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Stathakis S , Li JS , Paskalev K , Yang J , Wang L , Ma CM
Ultra-thin TLDs for skin dose determination in high energy photon beams
Phys Med Biol. 2006 Jul 21;51(14) :3549-67
PMID: 16825748   
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Estimation of surface dose is very important for patients undergoing radiation therapy. In this work we investigate the dose at the surface of a water phantom and at a depth of 0.007 cm, the practical reference depth for skin as recommended by ICRP and ICRU, with ultra-thin TLDs and Monte Carlo calculations. The calculations and measurements were carried out for fields ranging from 5 x 5 cm(2) to 20 x 20 cm(2) for 6 MV, 10 MV and 18 MV photon beams. The variation of the surface dose with angle of incidence and field size was investigated. Also, the exit dose was computed and measured for the same fields and angles of incidence. The dose at the ICRU reference depth was computed. Good agreement (+/-5%) was achieved between measurements and calculations. The surface dose at the entrance increased with the angle of incidence and/or the field size. The exit dose decreased with the angle of incidence but it increased with field size. The dose at the surface of the patient is mostly dependent on the beam energy, modality and beam obliquity rather than the field size and field separation. By correlating TLD measurements with Monte Carlo calculations, we were able to predict the dose at the skin surface with good accuracy. Knowing the dose received at the surface of the patient can lead to prediction of skin reactions helping with the design of new treatment techniques and alternative dose fractionation schemes.