A simplified model of the source channel of the Leksell GammaKnife tested with PENELOPE

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Al-Dweri, Feras M. O. ; Lallena, Antonio M. ; Vilches, Manuel (2004)

Monte Carlo simulations using the code PENELOPE have been performed to test a simplified model of the source channel geometry of the Leksell GammaKnife$^{\circledR}$. The characteristics of the radiation passing through the treatment helmets are analysed in detail. We have found that only primary particles emitted from the source with polar angles smaller than 3$^{\rm o}$ with respect to the beam axis are relevant for the dosimetry of the Gamma Knife. The photons trajectories reaching the output helmet collimators at $(x,y,z=236 {\rm mm})$, show strong correlations between $\rho=(x^2+y^2)^{1/2}$ and their polar angle $\theta$, on one side, and between $\tan^{-1}(y/x)$ and their azimuthal angle $\phi$, on the other. This enables us to propose a simplified model which treats the full source channel as a mathematical collimator. This simplified model produces doses in excellent agreement with those found for the full geometry. In the region of maximal dose, the relative differences between both calculations are within 3%, for the 18 and 14 mm helmets, and 10%, for the 8 and 4 mm ones. Besides, the simplified model permits a strong reduction (larger than a factor 15) in the computational time.
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