Skip to main content

Monte Carlo dosimetry of the 60Co sources of a new GZP3 HDR afterloading system



The purpose of this work was to obtain the dosimetric parameters of the new GZP3 60Co high-dose-rate afterloading system launched by the Nuclear Power Institute of China, which is comprised of two different 60Co sources.


The Monte Carlo software Geant4 and EGSnrc were employed to derive accurate calculations of the dosimetric parameters of the new GZP3 60Co brachytherapy source in the range of 0–10 cm, following the formalism proposed by American Association of Physicists in Medicine reports TG43 and TG43U1. Results of the two Monte Carlo codes were compared to verify the accuracy of the data. The source was located in the center of a 30-cm-radius theoretical sphere water phantom.


For channels 1 and 2 of the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system, the results of the dose-rate constant (Λ) were 1.115 cGy h−1 U−1 and 1.112 cGy h−1 U−1, and for channel 3 they were 1.116 cGy h−1 U−1 and 1.113 cGy h−1 U−1 according to the Geant4 and EGSnrc, respectively. The radial dose function in the range of 0.25–10.0 cm in a longitudinal direction was calculated, and the fitting formulas for the function were obtained. The polynomial function for the radial dose function and the anisotropy function (1D and 2D) with a \(\uptheta\) of 0°–175° and an r of 0.5–10.0 cm were obtained. The curves of the radial function and the anisotropy function fitted well compared with the two Monte Carlo software.


These dosimetric data sets can be used as input data for TPS calculations and quality control for the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system.


The use of high-dose-rate (HDR) brachytherapy is a highly widespread practice around the world. The International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurement (ICRU) report 89 recommends 60Co and 192Ir as HDR sources [1]. Because the geometry of the 192Ir source is smaller and its energy is lower compared to that of the 60Co source, the 192Ir source is the primary HDR source in clinical practice. The 60Co source results in increased toxic reactions and the issue of radiation protection. Although not as widespread as the 192Ir source, the 60Co source is also available on remote afterloading systems dedicated to HDR brachytherapy, mainly for the treatment of gynecological cancer [2, 3]. The 60Co source has the advantage of a longer half life compared with the 192Ir source [4], which provides a longer duration of clinical use and reduced operating costs. Thus, the 60Co brachytherapy source is certainly more cost-effective for developing countries [5, 6].

The GZP3 and GZP6 60Co HDR afterloading systems, manufactured by the Nuclear Power Institute of China (NPIC), are widely used at home and abroad. Several studies have been performed on the GZP 60Co source [7,8,9], including the GZP3 and GZP6 models. The dosimetric data for GZP6 60Co source number 3 were obtained by Lei et al. [7] using Monte Carlo (MC)-based dosimetry. Wang et al. [9] calculated the dosimetric data for the GZP3 60Co source using the MC simulation, EGSnrc.

Recently, a new GZP3 60Co HDR afterloading system was manufactured by NPIC, and it has been introduced in brachytherapy procedures. It has three channels in the HDR system; the sources of channels 1 and 2 have the same design while the source of channel 3 has a different design.

According to the recommendations of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) and the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO) [10], the dosimetric parameters of all brachytherapy sources must be based on the Radiation Therapy Committee Task Group No. 43 (TG43 and TG43U1) formalism before their clinical use and must be obtained by either experimental or MC methods [11, 12]. Because of the different source designs, the dose distribution for each source model is different; therefore, dosimetric data from different sources cannot be used with each other. MC simulation is widely used in brachytherapy; however, for the new GZP3 60Co HDR sources, there are no dosimetric data available in the literature, based on a comprehensive determination of TG43 and TG43U1.

This study aimed at obtaining the full dosimetric data (i.e., the dose-rate constant, radial dose function and anisotropy function) of the new GZP3 60Co source channels 1, 2 and 3, following the TG43 and TG43U1, using the Monte Carlo codes Geant4 and EGSnrc. The dosimetric data derived in this work were compared with the available data for similar 60Co sources. These dosimetric data can be used in treatment planning systems (TPS) as input data and to validate TPS calculations.


Radioactive source structure

The geometric design and materials of the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system were provided by the manufacturer and are shown schematically in Fig. 1. The new GZP3 HDR afterloading system is comprised of two different 60Co sources affixed to three channels in the system. It is composed of a central cylindrical active core made of 60Co with a density of 8.9 g/cm3, 0.5 mm in radius, 1 mm in length for channels 1 and 2, and 2 mm in length for channel 3. The radioactive 60Co is distributed uniformly throughout the core. The active core is encapsulated in a 2.1-mm-diameter and 5.8-mm-long cylinder made of stainless steel for channels 1 and 2. The mass density and composition of the materials are shown in Table 1.

Fig. 1
figure 1

A schematic view of the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system channel 1, 2 and 3. Dimensions are given in mm

Table 1 Chemical composition and density of the materials in the Monte Carlo simulations

Dose-calculation formalism

The 1D and 2D dose calculation formalism proposed by the AAPM TG43 report was followed [11]. According to this formalism, the 1D equation used to calculated dose rate, as shown in Eqs. (1). The 2D dose rate, \({\dot{\text{D}}}\)(r, θ), at point (r, θ) in the medium, where r is the distance in cm form the active source center and θ is the polar angle relative to the longitudinal axis of the source, as shown in Eqs. (2):

$${\dot{\text{D}}}\left( {\text{r}} \right){\text{ = S}}_{{\text{k}}} { }\Lambda \frac{{{\text{G(r,}}\uptheta_{{0}}{)}}}{{{\text{G(r}}_{{0}} {,}\uptheta _{{0}} {)}}}{\text{g(r) }}\phi_{{{\text{an}}}} {\text{(r)}}$$
$${\dot{\text{D}}}\left( {{\text{r,}}\uptheta } \right){\text{ = S}}_{{\text{k}}} { }\Lambda \frac{{{\text{G(r,}}\uptheta {)}}}{{{\text{G(r}}_{{0}} {,}\uptheta _{{0}} {)}}}{\text{g(r) F(r,}}\uptheta {)}$$

where Sk is the source-air-kerma strength in units of U (1U = 1 μGy m2 h−1 = 1 cGy cm2 h−1). The reference distance r0 and angle θ0 are 1 cm and π/2, respectively.

Λ is the dose-rate constant defined as the ratio of dose rate to water at the reference point (r0, θ0) and air-kerma strength,

$$\Lambda = {\dot{\text{D}}}\left( {{\text{r}}_{0} ,\uptheta _{0} } \right)/{\text{S}}_{{\text{k}}}$$

G(r,θ) is the geometry factor, defined as

$${\text{G(r, }}\uptheta {) = }\left( {\frac{\upbeta }{{{\text{L rsin}}\uptheta }}} \right)$$

where L is the active length of the source, and β is the angle subtended by the active source with respect to the point (r,θ).

The value g(r) is the radial dose function, defined as

$${\text{g}}({\text{r}}) = \frac{{{\dot{\text{D}}}({\text{r}},\uptheta _{0} ){\text{G}}({\text{r}}_{0} ,\uptheta _{0} )}}{{{\dot{\text{D}}}({\text{r}}_{0} ,\uptheta _{0} ) {\text{G}}({\text{r}},\uptheta _{0} )}}$$

The value \(\phi_{{{\text{an}}}} {\text{(r)}}\) is the 1D anisotropy function, defined as

$$\phi_{{{\text{an}}}} \left( {\text{r}} \right) = \frac{{\mathop \smallint \nolimits_{0}^{\pi } {\dot{\text{D}}}({\text{r}},\uptheta )\sin (\uptheta ){\text{d}}\uptheta }}{{2{\dot{\text{D}}}({\text{r}},\uptheta _{0} )}}$$

and F(r,θ) is the 2D dose-anisotropy function, defined as

$${\text{F}}({\text{r}},\uptheta ) = \frac{{{\dot{\text{D}}}({\text{r}},\uptheta ){\text{G}}({\text{r}},\uptheta _{0} )}}{{{\dot{\text{D}}}({\text{r}},\uptheta _{0} ){\text{G}}({\text{r}},\uptheta )}}$$

Monte Carlo calculations

In this study, we employed the Monte Carlo codes Geant4 (version 10.4) [13] and EGSnrc [14] to derive all dosimetric parameters of the new GZP3 60Co sources, following the formalism described by TG43 and TG43U1. These MC codes have been successfully and widely used in dosimetric studies of brachytherapy [15,16,17,18]. Different MC codes used different physics models and different cross-sections of data in the transport of electrons. The low-energy physics model of Geant4 was used. This physics model uses the EPDL97 cross sections [19] for photons and EEDL [20] for electrons. For the EGSnrc, the photon cross sections from the XCOM database [21] were used. The cutoff energy was set to 10 keV for both photons and electrons. The 60Co spectrum was obtained from the NuDat database, taking only the two gamma photons with 1.17 and 1.33 MeV of energy in the simulation [22]. The contribution of the β spectrum to the dose was not considered in the simulation due to the absorption with stainless steel cover around the metallic 60Co, with the total dose of electrons less than 1% at distances greater than 1.0 mm from the source [23, 24].

In order to obtain the dose distribution in water, the 60Co source was located at the center of a spherical liquid water phantom with a 30-cm radius in the simulation, which acted as an unbounded phantom [25]. Three different grid sizes were used to score the absorbed dose at distances from the center of the source r ranging from 0.25 to 10.0 cm and polar angles ranging from 5° to 180°. The first was composed of cylindrical rings 0.025 cm thick and 0.005 cm high, for 0 cm < r ≤ 1.0 cm; the second was composed of cylindrical rings 0.05 cm thick and 0.05 cm high, for 1 cm < r < 3.0 cm; and the third one was composed of cylindrical rings 0.1 cm thick and 0.1 cm high, for 3.0 cm ≤ r ≤ 10.0 cm. In the coordinate system, θ, y, and z are representative of the polar angle and radial and axial coordinates, respectively. The coordinate axes used are shown in Fig. 1. The dose absorbed in the water was calculated in Geant4 using the function of GetTotalEnergyDeposit, whereas in EGSnrc the tally afforded within the DOSRZnrc package was used. The absorbed dose were calculated to obtained radial dose function and anisotropy function in spherical (r, θ) and cylindrical (y, z) coordinates. In spherical coordinates, r is defined as the distance from the center of the source. In cylindrical coordinates, y and z are representative of the radial and axial coordinates, respectively. When z = 0, we set up the cylindrical rings at y ranging from 0.25 cm to 10 cm to obtain the absorbed dose D(y, z), and then used equation g(r) to calculated the radial dose function. Simultaneously, we set up cells at the same distances as those used in the cylindrical coordinate system (0.25 cm ≤ r ≤ 10.0 c), and θ ranged from 5˚ to 180˚ while obtaining the absorbed dose D(r, θ), and then we calculated the anisotropy function by equation F(r, θ).

Due to the high energy of the 60Co, electronic equilibrium was reached at a distance of about 1.0 cm. The differences between dose and kerma were 1.5% at 0.5 cm from the source, less than 0.5% at 0.7 cm and negligible at distances greater than 1.0 cm [23]. Thus, the dose cannot be approximated by kerma at very small distances (< 0.5 cm), unlike 192Ir and 137Cs sources. In order to accelerate calculations and reduce statistical uncertainty and the computation time, kerma was obtained for r > 0.7 cm. To estimate the air-kerma strength, the 60Co source was located in the center of a 3 × 3 × 3-m-cubed air phantom. As TG43U1 recommended [12], the air used in this simulation had 0% humidity. The cylindrical ring was used to score for kerma of 0.1 cm in height and 0.1 cm in diameter.

The number of photon histories was 5 × 109 to obtain dose values and 2 × 109 photon histories to obtain kerma values.

Results and discussion

Dose-rate constant

The air-kerma strength, Sk, was calculated by using Geant4 and EGSnrc. Its values were 2.985 × 10–7 and 2.981 × 10–7 cGy cm2 h−1 Bq−1 for channels 1 and 2, and 2.975 × 10–7 and 2.969 × 10–7 cGy cm2 h−1 Bq−1 for channel 3. The dose-rate constant for the 60Co source were found to be equal to 1.115 ± 0.004 and 1.112 ± 0.004 cGy h−1 U−1 for channels 1 and 2 and 1.116 ± 0.004 and 1.113 ± 0.004 cGy h−1 U−1 for channel 3. These results are presented in Table 2, along with the corresponding values calculated for the similar 60Co HDR sources. The difference between the dose-rate constants of channels 1, 2 and 3 with two Monte Carlo codes were 0.27% and 0.27%, respectively. Furthermore, Table 2 shows that all the dose-rate-constant values with different sources matched closely (within 2.87%) and the values of the new GZP3 60Co sources were slightly higher than the other types (GZP6, BEBIG and Flexisource) of 60Co sources.

Table 2 Comparison of dose rate constant values for similar 60Co sources

Radial dose functions and anisotropy functions

The values of the radial dose function g(r) of the new GZP3 60Co source for radial distances from 0.25 to 10.0 cm by two MC codes are presented in Table 3. Table 3 and Fig. 2 show that the g(r) values between the two MC codes match well; the differences were less than 0.55% for channels 1 and 2 and less than 0.58% for channel 3. The differences in Fig. 2 were calculated as follow: (gEGSnrc-gGeant4)/gGeant4, where gEGSnrc and gGeant4 represent the values of the radial dose function for the EGSnrc and Geant4, respectively. The radial dose function obtained for the new GZP3 60Co source is compared with similar sources from the relevant literature in Fig. 3. The differences in Fig. 3 were calculated as follow: (gGZP3-gothers)/gGZP3, where gGZP3 and gothers represent the values of the radial dose function for this work by Geant4 and others work, respectively. This comparison shows that the curves of the g(r) were very similar at r > 1 cm and small differences were present at r < 1 cm. The results of our calculations of channels 1 and 2 were compared with those of Ballester et al. [24] for the BEBIG 60Co source by Geant4: for 0.25 ≤ r ≤ 1.0 cm, the differences were less than 4.64% and for 1 < r ≤ 10.0 cm, they were less than 0.32%. These differences were due to varying degrees of photon scattering and absorption in the sources, while the differences in the dimensions and encapsulation designs of the sources were negligible [27, 28].

Table 3 Radial dose function calculated for the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system by Geant4 and EGSnrc
Fig. 2
figure 2

A Radial dose function of the new 60Co afterloading system with Geant4 and EGSnrc. B The error bars of Geant4 and EGSnrc for radial dose function

Fig. 3
figure 3

A Radial dose function of 60Co source models. B The error bars among 60Co source models for radial dose function

The radial dose functions obtained by Geant4 were fitted to a fifth-order polynomial function over the range of 0.25 ≤ r ≤ 10.0 cm according to:

$${\text{g}}\left( {\text{r}} \right) = \left( {{\text{a}}0{\text{r}}^{ - 2} + {\text{a}}1{\text{r}}^{ - 1} + {\text{a}}2 + {\text{a}}3{\text{r}} + {\text{a}}4{\text{r}}^{2} } \right){\text{e}}^{{ - a5{\text{r}}}}$$

The values of the fitted parameters were as follows: (a) for channel 1 and 2, R2 = 0.995, a0 = − 0.023, a1 = 0.112, a2 = 0.885, a3 = − 0.112, a4 = 0.004 and a5 = 0.149; and (b) for channel 3, R2 = 0.995, a0 = − 0.022, a1 = 0.102, a2 = 0.895, a3 = − 0.11, a4 = 0.004 and a5 = 0.142. The overall accuracy of the fits was excellent; the maximum deviations were less than 0.46% and 0.41% for channels 1, 2 and 3, respectively.

In Tables 4 and 5, the full data for the 1D and 2D anisotropy functions by Geant4 and F(r, θ) are presented at radial distances r = 0–10.0 cm and at polar angles θ = 0°–175°. The F(r, θ) values for the selected radial distances of 1.5 cm, 3.0 cm, 5.0 cm and 7.0 cm are presented in Fig. 4. In this figure, it can be seen that, at the polar angles close to the long axis, the values of the F(r, θ) presented a non-smooth shape with F(r, θ) values significantly lower than the other angles (30° ≤ θ ≤ 150°), which was due to the oblique filtration within the source design.

Table 4 1D and 2D anisotropy function calculated for the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system of Channel 1 and 2 by Geant4
Table 5 1D and 2D anisotropy function calculated for the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system of Channel 3 by Geant4
Fig. 4
figure 4

Anisotropy function of the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system with channel 3 at selected distances

Dose-rate distribution and uncertainties

The along–away 2D-dose-rate results (cGy h−1 U−1) for the channel 1, and 2 and 3 60Co source for quality assurance (QA) purposes are presented in Tables 6 and 7, respectively. The QA values were tabulated over the ranges of − 10 cm ≤ z ≤ 10 cm and 0 ≤ y ≤ 10 cm.

Table 6 Dose rate results (cGy h −1 U −1), for the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system of Channel 1 and 2 by Geant4
Table 7 Dose rate results (cGy h −1 U −1), for the new GZP3 60Co afterloading system of Channel 3 by Geant4

The uncertainties in the final dose-rate distributions for the 60Co sources, including statistical uncertainty (type A) and systematic uncertainty (type B), were calculated as recommended by TG43U1.9 The statistical uncertainty of the 60Co source depended on the axial position z and the longitudinal position y. In this study, the statistical uncertainty was less than 0.72% and 0.73% for the points located on or very near to the longitudinal axis and less than 1.21% and 1.19% for the other points, for channels 1, 2, and 3 by Geant4, respectively.

For the new 60Co source, the main source of a systematic uncertainty based on the Geant4 simulation was the source geometry. The tolerances of this new source to the active core diameter were ± 0.05 mm, as provided by the manufacturer. For + 0.05 mm on the new source diameter, the uncertainty was less than 1.34% for channels 1 and 2, and was 1.42% for channel 3 in the ranges of − 10 cm ≤ z ≤ 10 cm and 0 ≤ y ≤ 10 cm, respectively. For − 0.05 mm on the new source diameter, the uncertainty was less than 1.24% for channels 1 and 2, and was 1.35% for channel 3, respectively. For the 60Co spectrum, the dominant interaction is the Compton effect. All the tabulated cross sections data are well established. Thus, as suggested in previous works [24, 29], the uncertainty in cross sections and energy spectrum were negligible. Thus, the quadrature sum of these three terms gives a total uncertainty of 2.19% for channels 1 and 2, and 2.29% for channel 3, respectively (type A and type B).


In this study, the full dosimetric parameters for the new GZP3 60Co sources were obtained using the Monte Carlo Geant4 and EGSnrc codes, based on the dose-calculation formalism recommended by the AAPM TG43 and TG43U1 reports. The dose-rate constant, radial dose function, anisotropy function and away–along dose-rate distributions were calculated for the new GZP3 60Co sources. Furthermore, the dosimetric parameters of the new GZP3 60Co source were not previously published. These dosimetric datasets can be used as input data and in the quality control of the TPS calculations.

Availability of data and materials

The data are fully available without restriction in a public repository (Dryad). The reference treatment plans and corresponding perturbed plans were archived in the Informatic System of Sichuan Cancer Hospital.


  1. International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements. ICRU Report 89: Prescribing, Recording, and Reporting Brachytherapy for Cancer of the Cervix. ICRU: Bethesda, MD, USA, 2016.

  2. Kim WC, Kim GE, Suh CO, Loh JJK. High versus low dose rate intracavitary irradiation for adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix. Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2001;31(9):432–7.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Papagiannis P, Angelopoulos A, Pantelis E, Sakelliou L. Monte Carlo dosimetry of 60Co HDR brachytherapy sources. Med Phys. 2003;30(4):712–21.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Richter J, Baier K, Flentje M. Comparison of 60Cobalt and 192Iridium sources in high dose rate afterloading brachytherapy. Strahlenther Onkol. 2008;184(4):187–92.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Strohmaier S, Zwierzchowski G. Comparison of (60)Co and (192)Ir sources in HDR brachytherapy. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2011;3(4):199–208.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. MailhotVega RB Jr, Barbee D, Talcott W, Duckworth T, Shah BA, Ishaq OF, et al. Cost in perspective: direct assessment of American market acceptability of Co-60 in Gynecologic high-dose-rate brachytherapy and contrast with experience abroad. J Contemp Brachytherapy. 2018;10(6):503–9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Lei Q, Xu AJ, Gou CJ, Wen YM, He DL, Wu JX, et al. Dosimetric study of GZP6 60Co high dose rate brachytherapy source. J Appl Clin Med Phys. 2018;19(4):313–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Toossi M, Ghorbani M, Mowlavi A, Meigooni A. Dosimetric characterizations of GZP6 60Co high dose rate brachytherapy sources: application of superimposition method. Radiol Oncol. 2012;46(2):170–8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Wang XL, Yuan K, Tang B, Kang SW, Li J, Xiao MY, et al. A Monte Carlo-based dosimetric study of the GZP 60Co source. Chin J Radiat Oncol. 2016;25(5):489–95.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Li Z, Das RK, DeWerd LA, Ibbott GS, Meigooni AS, Pérez-Calatayud J, et al. Dosimetric prerequisites for routine clinical use of photon emitting brachytherapy sources with average energy higher than 50 keV. Med Phys. 2007;34(1):37–40.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Nath R, Anderson LL, Luxton G, Weaver KA, Williamson JF, Meigooni AS. Dosimetry of interstitial brachytherapy sources: recommendations of the AAPM Radiation Therapy Committee Task Group No.43. Med Phys. 1995;22(2):209–34.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Rivard MJ, Coursey BM, DeWerd LA, Hanson WF, Saiful HM, Ibbott GS, et al. Update of AAPM Task Group No.43 Report: a revised AAPM protocol for brachytherapy dose calculations. Med Phys. 2004;31(3):633–74.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. GEANT4 Collaboration. GEANT4- a simulation toolkit. Nucl Instrum Methohs Phys Res. 2003;506(3):250–303.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kawrakow I. Accurate condensed history Monte Carlo simulation of electron transport: I: EGSnrc, the new EGS4 version. Med Phys. 2000;27(3):485–98.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Wu JX, Huang J, Long FX, Wang CK, Wu ZW, Gou CJ. Monte Carlo dosimetric parameters study of a new 32P brachytherapy source. Brit J Radiol. 2016;89(1062):20150783.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Wu JX, You SH, Huang J, Long FX, Wang CK, Wu ZW, Hou Q. Monte Carlo dosimetry of a new 90Y brachytherapy source. J Contemp Brachyther. 2015;7(5):397–406.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Taylor REP, Rogers DWO. An EGSnrc Monte Carlo-calculated database of TG-43 parameters. Med Phys. 2008;35(9):4228–41.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  18. Taylor REP, Rogers DWO. EGSnrc Monte Carlo calculated dosimetry parameters for 192Ir and 169Yb brachytherapy sources. Med Phys. 2008;35(11):4933–44.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Cullen DE, Hubbell JH, Kissel L. EPDL97: the evaluated photon data library, ‘97 Version. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore: University of California; 1997.

  20. Perkins ST, Cullen DE, Seltzer SM. Tables and graphs of electron-inter-action cross sections for 10 eV to 100 GeV derived from the LLNL Evaluated Electron Data Library (EEDL), Z=1–100. Lawrence: Livermore National Laboratory; 2001.

  21. Berger MJ, Hubbell JH. XCOM: Photon cross sections on a personal computer, Report NBSIR87–3597, National Institute of Standards Technology (NIST); 1987.

  22. NuDat 2.0 National Nuclear Data Center 2004 Nuclear data from NuDat, a web-based database maintained by the National Nuclear Data Center (Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA); htpp://

  23. Ballester F, Granero D, Pérez-Calatayud J, Melhus CS, Rivard MJ. Evaluation of high-energy brachytherapy source electronic disequilibrium and dose from emitted electrons. Med Phys. 2009;36(9):4250–6.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Ballester F, Granero D, Pérez-Calatayud J, Casal E, Agramunt S, Cases R. Monte Carlo dosimetric study of the BEBIG Co-60 HDR source. Phys Med Biol. 2005;50:N309–16.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  25. Pérez-Calatayud J, Granero D, Ballester F. Phantom size in brachytherapy source dosimetric studies. Med Phys. 2004;31(7):2075–81.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Vijande J, Granero D, Pérez-Calatayud J, Ballester F. Monte Carlo dosimetric study of the Flexisource Co-60 high dose rate source. J Contemp Brachyther. 2012;4(1):34–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Pérez-Calatayud J, Ballester F, Das RK, DeWerd LA, Ibbott GS, Meigooni AS, et al. Dose calculation for photon-emitting brachytherapy sources with average energy higher than 50 keV: report of the AAPM and ESTRO. Med Phys. 2012;39(5):2904–29.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Tabrizi SH, Asl AK, Azma Z. Monte Carlo derivation of AAPM TG-43 dosimetric parameters for GZP6 Co-60 HDR sources. Phys Med. 2012;28(2):153–60.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Granero D, Pérez-Calatayud J, Ballester F. Technical note: Dosimetric study of a new Co-60 source used in brachytherapy. Med Phys. 2007;34(9):3485–8.

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references




This study was supported by Sichuan Science and Technology Program (Nos. 2022YFS0047, 2021YFG0168, 2021YFG0320) and Medical Engineering Innovation Fund for Cancer (No. ZYGX2021YGCX002).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



Design of the Research: JXW, XLW; Monte Carlo codes: SWK, JL, PW; Elaboration of the data: JXW. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Xianliang Wang.

Ethics declarations

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

None of the authors have any competing interests (financial and nonfinancial) in the manuscript.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Wu, J., Kang, S., Wang, P. et al. Monte Carlo dosimetry of the 60Co sources of a new GZP3 HDR afterloading system. Radiat Oncol 18, 13 (2023).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI:


  • Brachytherapy
  • 60Co source
  • Monte Carlo
  • Geant4
  • EGSnrc
  • Dosimetry