Combined use of FLUKA and MCNP-4A for the Monte Carlo simulation of the dosimetry of 10B neutron capture enhancement of fast neutron irradiations



Boron neutron capture enhancement (BNCE) of the fast neutron irradiations use thermal neutrons produced in depth of the tissues to generate neutron capture reactions on 10B within tumor cells. The dose enhancement is correlated to the 10B concentration and to thermal neutron flux measured in the depth of the tissues, and in this paper we demonstrate the feasibility of Monte Carlo simulation to study the dosimetry of BNCE. The charged particle FLUKA code has been used to calculate the primary neutron yield from the beryllium target, while MCNP-4A has been used for the transport of these neutrons in the geometry of the Biomedical Cyclotron of Nice. The fast neutron spectrum and dose deposition, the thermal flux and thermal neutron spectrum in depth of a Plexiglas phantom has been calculated. The thermal neutron flux has been compared with experimental results determined with calibrated thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLD-600 and TLD-700, respectively, doped with 6Li or 7Li). The theoretical results were in good agreement with the experimental results: the thermal neutron flux was calculated at 10.3×106n/cm2s1 and measured at 9.42×106n/cm2s1 at 4 cm depth of the phantom and with a 10cm×10cm irradiation field. For fast neutron dose deposition the calculated and experimental curves have the same slope but different shape: only the experimental curve shows a maximum at 2.27 cm depth corresponding to the build-up. The difference is due to the Monte Carlo simulation which does not follow the secondary particles. Finally, a dose enhancement of, respectively, 4.6% and 10.4% are found for 10cm×10cm or 20cm×20cm fields, provided that 100 μg/g of 10B is loaded in the tissues. It is anticipated that this calculation method may be used to improve BNCE of fast neutron irradiations through collimation modifications.