Validation of a Monte Carlo dose calculation tool for radiotherapy treatment planning

J. S. Li, T. Pawlicki, J. Deng, S. B. Jiang, E. Mok, C. M. Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


A new EGS4/PRESTA Monte Carlo user code, MCDOSE, has been developed as a routine dose calculation tool for radiotherapy treatment planning. It is suitable for both conventional and intensity modulated radiation therapy. Two important features of MCDOSE are the inclusion of beam modifiers in the patient simulation and the implementation of several variance reduction techniques. Before this tool can be used reliably for clinical dose calculation, it must be properly validated. The validation for beam modifiers has been performed by comparing the dose distributions calculated by MCDOSE and the well-benchmarked EGS4 user codes BEAM and DOSXYZ. Various beam modifiers were simulated. Good agreement in the dose distributions was observed. The differences in electron cutout factors between the results of MCDOSE and measurements were within 2%. The accuracy of MCDOSE with various variance reduction techniques was tested by comparing the dose distributions in different inhomogeneous phantoms with those calculated by DOSXYZ without variance reduction. The agreement was within 1.0%. Our results demonstrate that MCDOSE is accurate and efficient for routine dose calculation in radiotherapy treatment planning, with or without beam modifiers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2969-2985
Number of pages17
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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