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Report No. 098 - Third-party brachytherapy source calibrations and physicist responsibilities: Report of the AAPM Low Energy Brachytherapy Source Calibration Working Group (2008)

Category: Reports

The AAPM Low Energy Brachytherapy Source Calibration Working Group was formed to investigate and recommend quality control and quality assurance procedures for brachytherapy sources prior to clinical use. Compiling and clarifying recommendations established by previous AAPM Task Groups 40, 56, and 64 were among the working group’s charges, which also included the role of third-party handlers to perform loading and assay of sources. This document presents the find- ings of the working group on the responsibilities of the institutional medical physicist and a clarification of the existing AAPM recommendations in the assay of brachytherapy sources. Responsibility for the performance and attestation of source assays rests with the institutional medical physicist, who must use calibration equipment appropriate for each source type used at the institution. Such equipment and calibration procedures shall ensure secondary traceability to a national standard. For each multi-source implant, 10% of the sources or ten sources, whichever is greater, are to be assayed. Procedures for presterilized source packaging are outlined. The mean source strength of the assayed sources must agree with the manufacturer’s stated strength to within 3%, or action must be taken to resolve the difference. Third party assays do not absolve the institutional physicist from the responsibility to perform the institutional measurement and attest to the strength of the implanted sources. The AAPM leaves it to the discretion of the institutional medical physicist whether the manufacturer’s or institutional physicist’s measured value should be used in performing dosimetry calculations.

Medical Physics, 35, 3860-3865 (2008)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1118/1.2959723

Keywords: Brachytherapy, Calibration, Source Assay, LDR
Brachytherapy Subcommittee Workgroup on Low Energy Brachytherapy Source Calibration

Wayne M. Butler, William S. Bice, Larry A. DeWerd, James M. Hevezi, M. Saiful Huq, Geoffrey S. Ibbott, Jatinder R. Palta, Mark J. Rivard, Jan P. Seuntjens, Bruce R. Thomadsen

Committee Responsible: Brachytherapy Subcommittee
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