PRECISION AND RELIABILITY: CALIBRATION COEFFICIENTS AND LONG-TERM STABILITY ANALYSIS OF RADIOTHERAPY DOSIMETERS CALIBRATED BY SSDL, NUKLEAR MALAYSIA
Keywords:Absorbed dose to water, calibration coefficient, long term stability, radiotherapy dosimeter, SSDL
One of the main objectives of the Secondary Standard Dosimetry Laboratory (SSDL) in radiotherapy dosimetry is verifying the radiation dose provided to patients is accurate and meets globally recognised standards. Properly calibrating the therapy dosimeters used in the radiotherapy centres is the first step the SSDL must take to ensure this goal is attained. This study analyses the calibration coefficients and long-term stability of therapy dosimeters calibrated by Nuklear Malaysia's SSDL. The dosimeters were calibrated in the absorbed dose to water using 60Co gamma rays, following the procedure described in IAEA TRS No. 398 and IAEA TRS No. 469. Two hundred therapy dosimeters from 33 radiotherapy centres were evaluated for the percentage deviation of the calibration coefficients provided by the SSDL and the manufacturer. Furthermore, the variation in calibration coefficient and the long-term stability of therapy dosimeters from 2011 to 2021 were examined. The percentage deviation of calibration coefficients between the SSDL and manufacturers found that most (82%) user dosimeters were within the IAEA's acceptance limit of ± 1.5%. Overall, the stability of calibration coefficient values ranged between 33.25% and -27.24%, with an average of 0.03%. As predicted, only 15% of the therapy dosimeters fulfill the criteria for long-term stability of 0.5%. In conclusion, proper maintenance and annual calibration of therapy dosimeters are very important to improve accuracy, minimise measurement uncertainty, and thus reduce the likelihood of errors in radiotherapy dosimetry.
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