In This Chapter

Linear Accelerators

Authored by: Les Loverock

Handbook of Radiotherapy Physics

Print publication date:  June  2007
Online publication date:  June  2007

Print ISBN: 9780750308601
eBook ISBN: 9781420012026
Adobe ISBN:


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Kilovoltage x-ray beams are useful for the treatment of skin lesions and shallow tumours, but for deep-seated tumours, the dose that can be delivered is limited by the high skin dose. Megavoltage beams are not only more penetrating, but they have the major benefit that the maximum dose is delivered below the skin surface (see Section 22.3.1). In addition, because the principal interaction with tissue is through the Compton effect, the locally absorbed dose is not dependent on the atomic number of the tissue, and the dose to bone is not enhanced.

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