Module 3 External Beam Radiation Dosimetry


To develop the skills, knowledge and expertise required of a radiation oncology medical physicist to work competently and independently in the area of radiation dosimetry for external beam therapy.

Competencies to be acquired

3.1 Use ionisation chambers for relative and absolute determination of absorbed dose to water in radiotherapy beams.

3.2 Perform dose measurements in radiotherapy beams using a range of dosimeters.

3.3 Perform absolute dose determination in external beam radiotherapy according to established protocols.

3.4 Perform relative dose measurements in external beam radiotherapy and relate to absolute dose.

3.5 Perform and analyse dose verification measurements in a phantom to ascertain accuracy and acceptability of a treatment plan.

3.6 Monitor the accuracy of dose planned and delivered to individual patients and patient groups. This applies in standard treatment techniques and in special or new treatment techniques.

3.7 Manage a QA programme for all dosimetry equipment.

Expected Time Commitment

15% - 20% of the entire programme

Reference Syllabus

  • Podgorsak E B (Ed). Radiation Oncology Physics: A Handbook for Teachers and Students, IAEA, Vienna, 2005, Chapters 2, 3, 6, 8, 9

Core References

  • IAEA Technical Report Series No. 398, Absorbed Dose Determination in External Beam Radiotherapy. An International Code of Practice for Dosimetry Based on Standards of Absorbed Dose to Water, Vienna, 2000.
  • ICRU 60 Fundamental Quantities and Units for Ionising Radiation, 1998.
  • International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement. Geneva, 1993.
  • The IPEMB Code of Practice for the determination of absorbed dose for x-rays below 300 kV generating potential, Phys. Med. Biol. 41: 2605-2625, 1996.
  • Addendum to the IPEMB Code of Practice for the determination of absorbed dose for x-rays below 300 kV generating potential, Phys. Med. Biol. 50: 2739-2748, 2005.
  • Van Dyk J. (Ed). The Modern Technology of Radiation Oncology. Medical Physics Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin, 1999.

Supplementary References

  • AAPM Report 87, Diode in Vivo Dosimetry for Patients Receiving External Beam Radiation Therapy (2005) Radiation Therapy Committee Task Group No. 62, 2005.
  • Attix F H. Introduction to Radiological Physics and Radiation Dosimetry, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1986.
  • IAEA Technical Report Series No. 277, Absorbed Dose Determination in Photon and Electron Beams: An International Code of Practice, 2nd edition, 1997.
  • IAEA Technical Report Series No. 381, The Use of Plane-parallel Chambers in High-energy Electron and Photon Beams: An International Code of Practice, 1997.
  • ICRU Report 44, Tissue Substitutes in Radiation Dosimetry and Measurement, 1989.
  • ICRU 64 Dosimetry of High-Energy Photon Beams Based on Standards of Absorbed Dose to Water, 2001.
  • Johns H E. and Cunningham J R. The Physics of Radiology, 4th Edition, Thomas, Springfield, 1983.
  • Khan F M. The Physics of Radiation Therapy, 3rd Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
  • Klevenhagen S C. Physics and Dosimetry of Therapy Electron Beams, Medical Physics Publishing Corporation, 1993.
  • Manual for Beam Data Acquisition System
  • Manuals supplied for all the electrometers and ionization chambers in the department
  • Manuals for relevant radiation dosimetry equipment
  • Metcalfe P, Kron T and Hoban P. The Physics of Radiotherapy Xrays and Electrons. Medical Physics Publishing, Madison, Wisconsin. 2007.
  • Williams J R and Thwaites D I (Eds). Radiotherapy Physics in Practice, 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press. 2000
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