Quality control of sealded beta sources in brachytherapy

At present, several types and subtypes of beta sources are in use in radiotherapy institutes in the Netherlands and Belgium. There is large variation in quality control - and more specifically in dosimetry - of these sources. In this report recommendations are presented on detectors and measurement procedures for the dosimetry of beta sources. In addition, recommendations are given on the quality control procedures for beta sources in general, as well as action levels for deviations in source strength and uniformity.

The recommendations on suitable detectors and measurement procedures are based on on-site measurements at 21 radiotherapy institutes in the Netherlands and Belgium. These experiments were performed with well-type ionization chambers, a plastic scintillator, a plane-parallel ionization chamber, radiochromic film and a diode. Based on this experience, parameters are proposed for the evaluation of source strength, non-uniformity and - in the case of ophthalmic sources - asymmetry.

Recommendations are presented for quality control of beta sources. On one hand, recommendations are given on the dosimetric parameters that should be determined and on the maximum deviations. On the other hand recommendations are given on, for example, the accuracy of source positioning, frequency of dosimetry and radiation safety aspects, such as measurements of leakage radiation.

With these recommendations it is expected that standardization of dosimetry and quality control of beta sources in the Netherlands and Belgium will improve and that the chance of treatment failure or emergency situations will reduce. With the availability of a primary standard for beta dosimetry at the Netherlands Measurements institute (NMi), physicists will be able to perform absolute measurements on beta sources using a calibrated detector.

https://doi.org/10.25030/ncs-014

The NCS frequently publishes reports for fellow professionals in which recommendations are given for various quality control procedures or otherwise. The members of the NCS board and the members of the concerning subcommittee do not claim any authority exceeding that of their professional expertise. Responsibility on how the NCS recommendations are implemented lies with the user, taking into account the practice in his/her institution.

NCS Reports See all files

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NCS 20, April 2012

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Code of Practice for the Absorbed Dose Determination in High Energy Photon and Electron Beams

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Monte Carlo Treatment Planning, An Introduction

NCS 16, June 2006

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Quality assurance of 3-D treatment planning systems for external photon and electron beams

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Quality control of sealded beta sources in brachytherapy

NCS 14, August 2004

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NCS 13 November 2000

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Determination and use of scatter correction factors of megavoltage photon beams

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No revision required

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Quality Control (QC) of Simulators and CT scanners and some basic QC methods for Treatment Planning

NCS 11, September 1997, revision before 2020

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Dosimetry of low and medium energy X-rays

NCS 10, July 1997

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Quality control of medical linear accelerators: current practice and minimum requirements

NCS 9, August 1996, revision before 2020

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Kwaliteitscontrole van Medische Lineaire Versnellers, methoden voor kwaliteitscontrole

NCS 8, December 1995 (in Dutch), revision before 2020

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Dosimetric aspects of Mammography

NCS 6, March 1993

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Code of practice for the dosimetry of high-energy electron beams

NCS 5, December 1989

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Proceedings of the Symposium on Thermoluminescence Dosimetry

NCS 3, October 1988

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Code of practice for the dosimetry of high-energy photon beams

NCS 2, December 1986

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Radiation dosimetry activities in the Netherlands

NCS 1, July 1986

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