Secondary Neutron Fields During Modern Cancer Treatments -- Simulation and Measurement of the Secondary Radiation Field at the University Proton Therapy Dresden (UPTD)


Secondary Neutron Fields During Modern Cancer Treatments -- Simulation and Measurement of the Secondary Radiation Field at the University Proton Therapy Dresden (UPTD)

Lutz, B.; Reginatto, M.; Zboril, M.; Swanson, R.; Enghardt, W.; Fiedler, F.

Abstract

Particle therapy is a strongly growing field in cancer therapy. More than 60 treatment centres are currently operating worldwide and the total number will reach more than 90 by 2017(1). The majority of the centres uses protons to treat patients.

With the increasing importance of particle therapy, the development of application-specific monitoring systems has received a significant boost. On the one side, there are the radio-protection questions like the secondary dose to patients or to radio-sensitive equipment. On the other side, there are the methods that intend to verify the correct application of the treatment dose, during or short after the treatment, like prompt-gamma-imaging or -timing, or PET. For both groups of measurements, a good understanding of the secondary radiation field is crucial.

The greatest challenge in determining the secondary radiation field comes from neutrons. The spectra of the neutrons, generated by protons of therapeutic energies, extend far beyond the specification of most commercially available dosimeters. Additionally, the generated neutron fields are spatially non-uniform and in case of passive field formation strongly dependent on the operational setting. Combined with the very limited spatial and spectral resolution of the available neutron detectors, many details of the field cannot be experimentally resolved. Therefore, a dependable measurement of the neutron field requires a detailed simulation of the neutron generation in the treatment system.

The talk gives an overview of the passive proton field formation used at the University Proton Therapy Dresden. The challenges in modelling and measuring the resulting neutron fields are discussed. The current status of the simulation model is presented. The predicted neutron fields are also compared to first experimental measurements with a neutron REM meter and an extended Bonner sphere spectrometer.

(1) Particle Therapy Co-Operative Group (PTCOG), www.ptcog.ch

Keywords: neutron simulation; neutron experiment; UPTD

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Permalink: https://www.hzdr.de/publications/Publ-23805