Response of Lithium Formate EPR Dosimeters at Photon Energies Relevant to Brachytherapy
After development of sensitive dosimeter materials Electron Paramagnetic Resonance EPR dosimetry has been successfully used also in radiation therapy. The intensity of the EPR-signal is a measure of the amount of free radicals created by ionizing radiation which is proportional to the absorbed dose in the dosimeter. Lithium formate monohydrate is a dosimeter material with 2-6 times higher sensitivity than alanine, a linear dose response over a wide dose range and mass-energy absorption properties similar to water. These properties make lithium formate promising for verification of absorbed doses around high dose rate brachytherapy sources where the dose gradient is steep and the photon energy distribution changing with distance from the source. Calibration of the dosimeters is performed in 60Co or MV photon beams where high dosimetric accuracy is feasible. The use in brachytherapy field relies on the assumption that the production of free radicals per mean absorbed dose in the dosimeter is similar at the lower photon energies present there. The aim of this work was to test that assumption.
The response of the dosimeters as a function of photon energy was determined by irradiations with four x-ray qualities in the range 100-250 kV and 137Cs, relative to the response when irradiated with 60Co, all photon beams with well-known air kerma rates at the Swedish Secondary Standards Dosimetry Laboratory. Monte Carlo simulations were used to convert air kerma free in air to mean absorbed dose to the dosimeter.
The measured response relative 60Co as a function of photon energy was below unity for all qualities. The maximum deviation from unity was 2.5% (100 kV, 135 kV) with a relative standard deviation of 1.5% (k = 1).
KeywordsHDR brachytherapy dosimeter EPR lithium formate energy response
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