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




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


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.


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.


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.