Determination of Dose From Light Charged Ions Relevant to Hadron Therapy Using the Particle and Heavy Ion Transport System (PHITS)
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In conventional radiotherapy for tumor treatment, photons are used to impart an energetic dose inside a tumor with the goal of killing the cancerous cells. This process is intrinsically inefficient due to the fact that photons lose their energy exponentially with depth causing the highest dose to occur in overlying healthy tissue. However, charged particles with a mass of 1 amu or greater lose their energy in a manner that allows for a high dose to be localized at significant depth. The area of high dose localization is known as the Bragg Peak. Exploitation of the Bragg Peak could lead to more efficient non-invasive treatment plans by reducing the dose in healthy tissues. Using the Particle and Heavy Ion Transport System (PHITS), the dose and fragmentation particles from ions of 1H, 4He, 7Li, 12C, 16O, and 20Ne were found at varying depths in a water phantom. A water filled cylindrical phantom with a radius of 10 cm was used to mimic a human body. The energy of each ion was selected so that the Bragg Peak would occur approximately 10 cm into the depth of the water phantom where a 1 cm radius water sphere was placed to simulate a solid tumor. Dose equivalent localization rates within the tumor were found to be 14.5, 36.5, 45.7, 49.5, 41.3, and 34.1 percent for 1H, 4He, 7Li, 12C, 16O, and 20Ne, respectively. The percentage of dose within the tumor increased with increasing atomic number up to 12C, decreasing thereafter. The total dose distal from the tumor ranged from 0.1, 0.9, 2.8, 0.9, 0.5, and 0.6 percent for the ions ordered by their masses. Complementing its high dose in the tumor, carbon was seen to experience the lowest amount of dose escaping due to fragmentation and scattering, on a dose normalized basis.
Butkus, Michael Patrick (2011). Determination of Dose From Light Charged Ions Relevant to Hadron Therapy Using the Particle and Heavy Ion Transport System (PHITS). Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from