Acceptance Testing, Commissioning, and Quality Assurance of Linear Accelerators

Authored by: Michael Altman , Eric E. Klein

Clinical 3D Dosimetry in Modern Radiation Therapy

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781482252217
eBook ISBN: 9781315118826
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9781315118826-15

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Abstract

Linear accelerators (linacs) are one of the most common machines in the delivery of radiation therapy. Following installation, proper preparation of these machines for clinical use is pivotal, as this will ensure the ability to treat patients with the utmost safety, accuracy, and precision. Furthermore, establishing well-known values of accelerator and beam characteristics, including depth dose and profile information, is imperative to delivering a planned dose distribution accurately. This process of evaluation and beam characterization is composed of two parts: acceptance testing and commissioning. After this is completed, linacs are regularly evaluated to establish that the machine is correctly functioning and that it, among other things, is still delivering dose within some tolerance level of the characterization determined during acceptance testing and commissioning. This regular quality assurance (QA) process comprises of different tests and/or levels of rigor depending on several factors including the frequency with which a given test is performed: annually, monthly, daily, and so on.

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