This Report examines the methods by which absorbed dose to water can be determined for photon radiations with maximum energies from approximately to 1 MeV to 50 MeV, the beam qualities most commonly used for radiation therapy.
The Report is primarily concerned with methods of measurement for photon radiation, but many aspects are also relevant to the dosimetry of other therapeutic beams (high-energy electrons, protons, etc.). It deals with methods that are sufficiently precise and well established to be incorporated into the dosimetric measurement chain as primary standards (i.e., methods based on ionization, radiation-induced chemical changes, and calorimetry using either graphite or water). The Report discusses the primary dose standards used in several national standards laboratories and reviews the international comparisons that have been made. The report also describes the reference conditions that are suitable for establishing primary standards and provides a formalism for determining absorbed dose, including a discussion of correction factors needed under conditions other than those used to calibrate an instrument at the standards laboratory.