Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) visits King Saud University Medical City

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Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) visits King Saud University Medical City

Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority of Finland (STUK) visits King Saud University Medical City

 

The medical city of King Saud University received a delegation from the Finnish Institute of Radiological and Nuclear Safety (STUK). The delegation visited the University Oncology Center and saw the advanced equipment used in radiation therapy. The group conducted tests to measure and evaluate the quality of radiotherapy equipment and to measure the rate of radiation leakage in the treatment rooms. They also conducted tests to ensure the magnetic shielding safety of PET/CT simulators. According to the international radiation safety standards, both tests results showed lower radiation percentage than the permissible levels of radiation exposure to whole body.

The head of the Radiation Protection Unit and the Radiation Therapy Unit at KSUMC, Dr. Iyad bin Fawzi Al-Saeed, said that KSU has made significant advances in Radiation Science Technology in the scientific, health, research and training fields. He also added that the Radiation Therapy Department at the University Oncology Center provides a training program in the field of radiation prevention for the Nuclear and Radiological Control Authority inspectors and to the Radiation Therapy Department staff of the Medical City. A workshop had also been organized and held about “inspection of medical practices”.

 

Safety of linear accelerators

 

Dr. Iyad Al-Saeed made clear the availability the safety tools and procedures of linear accelerators such as signs and warning lights (radiation area) at the patient's entrances and control areas, card-key for the last person exiting to verify that there are no people in the treatment room during the treatment process, and emergency card-keys efficiency to facilitate the implementation of contingency plans. In addition to be able to know the methods of dealing with the entrance of treatment devices in the case of loss of energy, the audio and video communication devices available with the patient during the treatment process, safe channels for the transmission of wires to the control room, and safe locations for the storage of linear accelerator keys or control room keys. The tests were conducted in the first four phases using Phantom, which simulates the human body to test the steps and verify the accuracy of delivery of the required dose to the target tumor. The first step was to scan the phantom on PET / CT Simulator with 140 kV and 3 mm thickness. The scan images are sent then to the TPS for four treatment plans that stimulate the standard plans used in the treatment of the patient.

The methods for the distribution of radiation fields within the phantom began with anterior posterior fields, where two opposites radiation fields (AP/PA) were used with a standard 10 × 10 cm radiation field. The default calculated dose was 2 grays on the TPS in the center of ionization chamber, and when it was actually measured on a linear accelerator to compare the calculated dose with the actual dose given to the patient, the actual measured dose was 2.015 grays i.e. +0.8% higher than the calculated dose, which means that the accuracy of the dose to actual dose calculation does not exceed 1% of the permissible global limit of 5%. In the second stage, two opposite lateral fields were used with a standard 10 × 10 cm radiation field, and default calculated dose was 2 grays on the TPS in the center of ionization chamber, and when it was actually measured on a linear accelerator to compare the calculated dose with the actual dose given to the patient, the actual measured dose was 2.035 grays i.e. +1.8% higher than the calculated dose, which means that the accuracy of the dose to actual dose calculation does not exceed 2% of the permissible global limit of 5%. In the third stage, three star patterns were used with a standard 10 × 10 cm radiation field, and default calculated dose was 2 grays on the TPS in the center of ionization chamber, and when it was actually measured on a linear accelerator to compare the calculated dose with the actual dose given to the patient, the actual measured dose was 1.978 grays i.e. -0.1% higher than the calculated dose, which means that the accuracy of the dose to actual dose calculation does not exceed 1% of the permissible global limit of 5%. In the fourth stage, VMAT single arcs with a standard 10 × 10 cm radiation field were used where default calculated dose was 2 grays on the TPS in the center of ionization chamber, and when it was actually measured on a linear accelerator to compare the calculated dose with the actual dose given to the patient, the actual measured dose was 2.004 grays i.e. +0.2% higher than the calculated dose, which means that the accuracy of the dose to actual dose calculation does not exceed 1% of the permissible global limit of 5%.    

High-Definition-Radiography Unit (HDR) (Brachytherapy)

 

He pointed out that the availability of devices for doses measurement and unit quality control were verified by examining the Source Position Tests. The steps measured several positions of the radiation source in the detector chamber to reach the highest stream measured on an electrometer device to reach the highest measurement accuracy by the highest produced stream. He added that the method of air free measurement was identified incase the ionization chamber was not available or inability to verify by using the Farmer ionization Chamber as well as conducting Source Strength Tests. The Finnish delegation expressed their interest and admiration for the efforts made in this field and provided some guidance that would develop the work in line with the vision and objectives of the radiotherapy unit.

During the visit, a lecture was given by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) that explains the progress of radiation therapy in Finland and their patients' statistics, as well as the latest techniques. The lecture included participations from KSUMC Oncology and Radiotherapy Center team to exchange knowledge and views about the work protocols.

At the end of the visit, the delegation held a meeting with Dr. Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al-Muammar, CEO. They discussed issues of common interest in the field of diagnostic radiology quality regulations and radiation protection, as well as reviewing the devices quality verification and the effectiveness of Radiation Protection Program with Radiological Diagnostic Devices in Radiotherapy.


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