Physics of Radiology

Author:  Anthony B. Wolbarst
ISBN:  9780944838952
Published:  1993 | 461 pp. | Hardcover



SCOPE  |  March 1999

"Using a unusual format consisting of a text book and an accompanying questions and answers book, this volume covers all the basic physical properties of x-ray beams produced by linear accelerators. It is designed as a reference text for radiotherapy physicists and students. There are 8 chapters and 493 pages covering medical linear accelerators, x-ray beam properties, radiotherapy treatment planning, photon beam modelling, Monte Carlo and convolution techniques and radiobiology.

"The book begins sensibly with a short chapter describing medical linear accelerators. This it does clearly with good pictures and concentrates on the physics of the linear accelerator with multileaf collimators, dynamic wedges, compensators and portal imaging systems getting only a brief description.

"Interaction processes follow in the next chapter, and following this is a detailed chapter on radiation dosimetry covering requirements for different dosimeters, describing common ones and also BANG gels and radiochromic films. Also included are the principles behind some current international dosimetry protocols.

"The authors move onto the measurement of linear accelerator beams next and cover the measurement of depth dose, beam profiles, output factors etc. There are also sections on room design, including shielding calculations, and some quality control tests for linear accelerators.

"The principles of treatment planning are explained in the next chapter. The use of CT data and other imaging modalities are mentioned briefly, as are stereotactic and 3D conformal radiotherapy planning.

"X-Ray beam modeling is the topic for the next two chapters starting with the fan beam model and progressing up to the present with convolution, DSAR and FFT methods. There is also a good detailed description of the Monte Carlo technique including the BEAM Monte Carlo code.

"The final chapter deals with the response of tissues to radiation. Examples are given of different dose fractionation schedules and their effect using the linear quadratic model for tumour and serial and parallel normal tissues.

"Overall it is a very well presented book with over 200 clear figures and photographs and an easy to read style. It is not very detailed but gives good explanations of many topics. One criticism is that the chapter on linear accelerators is rather short and more technical details of different equipment could have been included. Very recent topics are covered well including the BEAM Monte Carlo code, BANG gel dosimetry and 3D conformal radiotherapy. However, there is no coverage of beam intensity modulation. The idea to have an accompanying questions and answer book works well with almost 100 challenging questions, split into the same chapter numbers and cross referenced to sections in the main text. The questions and answer book also has several pages of references.

"Overall this is an excellent book and is well recommended for individuals as well as department libraries."
Colin S. Jennings