BACKGROUND: Nowadays, radiotherapy has an important role in the treatment of cancer. The use of medical linacs in radiotherapy can have risks for patients. When radiotherapy is performed with photons with energies higher than 8 MeV, due to the photonuclear reaction of photons with various components in the head of the accelerator, the neutron is produced. This imposes an unwanted neutron dose to the patient. The purpose of this study is evaluation and comparison of fast-neutron contamination with increasing of field size and depth for Siemens Primus (15 MV), Siemens Primus Plus (18 MV), and Siemens Artiste (15 MV) linacs.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Neutron dosimetry was carried out with CR-39 films, as a fast-neutron dosimeter, using chemical etching technique. Measurements were performed in depths of 0.5, 2, 3, and 4 cm and source-to-surface distance of 100 cm. Field sizes were 10 cm × 10 cm and 30 cm × 30 cm.
RESULTS: The results of measurements showed that, with increasing depth, equivalent dose is reduced. In addition, fast-neutron equivalent dose decreases with increasing the field size.
CONCLUSION: Siemens Primus Plus had the highest neutron contamination in comparison with the two other linacs. Deeper tissues receive less fast-neutron doses. In radiation therapy with high-energy photon beams, neutron dose delivered to the patients should be taking into account.