Available in 2018
Course code



10 units


2000 level

Course handbook


This course discusses the principles and operation of equipment used in radiation therapy.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Discuss the concepts associated with imaging requirements for radiation therapy

2. Explain the principles of treatment planning algorithms including limitations of each

3. Describe basic radiation dosimetry and the fundamental measurements required for linac commissioning

4. Understand the differences between photon and electron treatments including modality choice, treatment planning, QA, pros and cons of each

5. Explain the need for treatment verification and what techniques are available for this

6. Discuss the limitations of each verification type and the process behind choosing an appropriate verification method

7. Describe a brachytherapy treatment program (including LDR and HDR) and the differences in dosimetry between brachytherapy and external beam therapy

8. Understand the future vision of radiation therapy with respect to new technology, treatment techniques and the steps needed to implement these


This course will include the following items:1. Imaging for radiation therapy treatment planninga. CT (including 4DCT)b. MRI (why we can’t use this for planning – what situations when we can)c. PET (image registration/fusion)d. Ultrasound (Clarity)

2. Treatment planning systemsa. Treatment planning algorithms and their limitationsb. Inverse planning optimisation (simulated annealing and cost functions)c. IMRT (fluence maps, optimisation sequence, leaf sequences, leaf constraints, interleaf leakage – when does it really matter? – limitations)d. IMRT vs VMAT

3. Dosimetrya. Linac calibration and commissioningb. Where does the data go? Why is it important?c. Relative vs absoluted. Daily, monthly, annual QA

4. Electronsa. Scatter considerationsb. Surface dose, characteristics of depth dose, energy spectrum, field size dependence, dose across field, penumbra,c. Obliquity, junctioning (matching with photons/electrons)

5. Imaging for radiation therapy treatment verificationa. Imaging techniques (EPI, CBCT, MVCT, ExacTrac)b. Portal dosimetryc. Gated treatment/motion detection during treatmentd. In vivo verification

6. Brachytherapya. LDR/PDR/HDRb. Common sourcesc. interstitial/intracavitary/intraluminal and surface (permanent/temporary)d. Common treatment sites/techniquese. Imaging for brachy (IGBT)

7. Other techniques/technologya. Tomob. Stereoc. TBI/TBEd. Gamma knife

8. Dosimetry & Dose Verificationa. Equipmentb. Verification methodsc. Treatment Dosimetry

9. Radiation Protection in RTa. Radiation Unitsb. Dose Limitsc. Sheildingd. Monitoring Equipment 


This course is only available to students enrolled in either the B MRS (Radiation Therapy) (11018) or B MRS (Honours) (Radiation Therapy) ()40010) program and have successfully completed PHYS1250.

Assumed knowledge

MRSC2501: MRS Instrumentation IIA

Assessment items

In Term Test: Exam - In class

Written Assignment: Written Assignment

In Term Test: Exam - In class 2

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Week for 8 Weeks starting in week 1

Weeks 1-8


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks starting in week 2

Weeks 2-8 Tutorial is an optional attendance for students requiring additional support.