Fifty-sixth annual meeting of the American association of physicists in medicine
TH-A-19A-05: Modeling Physics Properties and Biologic Effects Induced by Proton and Helium Ions
Currently, proton and carbon ions are used for cancer treatment. More recently, other light ions including helium ions have shown interesting physical and biological properties. The purpose of this work is to study the biological and physical properties of helium ions (He-3) in comparison to protons.
Monte Carlo simulations with FLUKA, GEANT4 and MCNPX were used to calculate proton and He-3 dose distributions in water phantoms. The energy spectra of proton and He-3 beams were calculated with high resolution for use in biological models. The repair-misrepairfixation (RMF) model was subsequently used to calculate the RBE.
The proton Bragg curve calculations show good agreement between the three general purpose Monte Carlo codes. In contrast, the He-3 Bragg curve calculations show disagreement (for the magnitude of the Bragg peak) between FLUKA and the other two Monte Carlo codes. The differences in the magnitude of the Bragg peak are mainly due to the discrepancy in the secondary fragmentation cross sections used by the codes. The RBE for V79 cell lines is about 0.96 and 0.98 at the entrance of proton and He-3 ions depth dose respectively. The RBE increases to 1.06 and 1.59 at the Bragg peak of proton and He-3 ions. The results demonstrated that LET, microdosimetric parameters (such as dose-mean lineal energy) and RBE are nearly constant along the plateau region of Bragg curve, while all parameters increase within the Bragg peak and at the distal edge for both proton and He-3 ions.
The Monte Carlo codes should revise the fragmentation cross sections to more accurately simulate the physical properties of He-3 ions. The increase in RBE for He-3 ions is higher than for proton beams at the Bragg peak.