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Background: Radiogenic second cancer is a common late effect in long term cancer survivors. Currently there are few methods or tools available to visually evaluate the spatial distribution of risks of radiogenic late effects in the human body. We developed a risk visualization method and demonstrated it for radiogenic second cancers in tissues and organs of one patient treated with photon volumetric modulated arc therapy and one patient treated with proton craniospinal irradiation. Methods: Treatment plans were generated using radiotherapy treatment planning systems (TPS) and dose information was obtained from TPS. Linear non-threshold risk coefficients for organs at risk of second cancer incidence were taken from the Biological Effects of Ionization Radiation VII report. Alternative risk models including linear exponential model and linear plateau model were also examined. The predicted absolute lifetime risk distributions were visualized together with images of the patient anatomy. Results: The risk distributions of second cancer for the two patients were visually presented. The risk distributions varied with tissue, dose, dose-risk model used, and the risk distribution could be similar to or very different from the dose distribution. Conclusions: Our method provides a convenient way to directly visualize and evaluate the risks of radiogenic second cancer in organs and tissues of the human body. In the future, visual assessment of risk distribution could be an influential determinant for treatment plan scoring.

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Radiation Oncology