Physics of Radiology

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



Interactions  |  October 2007

This updated successor to The Physics of Radiotherapy X-Rays from Linear Accelerators (1997) is almost double in pages from the previous book and includes a significant amount of new material on state of the art tools and modalities in radiotherapy (EPID, OBI, IMRT and Tomotherapy) as well as updated chapters on electrons in radiotherapy, beam modeling and radiobiological modeling. Selected questions and answers from The Q Book: The Physics of Radiotherapy X-Rays: Problems and Solutions have been refreshed and integrated into this book, combining the best of a reference textbook with inclusion of exam questions for the physics teacher or student.

Many new diagrams and images complement the text, with full colour plates in the center of the book that show advanced tools and complex isodose plans for the new modalities. As a teacher of physics, I liked this book very much because it conveniently consolidates reference material from many recent sources to explain a topic. An example is the new section on electron beam properties which has extensive diagrams such as Monte Carlo calculated particle tracks, to clarify the topic and make it more visual for the student.

The old dosimetry chapter has been split into two chapters, one focusing on dosimeters and the other on the Calibration of Megavoltage beams. The later is very useful to the clinical physicist, with details of the calibration procedures and a comparison of the multiple international dosimetry protocols available. The updated dosimetry chapter includes a thorough treatment of the traditional detectors used in oncology today, but also has details on the rarer diamond detectors, radiochromic film and gel dosimetry tools, to name but a few.

The new emerging technologies chapter on Stereotactic Radiosurgery, IMRT and Tomotherapy is an excellent introduction to these topics. It gives the reader an easy way to compare the 3 modalities for pros and cons of each specialty. Ample references at the end of the chapter will lead the reader on to any details missing.

The beam modeling section has been updated to include more details on electron pencil beams. The authors make an effort to comment on the consistency of the various models with phantom measurements as they take you from early models to collapsed cone.

The clinical physicist will also find the new chapters on QA in Radiotherapy, Radiation Protection and Room Shielding and Patient Immobilization and Image Guidance to be very useful. Although these topics are presented in the literature elsewhere, they are treated comprehensively in one section and include the references for further study. There is more emphasis on specific clinical procedures not usually found in journal articles.

The book is an excellent resource for the novice professional for clinical practice and as an updated review for the experienced professional. I would highly recommend it as a valuable addition to the library of all practicing clinical physicists, teachers and students of radiation oncology physics and would recommend it as required reading for CCPM candidates.

Reviewed by Sherry Connors, M.Sc., FCCPM

Medical Physics, Cross Cancer Institute

Edmonton, AB