IROC Rhode Island (QARC) Publications


A survey of methods to calculate monitor settings

UMMS Affiliation

Quality Assurance Review Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Services Administration | Neoplasms | Oncology | Radiology


PURPOSE: The results of a survey of how radiation oncology institutions calculate the monitor setting (or time) to deliver the prescribed dose in a photon-beam treatment are presented.

METHODS AND MATERIALS: The participants in the mail survey were 94 institutions in the Pediatric Oncology Group. They were asked to calculate for a hypothetical clinical case requiring the use of photon beams with corner blocks. A questionnaire was also distributed to gather supplemental information.

RESULTS: Of the 94 institutions whose responses were analyzed, 77% selected an isocentric setup while the others used a "fixed-SSD" approach. The proportions were reversed for the choice of the reference geometry and the majority of the participants set one monitor unit equal to 1 cGy at depth of electron equilibrium with isocenter placed at the surface. The tissue-maximum ratio was the most popular quantity for description of beam characteristics, but several other choices were common. Different names were sometimes used for the same concept.

CONCLUSION: The variation among institutions made the review time-consuming, but no serious systematic errors were detected. Some standardization of nomenclature and techniques may be desirable.


Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1994 Feb 1;28(3):749-52.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID