General Electric PETtrace cyclotron as a neutron source for boron neutron capture therapy
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This research investigates the use of a PETtrace cyclotron produced by General Electric (GE) as a neutron source for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). The GE PETtrace was chosen for this investigation because this type of cyclotron is popular among nuclear pharmacies and clinics in many countries; it is compact and reliable; it produces protons with energies high enough to produce neutrons with appropriate energy and fluence rate for BNCT and it does not require significant changes in design to provide neutrons. In particular, the standard PETtrace 18O target is considered. The cyclotron efficiency may be significantly increased if unused neutrons produced during radioisotopes production could be utilized for other medical modalities such as BNCT at the same time. The resulting dose from the radiation emitted from the target is evaluated using the Monte Carlo radiation transport code MCNP at several depths in a brain phantom for different scattering geometries. Four different moderating materials of various thicknesses were considered: light water, carbon, heavy water, and FluentalTM. The fluence rate tally was used to calculate photon and neutron dose, by applying fluence rate-to-dose conversion factors. Fifteen different geometries were considered and a 30-cm thick heavy water moderator was chosen as the most suitable for BNCT with the GE PETtrace cyclotron. According to the Brookhaven Medical Research Reactor (BMRR) protocol, the maximum dose to the normal brain is set to 12.5 RBEGy, which for the conditions of using a heavy water moderator, assuming a 60 ??A beam current, would be reached with a treatment time of 258 min. Results showed that using a PETtrace cyclotron in this configuration provides a therapeutic ratio of about 2.4 for depths up to 4 cm inside a brain phantom. Further increase of beam current proposed by GE should significantly improve the beam quality or the treatment time and allow treating tumors at greater depths.