Help- Advice - Information

Diodes and In Vivo Dosimetry

Diodes are used during the first few occasions you attend for radiotherapy. They are basically small detectors attached to a long wire, and are used to measure the dose, you are receiving in 'real time', whilst having your radiotherapy treatment. They are normally attached to your body with tape at specific points, where the treatment beam enters your body. Many professionals feel they are important because they have the potential to detect any errors that may have slipped through the quality safety net. Every part of your radiotherapy treatment is checked and double checked and then checked again and even the treatment machine itself has a range of interlocks that activate should any parameter appear out of tolerance for even a moment. Therefore the chance of any error getting through this vigorous checking process, is incredibly unlikely. However, if the 'incredibly unlikely' did happen, then the diodes would detect the error so it could be rectified.

The argument against using diodes is that the quality process should pick up any error that may occur, which means the money needed to buy, calibrate and investigate the diode readings could be better used elsewhere.

It is the view of all those involved in the production of his website that diodes provide the final safety net in a very complex process and their use should therefore be seriously considered. Our view is backed up by the document 'Towards Safer Radiotherapy.' (Clicking on this link will open up the document in a separate window.)

Reviewed: March 2015