FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Das IJ , Coia LR , Tabata T
Harvesting Backscatter Electrons for Radiation-Therapy
International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics. 1995 Oct 15;33(3) :695-703
PMID: ISI:A1995TA48300019   
Back to previous list
Purpose: An innovative technique is used to harvest backscatter electrons for the treatment of superficial small lesions of skin, oral cavity, and rectum where a significant dose gradient and maximum surface dose is desired. Methods and Materials: Backscatter electrons are harvested out of the primary electron beams from the linear accelerators. The design consists of a short cylindrical cone that fits snugly over a long cylindrical electron cone, The short cylindrical cone has a thick circular plate of high atomic number medium (Pb) attached to the distal end, and a lateral slit of variable length and width, The width of the slit could be closed as desired by rotating the two cones and the length can be increased by lowering the short cylindrical cone, Primary electrons strike the Pb plate perpendicularly and produce backscatter electrons that pass through the lateral slit for treatment, Using film and a parallel plate ion chamber, backscattered electron dose characteristics are studied. Results: The depth dose characteristic of the backscatter electron is very similar to that of the 0.2 mm Al half-value layer x-ray beam that is commonly used for the intracavitary and superficial lesions, The backscatter electron energy is nearly constant and effectively less than or equal to 1 MeV from the clinical megavoltage beams, The backscatter electron dose rate of 0.32- 0.8 Gy/min could be achieved from modern accelerators without any modification, The beam flatness is dependent on the slit size and the depth of treatment, but is satisfactory to treat small lesions. Conclusions: The measured data for backscatter electron energy, fluence, depth dose, flatness, dose rate, and absolute dose indicates that the harvested backscattered electrons are suitable for clinical use.