PRIMO: A graphical environment for the Monte Carlo simulation of Varian and Elekta linacs
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Background: The accurate Monte Carlo simulation of a linac requires a detailed description of its geometry and the application of elaborate variance-reduction techniques for radiation transport. Both tasks entail a substantial coding effort and demand advanced knowledge of the intricacies of the Monte Carlo system being used. Methods: PRIMO, a new Monte Carlo system that allows the effortless simulation of most Varian and Elekta linacs, including their multileaf collimators and electron applicators, is introduced. PRIMO combines (1) accurate physics from the PENELOPE code, (2) dedicated variance-reduction techniques that significantly reduce the computation time, and (3) a user-friendly graphical interface with tools for the analysis of the generated data. PRIMO can tally dose distributions in phantoms and computerized tomographies, handle phase-space files in IAEA format, and import structures (planning target volumes, organs at risk) in the DICOM RT-STRUCT standard. Results: A prostate treatment, conformed with a high definition Millenium multileaf collimator (MLC 120HD) from a Varian Clinac 2100 C/D, is presented as an example. The computation of the dose distribution in 1.86 × 3.00 × 1.86 mm3 voxels with an average 2 % standard statistical uncertainty, performed on an eight-core Intel Xeon at 2.67 GHz, took 1.8 h - excluding the patient-independent part of the linac, which required 3.8 h but it is simulated only once. Conclusion: PRIMO is a self-contained user-friendly system that facilitates the Monte Carlo simulation of dose distributions produced by most currently available linacs. This opens the door for routine use of Monte Carlo in clinical research and quality assurance purposes. It is free software that can be downloaded from http://www.primoproject.net.
CitationRodriguez, M.; Sempau, J.; Brualla, L. PRIMO: A graphical environment for the Monte Carlo simulation of Varian and Elekta linacs. "Strahlentherapie und onkologie", Octubre 2013, vol. 189, núm. 10, p. 881-886.