egs-brachy is a versatile and fast Monte Carlo (MC) code for brachytherapy applications. It is based on the EGSnrc code system, enabling simulation of photons and electrons. Complex geometries are modelled using the EGSnrc C++ class library and egs-brachy includes a library of geometry models for many brachytherapy sources, in addition to eye plaques and applicators. Several simulation efficiency enhancing features are implemented in the code. egs-brachy is benchmarked by comparing TG-43 source parameters of three source models to previously published values. 3D dose distributions calculated with egs-brachy are also compared to ones obtained with the BrachyDose code. Well-defined simulations are used to characterize the effectiveness of many efficiency improving techniques, both as an indication of the usefulness of each technique and to find optimal strategies. Efficiencies and calculation times are characterized through single source simulations and simulations of idealized and typical treatments using various efficiency improving techniques. In general, egs-brachy shows agreement within uncertainties with previously published TG-43 source parameter values. 3D dose distributions from egs-brachy and BrachyDose agree at the sub-percent level. Efficiencies vary with radionuclide and source type, number of sources, phantom media, and voxel size. The combined effects of efficiency-improving techniques in egs-brachy lead to short calculation times: simulations approximating prostate and breast permanent implant (both with (2 mm)3 voxels) and eye plaque (with (1 mm)3 voxels) treatments take between 13 and 39 s, on a single 2.5 GHz Intel Xeon E5-2680 v3 processor core, to achieve 2% average statistical uncertainty on doses within the PTV. egs-brachy will be released as free and open source software to the research community.

Additional Metadata
Keywords brachytherapy, dosimetry, egs-brachy, EGSnrc, Monte Carlo, variance reduction techniques
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/61/23/8214
Journal Physics in Medicine and Biology
Citation
Chamberland, M.J.P. (Marc J.P.), Taylor, R.E.P. (Randle E.P.), Rogers, D.W.O, & Thomson, R. (2016). Egs-brachy: A versatile and fast Monte Carlo code for brachytherapy. Physics in Medicine and Biology, 61(23), 8214–8231. doi:10.1088/0031-9155/61/23/8214