Monte Carlo and analytical model predictions of leakage neutron exposures from passively scattered proton therapy

Authors

  • Pérez-Andújar Angélica,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Radiation Physics, Unit 1202, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030
    • Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. Electronic mail: perezandujara@radonc.ucsf.edu; Telephone: (415) 514-8536; Fax: (415) 353-8679.

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  • Zhang Rui,

    1. Department of Radiation Physics, Unit 1202, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030 and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, 6767 Bertner Avenue, Houston, Texas 77030
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    • b)

      Current address: Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, 4950 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809.

  • Newhauser Wayne

    1. Department of Radiation Physics, Unit 1202, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77030 and The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, 6767 Bertner Avenue, Houston, Texas 77030
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    • c)

      Current address: Department of Physics, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center, 4950 Essen Lane, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70809 and Department of Physics and Astronomy, Louisiana State University, 202 Nicholson Hall, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803.


Abstract

Purpose:

Stray neutron radiation is of concern after radiation therapy, especially in children, because of the high risk it might carry for secondary cancers. Several previous studies predicted the stray neutron exposure from proton therapy, mostly using Monte Carlo simulations. Promising attempts to develop analytical models have also been reported, but these were limited to only a few proton beam energies. The purpose of this study was to develop an analytical model to predict leakage neutron equivalent dose from passively scattered proton beams in the 100-250-MeV interval.

Methods:

To develop and validate the analytical model, the authors used values of equivalent dose per therapeutic absorbed dose (H/D) predicted with Monte Carlo simulations. The authors also characterized the behavior of the mean neutron radiation-weighting factor, wR¯, as a function of depth in a water phantom and distance from the beam central axis.

Results:

The simulated and analytical predictions agreed well. On average, the percentage difference between the analytical model and the Monte Carlo simulations was 10% for the energies and positions studied. The authors found thatwR¯ was highest at the shallowest depth and decreased with depth until around 10 cm, where it started to increase slowly with depth. This was consistent among all energies.

Conclusion:

Simple analytical methods are promising alternatives to complex and slow Monte Carlo simulations to predict H/D values. The authorsˈ results also provide improved understanding of the behavior ofwR¯ which strongly depends on depth, but is nearly independent of lateral distance from the beam central axis.

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