Performance assessment of the Gulmay D3300 kilovoltage X-ray therapy unit

June 1, 2001

A performance assessment was made of the Gulmay D3300 kilovoltage (combined superficial and orthovoltage) X-ray therapy unit. Results are presented for the key dosimetric beam parameters required for routine patient treatment. This unit is relatively new to the UK market and displayed similar properties to other existing equipment. Beam half-value layers were different from comparable published data, but were consistent with the actual values of external tube filtration employed. The applicator, system interlocks and dose monitor performance were satisfactory and the tube leakage was below the UK recommended maximum (air kerma rate 300 mGy h(-1) at 5 cm from the tube head). The variation of absorbed dose with stand-off distance from the applicator base followed the inverse-square law for all tested combinations of beam tube potential (kVp) and applicator, and the measured focus-to-surface distances were in acceptable agreement with the nominal values. A significant beam profile asymmetry was seen for field sizes greater than 10 cm at the upper tube potential (kVp) range (maximum ionization quotient 1.08), but this was an inherent property of the X-ray tube. The difficulties of obtaining percentage depth dose measurements are discussed, and it was concluded that the use of published data (appropriately verified) was acceptable. The methodology followed could form the basis of an acceptance and commissioning protocol. To address the relative lack of agreed standards for this type of equipment, performance test tolerances are proposed that are recommended for new installations.

Evans PA, Moloney AJ & Mountford PJ.

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