Title: Monte Carlo based Treatment Planning Systems for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy in Petten
Citation: Journal of Physics : Conference Series vol. 73 p. 012012 (1-12)
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC34377
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC34377
DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/73/1/012012
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is a bimodal form of radiotherapy for the treatment of tumour lesions. Since the cancer cells in the treatment volume are targeted with 10B, a higher dose is given to these cancer cells due to the 10B(n,α)7Li reaction, in comparison with the surrounding healthy cells. In Petten (The Netherlands), at the High Flux Reactor (HFR), a specially tailored neutron beam has been designed and installed. Over 30 patients have been treated with BNCT in 2 clinical protocols: a phase I study for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme (GM) [1] and a phase II study on the treatment of malignant melanoma (MM) [2]. Furthermore, activities concerning the extra-corporal treatment of metastasis in the liver (from colorectal cancer) are in progress [3, 4]. The irradiation beam at the HFR contains both neutrons and gammas that, together with the complex geometries of both patient and beam set-up, demands for very detailed treatment planning calculations. A well designed Treatment Planning System (TPS) should obey the following general scheme: (1) a pre-processing phase (CT and/or MRI scans to create the geometric solid model, cross-section files for neutrons and/or gammas); (2) calculations (3D radiation transport, estimation of neutron and gamma fluences, macroscopic and microscopic dose); (3) post-processing phase (displaying of the results, iso-doses and -fluences). Treatment planning in BNCT is performed making use of Monte Carlo codes incorporated in a framework, which includes also the pre- and post-processing phases. In particular, the GM protocol used BNCT_rtpe [5], while the MM protocol uses NCTPlan [6]. In addition, an ad hoc Positron Emission Tomography (PET) based treatment planning system (BDTPS) has been implemented in order to integrate the real macroscopic boron distribution obtained from PET scanning [8]. BDTPS is patented and uses MCNP as the calculation engine. The precision obtained by the Monte Carlo based TPSs exploited at Petten is considered sufficient for the scope of the project. One draw-back of the TPS in BNCT, compared with conventional TPSs, is the speed of calculation. In order to accelerate MCNP, a special ‘speed tally’ was implemented by which the results are obtained up to 10,000 times faster. Current studies enhance the application of the program Scan2MCNP [9] in order to translate the CT-images into a MCNP(X) geometry with a smaller voxel size and the application of mesh tallies.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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