SU-F-T-217: A Comprehensive Monte-Carlo Study of Out-Of-Field Secondary Neutron Spectra in a Scanned-Beam Proton Therapy Treatment Room




To simulate secondary neutron radiation-fields produced at different positions during phantom irradiation inside a scanning proton therapy gantry treatment room. Further, to identify origin, energy distribution and angular emission as function of proton beam energy.


GEANT4 and FLUKA Monte-Carlo codes were used to model the relevant parts of the treatment room in a gantry-equipped pencil beam scanning proton therapy facility including walls, floor, metallic gantry-components, patient table and the homogeneous PMMA target. The proton beams were modeled based on experimental beam ranges in water and spot shapes in air. Neutron energy spectra were simulated at 0°, 45°, 90° and 135° relative to the beam axis at 2m distance from isocenter, as well as 11×11 cm2 fields for 75MeV, 140MeV, 200MeV and for 118MeV with 5cm PMMA range-shifter. The total neutron energy distribution was recorded for these four positions and proton energies. Additionally, the room-components generating secondary neutrons in the room and their contributions to the total spectrum were identified and quantified.


FLUKA and GEANT4 simulated neutron spectra showed good general agreement in the whole energy range of 109 to 102 MeV. Comparison of measured spectra with the simulated contributions of the various room components helped to limit the complexity of the room model, by identifying the dominant contributions to the secondary neutron spectrum. The iron of the bending magnet and counterweight were identified as sources of secondary evaporation-neutrons, which were lacking in simplified room models.


Thorough Monte-Carlo simulations have been performed to complement Bonner-sphere spectrometry measurements of secondary neutrons in a clinical proton therapy treatment room. Such calculations helped disentangling the origin of secondary neutrons and their dominant contributions to measured spectra, besides providing a useful validation of widely used Monte-Carlo packages in comparison to experimental data.

Cluster of Excellence of the German Research Foundation (DFG) “Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP)”