Some serious radiation accidents have occurred around the world during the delivery of radiotherapy treatment. The regrettable incident in Panama clearly indicated the need for independent monitor unit (MU) verification. Indeed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), after investigating the incident, made specific recommendations for radiotherapy centres which included an independent monitor unit check for all treatments. Independent monitor unit verification is practiced in many radiotherapy centres in developed countries around the world. It is mandatory in USA but not yet in Australia. This paper describes development of an independent MU program, concentrating on the implementation of the Enhanced Dynamic Wedge (EDW) component. The difficult case of non centre of field (COF) calculation points under the EDW was studied in some detail. Results of a survey of Australasian centres regarding the use of independent MU check systems is also presented. The system was developed with reference to MU calculations made by Pinnacle 3D Radiotherapy Treatment Planning (RTP) system (ADAC - Philips) for 4MV, 6MV and 18MV X-ray beams used at the Newcastle Mater Misericordiae Hospital (NMMH) in the clinical environment. A small systematic error was detected in the equation used for the EDW calculations. Results indicate that COF equations may be used in the non COF situation with similar accuracy to that achieved with profile corrected methods. Further collaborative work with other centres is planned to extend these findings.
Australasian Physical & Engineering Sciences in Medicine Vol. 28, no. 1, p. 26-36