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Title: SU-E-T-521: Investigation of the Uncertainties Involved in Secondary Neutron/gamma Production in Geant4/MCNP6 Monte Carlo Codes for Proton Therapy Application

Abstract

Purpose: A major concern in proton therapy is the production of secondary neutrons causing secondary cancers, especially in young adults and children. Most utilized Monte Carlo codes in proton therapy are Geant4 and MCNP. However, the default versions of Geant4 and MCNP6 do not have suitable cross sections or physical models to properly handle secondary particle production in proton energy ranges used for therapy. In this study, default versions of Geant4 and MCNP6 were modified to better handle production of secondaries by adding the TENDL-2012 cross-section library. Methods: In-water proton depth-dose was measured at the “The Svedberg Laboratory” in Uppsala (Sweden). The proton beam was mono-energetic with mean energy of 178.25±0.2 MeV. The measurement set-up was simulated by Geant4 version 10.00 (default and modified version) and MCNP6. Proton depth-dose, primary and secondary particle fluence and neutron equivalent dose were calculated. In case of Geant4, the secondary particle fluence was filtered by all the physics processes to identify the main process responsible for the difference between the default and modified version. Results: The proton depth-dose curves and primary proton fluence show a good agreement between both Geant4 versions and MCNP6. With respect to the modified version, default Geant4 underestimates the productionmore » of secondary neutrons while overestimates that of gammas. The “ProtonInElastic” process was identified as the main responsible process for the difference between the two versions. MCNP6 shows higher neutron production and lower gamma production than both Geant4 versions. Conclusion: Despite the good agreement on the proton depth dose curve and primary proton fluence, there is a significant discrepancy on secondary neutron production between MCNP6 and both versions of Geant4. Further studies are thus in order to find the possible cause of this discrepancy or more accurate cross-sections/models to handle the nuclear interactions of protons with energy ranges used for therapy. NSERC-CRSNG’ CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network compute calcul CANADA; McGill University health center research institute the fast foundation; LM acknowledges partial support by the CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network grant of the Natural Sciences and Engineering; Research Council Grant number 432290.« less

Authors:
;  [1];  [2]
  1. McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
  2. University of Pisa, Pisa, Pisa (Italy)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22548559
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 42; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: (c) 2015 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; 60 APPLIED LIFE SCIENCES; CHILDREN; CROSS SECTIONS; DEPTH DOSE DISTRIBUTIONS; DOSE EQUIVALENTS; EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES; MEV RANGE 100-1000; MONTE CARLO METHOD; NEOPLASMS; PARTICLE PRODUCTION; PROTON BEAMS; RADIOTHERAPY; TRAINING

Citation Formats

Mirzakhanian, L, Enger, S, and Giusti, V. SU-E-T-521: Investigation of the Uncertainties Involved in Secondary Neutron/gamma Production in Geant4/MCNP6 Monte Carlo Codes for Proton Therapy Application. United States: N. p., 2015. Web. doi:10.1118/1.4924883.
Mirzakhanian, L, Enger, S, & Giusti, V. SU-E-T-521: Investigation of the Uncertainties Involved in Secondary Neutron/gamma Production in Geant4/MCNP6 Monte Carlo Codes for Proton Therapy Application. United States. doi:10.1118/1.4924883.
Mirzakhanian, L, Enger, S, and Giusti, V. 2015. "SU-E-T-521: Investigation of the Uncertainties Involved in Secondary Neutron/gamma Production in Geant4/MCNP6 Monte Carlo Codes for Proton Therapy Application". United States. doi:10.1118/1.4924883.
@article{osti_22548559,
title = {SU-E-T-521: Investigation of the Uncertainties Involved in Secondary Neutron/gamma Production in Geant4/MCNP6 Monte Carlo Codes for Proton Therapy Application},
author = {Mirzakhanian, L and Enger, S and Giusti, V},
abstractNote = {Purpose: A major concern in proton therapy is the production of secondary neutrons causing secondary cancers, especially in young adults and children. Most utilized Monte Carlo codes in proton therapy are Geant4 and MCNP. However, the default versions of Geant4 and MCNP6 do not have suitable cross sections or physical models to properly handle secondary particle production in proton energy ranges used for therapy. In this study, default versions of Geant4 and MCNP6 were modified to better handle production of secondaries by adding the TENDL-2012 cross-section library. Methods: In-water proton depth-dose was measured at the “The Svedberg Laboratory” in Uppsala (Sweden). The proton beam was mono-energetic with mean energy of 178.25±0.2 MeV. The measurement set-up was simulated by Geant4 version 10.00 (default and modified version) and MCNP6. Proton depth-dose, primary and secondary particle fluence and neutron equivalent dose were calculated. In case of Geant4, the secondary particle fluence was filtered by all the physics processes to identify the main process responsible for the difference between the default and modified version. Results: The proton depth-dose curves and primary proton fluence show a good agreement between both Geant4 versions and MCNP6. With respect to the modified version, default Geant4 underestimates the production of secondary neutrons while overestimates that of gammas. The “ProtonInElastic” process was identified as the main responsible process for the difference between the two versions. MCNP6 shows higher neutron production and lower gamma production than both Geant4 versions. Conclusion: Despite the good agreement on the proton depth dose curve and primary proton fluence, there is a significant discrepancy on secondary neutron production between MCNP6 and both versions of Geant4. Further studies are thus in order to find the possible cause of this discrepancy or more accurate cross-sections/models to handle the nuclear interactions of protons with energy ranges used for therapy. NSERC-CRSNG’ CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network compute calcul CANADA; McGill University health center research institute the fast foundation; LM acknowledges partial support by the CREATE Medical Physics Research Training Network grant of the Natural Sciences and Engineering; Research Council Grant number 432290.},
doi = {10.1118/1.4924883},
journal = {Medical Physics},
number = 6,
volume = 42,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 6
}
  • Purpose: To monitor the secondary dose distribution originating from a water phantom during proton therapy of prostate cancer using scintillating fibers. Methods: The Geant4 Monte Carlo toolkit version 9.6.p02 was used to simulate prostate cancer proton therapy based treatments. Two cases were studied. In the first case, 8 × 8 = 64 equally spaced fibers inside three 4 × 4 × 2.54 cmm{sup 3} DuPont™ Delrin blocks were used to monitor the emission of secondary particles in the transverse (left and right) and distal regions relative to the beam direction. In the second case, a scintillating block with a thicknessmore » of 2.54 cm and equal vertical and longitudinal dimensions as the water phantom was used. Geometrical cuts were used to extract the energy deposited in each fiber and the scintillating block. Results: The transverse dose distributions from secondary particles in both cases agree within <5% and with a very good symmetry. The energy deposited not only gradually increases as one moves from the peripheral row fibers towards the center of the block (aligned with the center of the prostate) but also decreases as one goes from the frontal to distal region of the block. The ratio of the doses from the prostate to the ones in the middle two rows of fibers showed a linear relationship with a slope (−3.55±2.26) × 10−5 MeV per treatment Gy. The distal detectors recorded a very small energy deposited due to water attenuation. Conclusion: With a good calibration and the ability to define a good correlation between the dose to the external fibers and the prostate, such fibers can be used for real time dose verification to the target.« less
  • Purpose: Proton therapy exhibits several advantages over photon therapy due to depth-dose distributions from proton interactions within the target material. However, uncertainties associated with protons beam range in the patient limit the advantage of proton therapy applications. To quantify beam range, positron-emitting nuclei (PEN) and prompt gamma (PG) techniques have been developed. These techniques use de-excitation photons to describe the location of the beam in the patient. To develop a detector system for implementing the PG technique for range verification applications in proton therapy, we studied the yields, energy and angular distributions of the secondary particles emitted from a PMMAmore » phantom. Methods: Proton pencil beams of various energies incident onto a PMMA phantom with dimensions of 5 x 5 x 50 cm3 were used for simulation with the Geant4 toolkit using the standard electromagnetic packages as well as the packages based on the binary-cascade nuclear model. The emitted secondary particles are analyzed . Results: For 160 MeV incident protons, the yields of secondary neutrons and photons per 100 incident protons were ~6 and ~15 respectively. Secondary photon energy spectrum showed several energy peaks in the range between 0 and 10 MeV. The energy peaks located between 4 and 6 MeV were attributed to originate from direct proton interactions with 12C (~ 4.4 MeV) and 16O (~ 6 MeV), respectively. Most of the escaping secondary neutrons were found to have energies between 10 and 100 MeV. Isotropic emissions were found for lower energy neutrons (<10 MeV) and photons for all energies, while higher energy neutrons were emitted predominantly in the forward direction. The yields of emitted photons and neutrons increased with the increase of incident proton energies. Conclusions: A detector system is currently being developed incorporating the yields, energy and angular distributions of secondary particles from proton interactions obtained from this study.« less
  • Purpose: To construct a dose monitoring system based on an endorectal balloon coupled to thin scintillating fibers to study the dose delivered to the rectum during prostate cancer proton therapy Methods: The Geant4 Monte Carlo toolkit version 9.6p02 was used to simulate prostate cancer proton therapy treatments of an endorectal balloon (for immobilization of a 2.9 cm diameter prostate gland) and a set of 34 scintillating fibers symmetrically placed around the balloon and perpendicular to the proton beam direction (for dosimetry measurements) Results: A linear response of the fibers to the dose delivered was observed within <2%, a property thatmore » makes them good candidates for real time dosimetry. Results obtained show that the closest fiber recorded about 1/3 of the dose to the target with a 1/r{sup 2} decrease in the dose distribution as one goes toward the frontal and distal top fibers. Very low dose was recorded by the bottom fibers (about 45 times comparatively), which is a clear indication that the overall volume of the rectal wall that is exposed to a higher dose is relatively minimized. Further analysis indicated a simple scaling relationship between the dose to the prostate and the dose to the top fibers (a linear fit gave a slope of −0.07±0.07 MeV per treatment Gy) Conclusion: Thin (1 mm × 1 mm × 100 cm) long scintillating fibers were found to be ideal for real time in-vivo dose measurement to the rectum for prostate cancer proton therapy. The linear response of the fibers to the dose delivered makes them good candidates of dosimeters. With thorough calibration and the ability to define a good correlation between the dose to the target and the dose to the fibers, such dosimeters can be used for real time dose verification to the target.« less
  • Purpose: The motivation of this study was to find and eliminate the cause of errors in dose-averaged linear energy transfer (LET) calculations from therapeutic protons in small targets, such as biological cell layers, calculated using the GEANT 4 Monte Carlo code. Furthermore, the purpose was also to provide a recommendation to select an appropriate LET quantity from GEANT 4 simulations to correlate with biological effectiveness of therapeutic protons. Methods: The authors developed a particle tracking step based strategy to calculate the average LET quantities (track-averaged LET, LET{sub t} and dose-averaged LET, LET{sub d}) using GEANT 4 for different tracking stepmore » size limits. A step size limit refers to the maximally allowable tracking step length. The authors investigated how the tracking step size limit influenced the calculated LET{sub t} and LET{sub d} of protons with six different step limits ranging from 1 to 500 μm in a water phantom irradiated by a 79.7-MeV clinical proton beam. In addition, the authors analyzed the detailed stochastic energy deposition information including fluence spectra and dose spectra of the energy-deposition-per-step of protons. As a reference, the authors also calculated the averaged LET and analyzed the LET spectra combining the Monte Carlo method and the deterministic method. Relative biological effectiveness (RBE) calculations were performed to illustrate the impact of different LET calculation methods on the RBE-weighted dose. Results: Simulation results showed that the step limit effect was small for LET{sub t} but significant for LET{sub d}. This resulted from differences in the energy-deposition-per-step between the fluence spectra and dose spectra at different depths in the phantom. Using the Monte Carlo particle tracking method in GEANT 4 can result in incorrect LET{sub d} calculation results in the dose plateau region for small step limits. The erroneous LET{sub d} results can be attributed to the algorithm to determine fluctuations in energy deposition along the tracking step in GEANT 4. The incorrect LET{sub d} values lead to substantial differences in the calculated RBE. Conclusions: When the GEANT 4 particle tracking method is used to calculate the average LET values within targets with a small step limit, such as smaller than 500 μm, the authors recommend the use of LET{sub t} in the dose plateau region and LET{sub d} around the Bragg peak. For a large step limit, i.e., 500 μm, LET{sub d} is recommended along the whole Bragg curve. The transition point depends on beam parameters and can be found by determining the location where the gradient of the ratio of LET{sub d} and LET{sub t} becomes positive.« less
  • Purpose: To simulate secondary neutron radiation-fields produced at different positions during phantom irradiation inside a scanning proton therapy gantry treatment room. Further, to identify origin, energy distribution and angular emission as function of proton beam energy. Methods: GEANT4 and FLUKA Monte-Carlo codes were used to model the relevant parts of the treatment room in a gantry-equipped pencil beam scanning proton therapy facility including walls, floor, metallic gantry-components, patient table and the homogeneous PMMA target. The proton beams were modeled based on experimental beam ranges in water and spot shapes in air. Neutron energy spectra were simulated at 0°, 45°, 90°more » and 135° relative to the beam axis at 2m distance from isocenter, as well as 11×11 cm2 fields for 75MeV, 140MeV, 200MeV and for 118MeV with 5cm PMMA range-shifter. The total neutron energy distribution was recorded for these four positions and proton energies. Additionally, the room-components generating secondary neutrons in the room and their contributions to the total spectrum were identified and quantified. Results: FLUKA and GEANT4 simulated neutron spectra showed good general agreement in the whole energy range of 10{sup −}9 to 10{sup 2} MeV. Comparison of measured spectra with the simulated contributions of the various room components helped to limit the complexity of the room model, by identifying the dominant contributions to the secondary neutron spectrum. The iron of the bending magnet and counterweight were identified as sources of secondary evaporation-neutrons, which were lacking in simplified room models. Conclusion: Thorough Monte-Carlo simulations have been performed to complement Bonner-sphere spectrometry measurements of secondary neutrons in a clinical proton therapy treatment room. Such calculations helped disentangling the origin of secondary neutrons and their dominant contributions to measured spectra, besides providing a useful validation of widely used Monte-Carlo packages in comparison to experimental data. Cluster of Excellence of the German Research Foundation (DFG) “Munich-Centre for Advanced Photonics (MAP)”.« less