Journal of Medical Physics
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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 263-269

Characterization of the mixed radiation field produced by carbon and oxygen ion beams of therapeutic energy: A Monte Carlo simulation study

1 Oncological and Radiological Science Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
2 Centre of Medical Radiation Physics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. C K Ying
Oncological and Radiological Science Cluster, Advanced Medical and Dental Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 13200, Kepala Batas, Pulau Pinang
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmp.JMP_40_19

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Purpose: The main advantages of charged particle radiotherapy compared to conventional X-ray external beam radiotherapy are a better tumor conformality coupled with the capability of treating deep-seated radio-resistant tumors. This work investigates the possibility to use oxygen beams for hadron therapy, as an alternative to carbon ions. Materials and Methods: Oxygen ions have the advantage of a higher relative biological effectiveness (RBE) and better conformality to the tumor target. This work describes the mixed radiation field produced by an oxygen beam in water and compares it to the one produced by a therapeutic carbon ion beam. The study has been performed using Geant4 simulations. The dose is calculated for incident carbon ions with energies of 162 MeV/u and 290 MeV/u, and oxygen ions with energies of 192 MeV/u and 245 MeV/u, and hence that the range of the primary oxygen ions projectiles in water was located at the same depth as the carbon ions. Results: The results show that the benefits of oxygen ions are more pronounced when using lower energies because of a slightly higher peak-to-entrance ratio, which allows either providing higher dose in tumor target or reducing it in the surrounding healthy tissues. It is observed that, per incident particle, oxygen ions deliver higher doses than carbon ions.Conclusions: This result coupled with the higher RBE shows that it may be possible to use a lower fluence of oxygen ions to achieve the same therapeutic dose in the patient as that obtained with carbon ion therapy.

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