Simple SummaryClinical potential and safety are presented as novel criteria to evaluate neutron beams designed for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). The presently used figures of merit are a set of physical quantities calculated in air, related to the neutron flux, the collimation, and the spectral characteristics. However, the capability of the beam to deliver an effective and safe treatment to patients should be the most important criterion in view of the clinical application. This work presents the design of a neutron beam produced by a proton accelerator coupled to a beryllium target and the use of new figures of merit to choose the best beam among different candidates. These figures of merit use tridimensional dosimetry simulated in phantoms and patients, to calculate the probability of tumor control without affecting healthy tissues, employing proper radiobiological models. Moreover, the dose absorbed by out-of-field healthy organs is used as a criterion to establish the safest beam for clinical treatments. Results show that beams that would be rejected by physical in-air quantities demonstrate a clinical performance comparable to existing neutron beams successfully used for patients, and that the presented criteria allow a clear selection of the most adequate beam among the ones presented.(1) Background:The quality of neutron beams for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is currently defined by its physical characteristics in air. Recommendations exist to define whether a designed beam is useful for clinical treatment. This work presents a new way to evaluate neutron beams based on their clinical performance and on their safety, employing radiobiological quantities. (2) Methods: The case study is a neutron beam for deep-seated tumors from a 5 MeV proton beam coupled to a beryllium target. Physical Figures of Merit were used to design five beams; however, they did not allow a clear ranking of their quality in terms of therapeutic potential. The latter was then evaluated based on in-phantom dose distributions and on the calculation of the Uncomplicated Tumor Control Probability (UTCP). The safety of the beams was also evaluated calculating the in-patient out-of-beam dosimetry. (3) Results: All the beams ensured a UTCP comparable to the one of a clinical beam in phantom; the safety criterion allowed to choose the best candidate. When this was tested in the treatment planning of a real patient treated in Finland, the UTCP was still comparable to the one of the clinical beam. (4) Conclusions: Even when standard physical recommendations are not met, radiobiological and dosimetric criteria demonstrate to be a valid tool to select an effective and safe beam for patient treatment.

A Novel Approach to Design and Evaluate BNCT Neutron Beams Combining Physical, Radiobiological, and Dosimetric Figures of Merit

Postuma, I
;
Magni, C;Protti, N;Fatemi, S;Kankaanranta, L;Altieri, S;Bortolussi, S
2021-01-01

Abstract

Simple SummaryClinical potential and safety are presented as novel criteria to evaluate neutron beams designed for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). The presently used figures of merit are a set of physical quantities calculated in air, related to the neutron flux, the collimation, and the spectral characteristics. However, the capability of the beam to deliver an effective and safe treatment to patients should be the most important criterion in view of the clinical application. This work presents the design of a neutron beam produced by a proton accelerator coupled to a beryllium target and the use of new figures of merit to choose the best beam among different candidates. These figures of merit use tridimensional dosimetry simulated in phantoms and patients, to calculate the probability of tumor control without affecting healthy tissues, employing proper radiobiological models. Moreover, the dose absorbed by out-of-field healthy organs is used as a criterion to establish the safest beam for clinical treatments. Results show that beams that would be rejected by physical in-air quantities demonstrate a clinical performance comparable to existing neutron beams successfully used for patients, and that the presented criteria allow a clear selection of the most adequate beam among the ones presented.(1) Background:The quality of neutron beams for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is currently defined by its physical characteristics in air. Recommendations exist to define whether a designed beam is useful for clinical treatment. This work presents a new way to evaluate neutron beams based on their clinical performance and on their safety, employing radiobiological quantities. (2) Methods: The case study is a neutron beam for deep-seated tumors from a 5 MeV proton beam coupled to a beryllium target. Physical Figures of Merit were used to design five beams; however, they did not allow a clear ranking of their quality in terms of therapeutic potential. The latter was then evaluated based on in-phantom dose distributions and on the calculation of the Uncomplicated Tumor Control Probability (UTCP). The safety of the beams was also evaluated calculating the in-patient out-of-beam dosimetry. (3) Results: All the beams ensured a UTCP comparable to the one of a clinical beam in phantom; the safety criterion allowed to choose the best candidate. When this was tested in the treatment planning of a real patient treated in Finland, the UTCP was still comparable to the one of the clinical beam. (4) Conclusions: Even when standard physical recommendations are not met, radiobiological and dosimetric criteria demonstrate to be a valid tool to select an effective and safe beam for patient treatment.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1439880
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