Quality control for linear accelerators

It has been over 20 years since NCS published its reports 8 and 9 on linear accelerator QC. In the two decades that have passed since both the linac itself and the demands imposed on it have undergone considerable changes. Two recently published NCS reports already cover QC recommendations specific for the use of IMRT (report 22) and VMAT techniques (report 23).

This report aims to provide a comprehensive set of guidelines for the general QC for the current generation of linacs used in a modern clinical setting. In this report we aim to provide more than  a bare list of items to be checked with recommendations for  tolerances and check frequencies.  We intend this report to be a handbook with suggestions on how and why certain tests should be performed. Also we would like to the report to provide guidance in setting up a QA program, and in the use of statistical process control techniques .

Although the report aims primarily at providing QC guidelines for conventional C-arm linacs also some tests may be included that can be applied for linac systems that lack collimator rotation, such as the MR linac systems.

The first meeting of this committee was 30 January 2017.

Topics to be covered

  • Statistical process control
  • Beam QC including Flattening Filter Free beams
  • Couch QC (4 and 6 DOF)
  • Portal imager QC
  • Isocenter QC
  • Lasers
  • QC of QC equipment

The section on Flattening Filter Free beams may be the subject of a pre-publication, ahead of the full report.

Members of this NCS subcommittee

  • Bas Gobets (LUMC/RdG, chair, s.gobets-at-lumc.nl)
  • Elfried Kok (LUMC/RdG)
  • Thijs Perik (AVL, secretary)
  • Hendrik Piersma (MST, secretary)
  • Jan van Santvoort (HMC)
  • Theo van Soest (UMCU)
  • Richard Tiggelaar (AMC)
  • Frank de Weerd (ZRTI)
  • Frits Wittkämper (AVL, representative NCS board)
  • Jochem Wolthaus (UMCU)