Monte Carlo Based Dosimetry and Treatment Planning for Neutron Capture Therapy of Brain Tumors

  • R. G. Zamenhof
  • S. D. Clement
  • O. K. Harling
  • J. F. Brenner
  • D. E. Wazer
  • H. Madoc-Jones
  • J. C. Yanch
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 54)


Monte Carlo based dosimetry and computer-aided treatment planning for neutron capture therapy have been developed to provide the necessary link between physical dosimetric measurements performed on the MITR-II epithermal-neutron beams and the need of the radiation oncologist to synthesize large amounts of dosimetric data into a clinically meaningful treatment plan for each individual patient. Monte Carlo simulation has been employed to characterize the spatial dose distributions within a skull/brain model irradiated by an epithermal-neutron beam designed for neutron capture therapy applications. The geometry and elemental composition employed for the mathematical skull/brain model and the neutron and photon fluence-to-dose conversion formalism are presented. A treatment planning program, NCTPLAN, developed specifically for neutron capture therapy, is described. Examples are presented illustrating both one and two-dimensional dose distributions obtainable within the brain with an experimental epithermal-neutron beam, together with beam quality and treatment plan efficacy criteria which have been formulated for neutron capture therapy. The incorporation of three-dimensional computed tomographic image data into the treatment planning procedure is illustrated. The experimental epithermal-neutron beam has a maximum usable circular diameter of 20 cm, and with 30 ppm of B-10 in tumor and 3 ppm of B-10 in blood, it produces (with RBE weighting) a beam-axis advantage depth of 7.4 cm, a beam-axis advantage ratio of 1.83, a global advantage ratio of 1.70, and an advantage depth RBE-dose rate to tumor of 20.6 RBE-cGy/min (cJ/kg-min). These characteristics make this beam well suited for clinical applications, enabling an RBE-dose of 2,000 RBE-cGy/min (cJ/kg-min) to be delivered to tumor at brain midline in six fractions with a treatment time of approximately 16 minutes per fraction. With parallel-opposed lateral irradiation, the planar advantage depth contour for this beam (with the B-10 distribution defined above) encompasses nearly the whole brain. Experimental calibration techniques for the conversion of normalized to absolute treatment plans are described.


Neutron Beam Boron Neutron Capture Therapy Experimental Beam Integral Dose Dose Component 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. G. Zamenhof
    • 1
  • S. D. Clement
    • 2
  • O. K. Harling
    • 2
  • J. F. Brenner
    • 1
  • D. E. Wazer
    • 1
  • H. Madoc-Jones
    • 1
  • J. C. Yanch
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyTufts — New England Medical CenterBostonUSA
  2. 2.Nuclear Reactor LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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