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Accelerator driven neutron source design via beryllium target and 208Pb moderator for boron neutron capture therapy in alternative treatment strategy by Monte Carlo method

 Cellular and Molecular Gerash Research Center, Gerash School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Abdollah Khorshidi,
Cellular and Molecular Gerash Research Center, Gerash School of Paramedical Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, P. O. Box: 7441758666, Shiraz
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Aims: The reactor has increased its area of application into medicine especially boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT); however, accelerator-driven neutron sources can be used for therapy purposes. The present study aimed to discuss an alternative method in BNCT functions by a small cyclotron with low current protons based on Karaj cyclotron in Iran. Materials and Methods: An epithermal neutron spectrum generator was simulated with 30 MeV proton energy for BNCT purposes. A low current of 300 μA of the proton beam in spallation target concept via 9 Be target was accomplished to model neutron spectrum using 208 Pb moderator around the target. The graphite reflector and dual layer collimator were planned to prevent and collimate the neutrons produced from proton interactions. Neutron yield per proton, energy distribution, flux, and dose components in the simulated head phantom were estimated by MCNPX code. Results: The neutron beam quality was investigated by diverse filters thicknesses. The maximum epithermal flux transpired using Fluental, Fe, Li, and Bi filters with thicknesses of 7.4, 3, 0.5, and 4 cm, respectively; as well as the epithermal to thermal neutron flux ratio was 161. Results demonstrated that the induced neutrons from a low energy and low current proton may be effective in tumor therapy using 208 Pb moderator with average lethargy and also graphite reflector with low absorption cross section to keep the generated neutrons. Conclusions: Combination of spallation-based BNCT and proton therapy can be especially effective, if a high beam intensity cyclotron becomes available.

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