Evaluation of Photoneutron Dose Measured by Bubble Detectors in Conventional Linacs and Cyberknife Unit: Effective Dose and Secondary Malignancy Risk Estimation

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Abstract

This study aims to reduce the uncertainty about the photoneutron dose produced over a course of radiotherapy with high-energy photon beams and evaluate photoneutron contamination-based secondary malignancy risk for different treatment modalities. Dosimetric measurements were taken in Philips SL25/75, Elekta Synergy Platform (Elekta AB, Stockholm, Sweden), Varian Clinac DHX High Performance systems (Varian Medical Systems, Palo Alto, CA), and Cyberknife Robotic Radiosurgery Unit (Accuray Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) using bubble detector for neutron dosimetry. The measurement data were used to determine in-field and out-of-field neutron equivalent dose in 6-MV 3D conformal radiotherapy, sliding window–intensity-modulated radiotherapy, and stereotactic body radiotherapy and to calculate the effective dose in 18-MV 3D conformal radiotherapy and sliding window–intensity-modulated radiotherapy techniques for patients with prostate cancer undergoing a standard treatment. For the 18-MV treatment techniques, the secondary malignancy risk due to the neutron contamination was estimated using the risk factors published by The International Commission on Radiological Protection. The neutron contamination-based secondary malignancy risk for the 18-MV 3D conformal radiotherapy and sliding window–intensity-modulated radiotherapy modalities was found to be 0.44% and 1.45% for Elekta Synergy Platform and 0.92% and 3.0% for the Varian Clinac DHX High Performance, respectively. For 6-MV 3D conformal radiotherapy, sliding window–intensity-modulated radiotherapy, and stereotactic body radiotherapy treatment techniques, neutron equivalent doses inside the treatment field were found to be lower than 40 mSv. Our measurements reveal that equivalent dose and effective dose due to the neutron contamination are at a considerable level for 18-MV sliding window–intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatments, while 6-MV photon beams used in different modalities still induce only negligible photoneutrons. The secondary malignancy risk based on photoneutron should be therefore taken into consideration in case of selecting 18-MV photons in a sliding window–intensity-modulated radiotherapy treatment instead of 6 MV.

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