Monte Carlo validation and optimisation of detector packaging for spectroscopic dosimetry for in vivo urethral dosimetry during low dose rate brachytherapy
The urethral mini-dosimeter, developed by the Centre for Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, uses spectroscopic dosimetry to provide real time point dose measurements along the urethra during low dose rate prostate brachytherapy. Spectroscopic dosimetry uses the measured spectrum of the treatment isotope to estimate the dose rate at the point of measurement, however, the silicon mini-detectors employed in the urethral mini-dosimeter require water proof encapsulation which must be capable of providing electromagnetic shielding without greatly increasing the size of the probe. The introduction of non-tissue equivalent materials within the encapsulation can change the spectrum of radiation incident on the detector, which may influence the application of spectroscopic dosimetry within the urethral dosimeter. The Monte Carlo code Geant4 was adopted to study the effect of encapsulation on the operation of the urethral mini-dosimeter, as well as to determine whether an appropriate thickness of aluminium shielding was possible for electromagnetic screening. The depth dose response and angular dependence of the urethral mini-dosimeter with three thicknesses of aluminium shielding (20, 50, 100 µm) was compared with the urethral mini-dosimeter without aluminium shielding. The aluminium shielding had the effect of increasing the depth dose response (up to 3 % within 30 mm and up to 5 % within 50 mm), slightly reduced the azimuth angular dependence and slightly increased the polar angular dependence. The 100 µm thick shielding provided the least azimuth angular dependence (±2 %) and provided a polar angular dependence of ±1.4 % within the angles of −45° to 45°.