SU-F-T-129: Impact of Radial Fluctuations in RBE for Therapeutic Proton Beams




To evaluate the off axis relative biological effectiveness (RBE) for actively scanned proton beams and determine if a constant radial RBE can be assumed.


The PHITS Monte Carlo code paired with a microscopic analytical function was used to determine probability distribution functions of the lineal energy in 0.3µm diameter spheres throughout a water phantom. Twenty million primary protons were simulated for a 0.6cm diameter pencil beam. Beam energies corresponding to Bragg Peak depths of 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300mm were used and evaluated transversely every millimeter and radially for annuli of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 3.2, 3.4, 3.6, 4.0, 5.0, 10.0, 15.0, 20.0 and 25.0mm outer radius. The acquired probability distributions were reduced to dose-mean lineal energies and applied to the modified microdosimetric kinetic model, for human submandibular gland (HSG) cells, to calculate relative biological effectiveness (RBE) compared to 60Co beams at the 10% survival threshold.


RBE was generally seen to increase as distance from the central axis (CAX) increased. However, this increase was only seen in low dose regions and its overall effects on the transverse biological dose remains low. In the entrance region of the phantom (10mm depth), minimum and maximum calculated RBEs varied between 15.22 and 18.88% for different energies. At the Bragg peak, this difference ranged from 3.15 to 26.77%. Despite these rather large variations the dose-weighted RBE and the CAX RBE varied by less than 0.14% at 10mm depth and less than 0.16% at the Bragg peak. Similarly small variations were found at all depths proximal of the Bragg peak.


Although proton RBE does vary radially, its overall effect on biological dose is minimal and the use of a radially constant RBE in treatment planning for scanned proton beams would not produce large errors.