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

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Postuma, I.; González, S.; Herrera, M.S.; Provenzano, L.; Ferrarini, M.; Magni, C.; Protti, N.; Fatemi, S.; Vercesi, V.; Battistoni, G.; Anselmi Tamburini, U.; Liu, Y.H.; Kankaanranta, L.; Koivunoro, H.; Altieri, S.; Bortolussi, S. A Novel Approach to Design and Evaluate BNCT Neutron Beams Combining Physical, Radiobiological, and Dosimetric Figures of Merit. Biology 2021, 10, 174.

Title: A Novel Approach to Design and Evaluate BNCT Neutron Beams Combining Physical, Radiobiological, and Dosimetric Figures of Merit
Author: Postuma, Ian; González, Sara; Herrera, Maria S; Provenzano, Lucas; Ferrarini, Michele; Magni, Chiara; Protti, Nicoletta; Fatemi, Setareh; Vercesi, Valerio; Battistoni, Giuseppe; Anselmi Tamburini, Umberto; Liu, Yuan Hao; Kankaanranta, Leena; Koivunoro, Hanna; Altieri, Saverio; Bortolussi, Silva
Publisher: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Date: 2021-02-26
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/327169
Abstract: (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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