# On the effective point of measurement in megavoltage photon beams.

Abstract

This paper presents a numerical investigation of the effective point of measurement of thimble ionization chambers in megavoltage photon beams using Monte Carlo simulations with the EGSNRC system. It is shown that the effective point of measurement for relative photon beam dosimetry depends on every detail of the chamber design, including the cavity length, the mass density of the wall material, and the size of the central electrode, in addition to the cavity radius. Moreover, the effective point of measurement also depends on the beam quality and the field size. The paper therefore argues that the upstream shift of 0.6 times the cavity radius, recommended in current dosimetry protocols, is inadequate for accurate relative photon beam dosimetry, particularly in the build-up region. On the other hand, once the effective point of measurement is selected appropriately, measured depth-ionization curves can be equated to measured depth-dose curves for all depths within ± 0.5 % .