Photon activation therapy: a Monte Carlo study on dose enhancement by various sources and activation media

  • Mahdi Bakhshabadi
  • Mahdi GhorbaniEmail author
  • Ali Soleimani Meigooni
Scientific Paper


In the present study, a number of brachytherapy sources and activation media were simulated using MCNPX code and the results were analyzed based on the dose enhancement factor values. Furthermore, two new brachytherapy sources (131Cs and a hypothetical 170Tm) were evaluated for their application in photon activation therapy (PAT). 125I, 103Pd, 131Cs and hypothetical 170Tm brachytherapy sources were simulated in water and their dose rate constant and the radial dose functions were compared with previously published data. The sources were then simulated in a soft tissue phantom which was composed of Ag, I, Pt or Au as activation media uniformly distributed in the tumour volume. These simulations were performed using the MCNPX code, and dose enhancement factor (DEF) was obtained for 7, 18 and 30 mg/ml concentrations of the activation media. Each source, activation medium and concentration was evaluated separately in a separate simulation. The calculated dose rate constant and radial dose functions were in agreement with the published data for the aforementioned sources. The maximum DEF was found to be 5.58 for a combination of the 170Tm source with 30 mg/ml concentration of I. The DEFs for 131Cs and 170Tm sources for all the four activation media were higher than those for other sources and activation media. From this point of view, these two sources can be more useful in photon activation therapy with photon emitter sources. Furthermore, 131Cs and 170Tm brachytherapy sources can be proposed as new options for use in the field of PAT.


Brachytherapy Photon activation therapy Dose enhancement TG-43 parameters 



The authors are thankful to Dr. Facundo Ballester for his help to review the manuscript. The authors would also like to thank North Khorasan University of Medical Sciences for funding this work.


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Copyright information

© Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahdi Bakhshabadi
    • 1
  • Mahdi Ghorbani
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ali Soleimani Meigooni
    • 3
  1. 1.North Khorasan University of Medical SciencesBojnurdIran
  2. 2.Medical Physics Department, Faculty of MedicineMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  3. 3.Comprehensive Cancer Centers of NevadaLas VegasUSA

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