high safety of Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator's applicator since the amount of radiation leakage of Siemens Primus linear accelerator was almost zero. The radiation leakage dose is obtained through the total leakage and the radiation scattering. The leakage dose depends on the measurement position. Being closer to the linear accelerator's head, the radiation scattering decreases, and as a result, the amount of radiation leakage decreases as well.

Impact of beam angle on radiation leakage

The results of this section of experiments indicated that the amount radiation leakage is low because it is deduced for dose profiles for both gantry angles of 0° and 25° that the radiation leakage is low up to distance of 14 cm from the outer edge of the applicator's body. The radiation leakage at gantry angle equal to 25° is more than at gantry angle equal to 0°. Therefore, in treatment of patients, when gantry angle is changed from 0° to other angles, protection against radiation must be taken into account. In this research, angle equal to 25° was evaluated because this angle is clinically used more frequently, and in treatment of some patients, the gantry is adjusted to this angle.

This study was performed on 10 cm × 10 cm and 15 cm × 15 cm applicators and 10 and 15 MeV electron beams. Radiation leakage is reduced in a constant energy with growing up the applicator size in both gantry angles of 0° and 25°. Then, radiation leakage is increased at gantry angle equal to 0° for each applicator size with increase in energy. However, the radiation leakage is remained constant with change in gantry angle to 25° according to [Figure 3]. In a similar study reviewed by Yeboah et al.,[7] radiation leakage from field edge body with change in gantry angle was evaluated. Results showed that with change in gantry angle, the radiation leakage is increased, and with growing up energy from 9 to 18 MeV at angle of equal to 40°, the leakage was raised. On the other hand, from the dose profile which is demonstrated in [Figure 6], the change of dose leakage cannot be seen.

In review of the radiation leakage for Siemens Artiste linear accelerator, peripheral dose out of field was obtained with change in gantry angle. It is concluded from [Figure 6] that with 6 MeV electron beam, the amount of peripheral dose at gantry angle equal to 0° in field edge is 35% of the maximum dose at central axis of applicator, but with moving away to distance of 14 cm from the field's edge, the amount of peripheral dose is reduced. The trend in reduction or increasing of the peripheral dose outside the radiation field is not uniform. The reason for this irregularity in reduction of dose is zigzag interaction of electron sat low energy in collision with material in the beam's path. With change of gantry angle from 0 to 25° in 6 MeV electron beam, according [Figure 6], the amount of leakage dose is reduced at distance of 0 cm from the field edge from 29% to 24%. From field edge to distance of 3 cm, the amount of peripheral dose, in gantry with angle of 0°, is more than in 25°. However, from distances of 3 to 14 cm from the field edge, the amount of peripheral dose in gantry with angle equal to 25° is more than with 0°. In the 12 MeV electron beam, radiation leakage in both gantries with angles of 0° and 25° is more than in the 6 MeV electron beam, and the same changes of leakage dose are observed in the 12 MeV electron beam similar to in the 6 MeV electron beam.

Since in the present study there was a limitation on total irradiated monitor unit or radiation dose, it is recommended that the radiation leakage for all applicators in different sizes be investigated for different angles and energies for in air and in phantom in future studies.


 > Conclusion Top


Based on the results of this study, the radiation leakage from the applicator's body for Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators is low. However, in comparison of Siemens Primus Plus and Siemens Artiste linear accelerators, radiation leakage of Siemens Artiste linear accelerator is more than the Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator. In the evaluation of radiation leakage in vertical distance from the applicator's body of the bottom of edge at vertical direction, the leakage is expected to be high. However, in distances closer to the linear accelerator's head, the leakage decreases. As previously discussed, the radiation leakage dose is obtained through the total leakage and the radiation scattering and leakage dose depends on the measurement position. This indicates high level of protection of Siemens Primus Plus linear accelerator's head against radiation leakage. The study of effect of gantry angle on radiation leakage from field edge, based on the dose profiles obtained, showed that in treatment with high energy electrons with oblique beam, patient protection should be considered.

Acknowledgment

The authors are grateful to Ferdowsi University of Mashhad for financial support of this work. This article is based on a M. Sc. thesis of Ms. Motahareh Karbaf.

Financial support and sponsorship

This study was financially supported by Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
 > References Top

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Olsson ML. Monte Carlo simulations of the Elekta SLi Plus Electron Applicator System-a Base for a New Applicator Design to Reduce Radiation Leakage. Ph. D. Thesis in Physics, Lund University; 2003. Available from: https://www.lup.lub.lu.se/search/publication/2156926. [Last accessed on 2016 Aug 20].  Back to cited text no. 6
    
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Yeboah C, Karotki A, Hunt D, Holly R. Quantification and reduction of peripheral dose from leakage radiation on siemens primus accelerators in electron therapy mode. J Appl Clin Med Phys 2010;11:3105.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
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Alabdoaburas MM, Mege JP, Chavaudra J, Bezin JV, Veres A, de Vathaire F, et al. Experimental assessment of out-of-field dose components in high energy electron beams used in external beam radiotherapy. J Appl Clin Med Phys 2015;16:435-448.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5], [Figure 6], [Figure 7]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3]



 

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