Use of the GATE Monte Carlo package for dosimetry applicationsUse of the GATE Monte Carlo package for dosimetry applications
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Nuclear instruments and methods in physics research: A: accelerators, spectrometers, detectors and associated equipment
569(2006):2, p. 335-340
One of the roles for Monte Carlo (MC) simulation studies is in the area of dosimetry. A number of different codes dedicated to dosimetry applications are available and widely used today, such as MCNP, EGSnrc and PTRAN. However, such codes do not easily facilitate the description of complicated 3D sources or emission tomography systems and associated data flow, which may be useful in different dosimetry application domains. Such problems can be overcome by the use of specific MC codes such as GATE (GEANT4 Application to Tomographic Emission), which is based on Geant4 libraries, providing a scripting interface with a number of advantages for the simulation of SPECT and PET systems. Despite this potential, its major disadvantage is in terms of efficiency involving long execution times for applications such as dosimetry. The strong points and disadvantages of GATE in comparison to other dosimetry specific codes are discussed and illustrated in terms of accuracy, efficiency and flexibility. A number of features, such as the use of voxelised and moving sources, as well as developments such as advanced visualization tools and the development of dose estimation maps allowing GATE to be used for dosimetry applications are presented. In addition, different examples from dosimetry applications with GATE are given. Finally, future directions with respect to the use of GATE for dosimetry applications are outlined.