Purpose: To investigate several aspects of the Chen and Nath spectroscopic method of determining the dose rate constants of 125I and 103Pd seeds [Z. Chen and R. Nath, Phys. Med. Biol. 55, 6089-6104 (2010)]10.1088/0031-9155/55/20/004 including the accuracy of using a line or dual-point source approximation as done in their method, and the accuracy of ignoring the effects of the scattered photons in the spectra. Additionally, the authors investigate the accuracy of the literature's many different spectra for bare, i.e., unencapsulated 125I and 103Pd sources. Methods: Spectra generated by 14 125I and 6 103Pd seeds were calculated in vacuo at 10 cm from the source in a 2.7 × 2.7 × 0.05 cm3 voxel using the EGSnrc BrachyDose Monte Carlo code. Calculated spectra used the initial photon spectra recommended by AAPM's TG-43U1 and NCRP (National Council of Radiation Protection and Measurements) Report 58 for the 125I seeds, or TG-43U1 and NNDC(2000) (National Nuclear Data Center, 2000) for 103Pd seeds. The emitted spectra were treated as coming from a line or dual-point source in a Monte Carlo simulation to calculate the dose rate constant. The TG-43U1 definition of the dose rate constant was used. These calculations were performed using the full spectrum including scattered photons or using only the main peaks in the spectrum as done experimentally. Statistical uncertainties on the air kerma/history and the dose rate/history were ≤0.2%. The dose rate constants were also calculated using Monte Carlo simulations of the full seed model. Results: The ratio of the intensity of the 31 keV line relative to that of the main peak in 125I spectra is, on average, 6.8% higher when calculated with the NCRP Report 58 initial spectrum vs that calculated with TG-43U1 initial spectrum. The 103Pd spectra exhibit an average 6.2% decrease in the 22.9 keV line relative to the main peak when calculated with the TG-43U1 rather than the NNDC(2000) initial spectrum. The measured values from three different investigations are in much better agreement with the calculations using the NCRP Report 58 and NNDC(2000) initial spectra with average discrepancies of 0.9% and 1.7% for the 125I and 103Pd seeds, respectively. However, there are no differences in the calculated TG-43U1 brachytherapy parameters using either initial spectrum in both cases. Similarly, there were no differences outside the statistical uncertainties of 0.1% or 0.2%, in the average energy, air kerma/history, dose rate/history, and dose rate constant when calculated using either the full photon spectrum or the main-peaks-only spectrum. Conclusions: Our calculated dose rate constants based on using the calculated on-axis spectrum and a line or dual-point source model are in excellent agreement (0.5% on average) with the values of Chen and Nath, verifying the accuracy of their more approximate method of going from the spectrum to the dose rate constant. However, the dose rate constants based on full seed models differ by between +4.6% and -1.5% from those based on the line or dual-point source approximations. These results suggest that the main value of spectroscopic measurements is to verify full Monte Carlo models of the seeds by comparison to the calculated spectra.

Additional Metadata
Keywords brachytherapy, dose rate constant, EGSnrc, initial decay spectrum, Monte Carlo
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.4770284
Journal Medical Physics
Rodriguez, M., & Rogers, D.W.O. (2013). On determining dose rate constants spectroscopically. Medical Physics, 40(1). doi:10.1118/1.4770284