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Project Leader

Carl Ross
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Fax: 613-952-9865

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BEAMnrc is a specialized user code that makes use of EGSnrc for simulating the treatment heads on linear accelerators used for cancer therapy.

A prerequisite for the accurate simulation of radiation transport is detailed knowledge of the radiation source. The most common source of radiation for cancer therapy is a linear accelerator which uses a complicated series of targets, filters and collimators to produce a suitable beam. The BEAMnrc code was specifically developed for the accurate simulation of the treatment head of a clinical accelerator.

We implemented a new variance reduction technique called directional bremsstrahlung splitting (DBS), in the BEAMnrc software package. DBS dramatically increases the efficiency of photon beam treatment head simulations with BEAMnrc (up to a factor of 8 compared to the most efficient simulation technique previously available), thus permitting more detailed studies of the output of medical linear accelerators.

Originally, the BEAMnrc code would be run first to generate a phase space file which fully specified the characteristics of a large number of particles emerging from the treatment head. With recent improvements, the code is fast enough that it can be used as a shared library with other codes such as EGSnrc, generating new particles as requested, thus avoiding the intermediate step of saving a phase space file.

BEAMnrc Distribution Site

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