SU-E-T-21: A D-D Based Neutron Generator System for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy: A Feasibility Study

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Abstract

Purpose:

To investigate the feasibility of a deuterium-deuterium (DD) neutron generator for application in boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) of brain cancer

Methods:

MCNP simulations were performed using a head phantom and a monoenergetic neutron source, which resembles the point source in a DD generator that emits 2.45-MeV neutrons. Source energies ranging from 5eV to 2.45MeV were simulated to determine the optimal treatment energy. The phantom consisted of soft tissue, brain tissue, skull, skin layer, and a brain tumor of 5 cm in diameter. Tumor depth was varied from 5–10 cm. Boron-10 concentrations of 10 ppm, 15 ppm, and 30 ppm were used in the soft/brain tissues, skin, and tumor, respectively. The neutron flux required to deliver 60 Gy to the tumor as well as the normal tissue doses were determined.

Results:

Beam energies between 5eV and 10keV obtained doses with the highest dose ratios (3.3–25.9) between the tumor and the brain at various depths. The dose ratio with 2.45-MeV neutrons ranged from 0.8–6.6. To achieve the desired tumor dose in 40 minutes, the required neutron flux for a DD generator was between 8.8E10 and 5.2E11 n/s and the resulting brain dose was between 2.3 and 18 Gy, depending on the tumor depth. The skin and soft tissue doses were within acceptable tolerances. The boron-neutron interaction accounted for 54–58% of the total dose.

Conclusion:

This study shows that the DD neutron generator can be a feasible neutron source for BNCT. The required neutron flux for treatment is achievable with the current DD neutron technology. With a well-designed beam shaping assembly and treatment geometry, the neutron flux can be further improved and a 60-Gy prescription can be accurately delivered to the target while maintaining tolerable normal tissue doses. Further experimental studies will be developed and conducted to validate the simulation results.

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