TU-F-BRE-07: In Vivo Neutron Detection in Patients Undergoing Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy (SABR) for Primary Kidney Cancer Using 6Li and 7Li Enriched TLD Pairs




Stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for primary kidney cancer often involves the use of high-energy photons combined with a large number of monitor units. While important for risk assessment, the additional neutron dose to untargeted healthy tissue is not accounted for in treatment planning. This work aims to detect out-of-field neutrons in vivo for patients undergoing SABR with high-energy (>10 MV) photons and provides preliminary estimates of neutron effective dose.


3 variations of high-sensitivity LiF:Mg,Cu,P thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) material, each with varying 6Li / 7Li concentrations, were used in custom-made Perspex holders for in vivo measurements. The variation in cross section for thermal neutrons between Li isotopes was exploited to distinguish neutron from photon signal. Measurements were made out-of-field for 7 patients, each undergoing 3D-conformal SABR treatment for primary kidney cancer on a Varian 21iX linear accelerator.


In vivo measurements show increased signal for the 6Li enriched material for patients treated with 18 MV photons. Measurements on one SABR patient treated using only 6 MV showed no difference between the 3 TLD materials. The out-of-field photon signal decreased exponentially with distance from the treatment field. The neutron signal, taken as the difference between 6Li enriched and 7Li enriched TLD response, remains almost constant up to 50 cm from the beam central axis. Estimates of neutron effective dose from preliminary TLD calibration suggest between 10 and 30 mSv per 1000 MU delivered at 18 MV for the 7 patients.


TLD was proven to be a useful tool for the purpose of in vivo neutron detection at out-of-field locations. Further work is required to understand the relationship between TL signal and neutron dose. Dose estimates based on preliminary TLD calibration in a neutron beam suggest the additional neutron dose was <30 mSv per 1000 MU at 18 MV.