Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of Applied Clinical Medical Physics





DOI of Original Publication



Originally published at

Funded in part by the VCU Libraries Open Access Publishing Fund.

Date of Submission

February 2017


As flattening filter-free (FFF) photon beams become readily available for treatment delivery in techniques such as SBRT, thorough investigation of skin dose from FFF photon beams is necessary under clinically relevant conditions. Using a parallel-plate PTW Markus chamber placed in a custom water-equivalent phantom, surface-dose measurements were taken at 2 × 2, 3 × 3, 4 × 4, 6 × 6, 8 × 8, 10 × 10, 20 × 20, and 30 × 30 cm2 field sizes, at 80, 90, and 100 cm source-to-surface distances (SSDs), and with fields defined by jaws and multileaf collimator (MLC) using multiple beam energies (6X, 6XFFF, 10X, and 10XFFF). The same set of measurements was repeated with the chamber at a reference depth of 10 cm. Each surface measurement was normalized by its corresponding reference depth measurement for analysis. The FFF surface doses at 100 cm SSD were higher than flattened surface doses by 45% at 2 × 2 cm2 to 13% at 20 × 20 cm2 for 6 MV energy. These surface dose differences varied to a greater degree as energy increased, ranging from +63% at 2 × 2 cm2 to -2% at 20 × 20 cm2 for 10 MV. At small field sizes, higher energy increased FFF surface dose relative to flattened surface dose; while at larger field sizes, relative FFF surface dose was higher for lower energies. At both energies investigated, decreasing SSD caused a decrease in the ratios of FFF-to-flattened surface dose. Variability with SSD of FFF-to flattened surface dose differences increased with field size and ranged from 0% to 6%. The field size at which FFF and flattened beams gave the same skin dose increased with decreasing beam energy. Surface dose was higher with MLC fields compared to jaw fields under most conditions, with the difference reaching its maximum at a field size between 4 × 4 cm2 and 6 × 6 cm2 for a given energy and SSD. This study conveyed the magnitude of surface dose in a clinically meaningful manner by reporting results normalized to 10 cm depth dose instead of depth of dose maximum.


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VCU Radiation Oncology Publications