Publications by authors named "Tony H Aalbers"

2 Publications

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Recommendations on detectors and quality control procedures for brachytherapy beta sources.

Radiother Oncol 2006 Feb 2;78(2):223-9. Epub 2006 Feb 2.

Department of Radiotherapy, Catharina Hospital, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.

Background And Purpose: It is estimated that one third of the institutes applying clinical beta sources does not perform independent dosimetry. The Netherlands commission on radiation dosimetry (NCS) recently published recommended quality control procedures and detectors for the dosimetry of beta sources. The main issues of NCS Report 14 are summarized here.

Materials And Methods: A dosimetry survey was performed among 23 institutes in The Netherlands and Belgium. Well ionization chambers, a plastic scintillator, plane-parallel ionization chamber, diode and radiochromic film were used for determination of source strength (dose rate at reference distance) and uniformity of intravascular and ophthalmic sources. The source strength of multiple sources of each type was measured and compared with the source strength specified by the manufacturer.

Results: The standard deviation of the difference between measured and specified source strength was mostly about 3%, but varied between 0.8 and 15.8% depending on factors such as source type, detector, phantom and manufacturers calibration. The average non-uniformity was about 7% for intravascular sources and 20% for ophthalmic sources. It is estimated that the total relative standard uncertainty can be kept below +/-4% (1 sigma) with all detectors tested. Maximum deviations in source strength of 10% and a non-uniformity below 10% (intravascular) and 30% (ophthalmic) are recommended.

Conclusions: Dosimetric and non-dosimetric quality control procedures on beta sources are recommended. They enable standardized measurements, including the determination of relative source strength and non-uniformity. Absolute calibrations depend on the future introduction of primary standards for clinical beta sources.
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February 2006

Quality control of brachytherapy equipment in the Netherlands and Belgium: current practice and minimum requirements.

Radiother Oncol 2002 Jan;62(1):95-102

Department of Medical Physics, Elkerliek Hospital, P.O. Box 98, 5700 AB Helmond, The Netherlands.

Background And Purpose: Brachytherapy is applied in 39 radiotherapy institutions in The Netherlands and Belgium. Each institution has its own quality control (QC) programme to ensure safe and accurate dose delivery to the patient. The main goal of this work is to gain insight into the current practice of QC of brachytherapy in The Netherlands and Belgium and to reduce possible variations in test frequencies and tolerances by formulating a set of minimum QC-requirements.

Materials And Methods: An extensive questionnaire about QC of brachytherapy was distributed to and completed by the 39 radiotherapy institutions. A separate smaller questionnaire was sent to nine institutions performing intracoronary brachytherapy. The questions were related to safety systems, physical irradiation parameters and total time spent on QC. The results of the questionnaires were compared with recommendations given in international brachytherapy QC reports.

Results: The answers to the questionnaires showed large variations in test frequencies and test methods. Furthermore, large variations in time spent on QC exist, which is mainly due to differences in QC-philosophy and differences in the available resources.

Conclusions: Based on the results of the questionnaires and the comparison with the international recommendations, a set of minimum requirements for QC of brachytherapy has been formulated. These guidelines will be implemented in the radiotherapy institutions in The Netherlands and Belgium.
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January 2002