Electron beam modeling and commissioning for Monte Carlo treatment planning

Steve B. Jiang, Ajay Kapur, C. M. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


A hybrid approach for commissioning electron beam Monte Carlo treatment planning systems has been studied. The approach is based on the assumption that accelerators of the same type have very similar electron beam characteristics arid the major difference comes from the on-site tuning of the electron incident energy at the exit window. For one type of accelerator, a reference machine can be selected and simulated with the Monte Carlo method. A multiple source model can be built on the full Monte Carlo simulation of the reference beam. When commissioning electron beams from other accelerators of the same type, the energy spectra in the source model are tuned to match the measured dose distributions. A Varian Clinac 2100C accelerator was chosen as the reference machine and a four-source beam model was established based on the Monte Carlo simulations. This simplified beam model can be used to generate Monte Carlo dose distributions accurately (within 2%/2 mm compared to those calculated with full phase space data) for electron beams from the reference machine with various nominal energies, applicator sizes, and SSDs. Three electron beams were commissioned by adjusting the energy spectra in the source model. The dose distributions calculated with the adjusted source model were compared with the dose distributions calculated using the phase space data for these beams. The agreement is within 1% in most of cases and 2% in all situations. This preliminary study has shown the capability of the commissioning approach for handling large variation in the electron incident energy. The possibility of making the approach more versatile is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)180-191
Number of pages12
JournalMedical physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000


  • Beam commissioning
  • Electron beam
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Source modeling
  • Treatment planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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