The dosimetric properties of fast-neutron beams with energies ≤80 MeV were explored using Monte Carlo techniques. Taking into account transport of all relevant types of released charged particles (electrons, protons, deuterons, tritons, 3He and α particles) pencil-beam dose distributions were derived and used to calculate absorbed dose distributions. Broad-beam depth doses in phantoms of different materials were calculated and compared and the scaling factors required for converting absorbed dose in one material to absorbed dose in another derived. The scaling factors were in good agreement with available published data and show that water is a good substitute for soft tissue even at neutron energies as high as 80 MeV. The inherent penumbra and the fraction of absorbed dose due to photon interactions were also studied, and found to be consistent with measured values reported in the literature.
Treatment planning in fast-neutron therapy is commonly performed using dose calculation algorithms designed for photon beam therapy. When applied to neutron beams, these algorithms have limitations arising from the physical models used. Monte Carlo derived neutron pencil-beam kernels were parameterized and implemented in the photon dose calculation algorithms of the TMS (MDS Nordion) treatment planning system. It was shown that these algorithms yield good results in homogeneous water media. However, the method used to calculate heterogeneity corrections in the photon dose calculation algorithm did not yield correct results for neutron beams in heterogeneous media.
To achieve results with adequate accuracy using Monte Carlo simulations, fundamental cross-section data are needed. Neutron cross-sections are still not sufficiently well known. At the The Svedberg Laboratory in Uppsala, Sweden, an experimental facility has been designed to measure neutron-induced charged-particle production cross-sections for (n,xp), (n,xd), (n,xt), (n,x3He) and (n,xα) reactions at neutron energies up to 100 MeV. Depending on neutron energy, these generated particles account for up to 90% of the absorbed dose. In experimental determination of the cross-sections, measured data have to be corrected for the energies lost by the charged particles before leaving the target in which they were generated. To correct for the energy-losses, a computational code (CRAWL) was developed. It uses a stripping method. With the limitation of reduced energy resolution, spectra derived using CRAWL compares well with those derived using other methods.
In fast-neutron therapy, the relative biological effectiveness (RBE) varies from 1.5 to 5, depending on neutron energy, dose level and biological end-point. LET and other physical quantities, developed within the field of microdosimetry over the past couple of decades, have been used to describe RBE variations between different fast-neutron beams as well as within a neutron irradiated body. In this work, a Monte Carlo code (SHIELD-HIT) capable of transporting all charged particles contributing to absorbed dose, was used to calculate energy-differential charged particle spectra. Using these spectra, values of the RBE related quantities LD, γD, γ* and R were derived and studied as function of neutron energy, phantom material and position in a phantom. Reasonable agreement with measured data in the literature was found and indicates that the quantities may be used to predict RBE variations in an arbitrary fast-neutron beam.
Institutionen för medicin och vård , 2007.
Neutron, Dosimetry, Radiotherapy, Monte Carlo, Microdosimetry, Cross-section, RBE, LET, Energy-loss corrections
2007-04-04, Conrad, Röntgenavdelningen, Campus US, Linköpings Universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)