Monte Carlo study of neutron dose equivalent during passive scattering proton therapy

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Stray radiation exposures are of concern for patients receiving proton radiotherapy and vary strongly with several treatment factors. The purposes of this study were to conservatively estimate neutron exposures for a contemporary passive scattering proton therapy system and to understand how they vary with treatment factors. We studied the neutron dose equivalent per therapeutic absorbed dose (H/D) as a function of treatment factors including proton energy, location in the treatment room, treatment field size, spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) width and snout position using both Monte Carlo simulations and analytical modeling. The H/D value at the isocenter for a 250 MeV medium field size option was estimated to be 20 mSv Gy-1. H/D values generally increased with the energy or penetration range, fell off sharply with distance from the treatment unit, decreased modestly with the aperture size, increased with the SOBP width and decreased with the snout distance from the isocenter. The H/D values from Monte Carlo simulations agreed well with experimental results from the literature. The analytical model predicted H/D values within 28% of those obtained in simulations; this value is within typical neutron measurement uncertainties. © 2007 IOP Publishing Ltd.

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Physics in Medicine and Biology

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