New cancer treatments need new calibration calculations to ensure accuracy
Half of the 3.4 million Europeans diagnosed with cancer every year are treated with ionizing radiation. To ensure safety, radiation beams need to be calibrated. Correcting for differences between beam quality at the calibration laboratory and the hospital, a factor called kQ,Q0, is an important aspect of calibration. The International Atomic Energy Agency’s protocol TRS-398, which governs radiotherapy dosimetry, uses kQ,Q0 values calculated in the 1990s. A major revision is underway to reflect advances in technology, new primary standards, and improved metrology and modelling.
This project will measure kQ,Q0 values using the latest ionization radiation technologies ensuring traceability to the SI, and also calculate kQ,Q0 using Monte Carlo modelling. The datasets will be compared to understand potential differences between measured and computed values. Validated values will be incorporated in the upcoming TRS-398 revision. Through the revised protocol, European hospitals will have reliable correction factors for the latest ionizing radiation technologies, ensuring beams which treat 1.7 million citizens annually are accurately calibrated.