■ Students involved
Sangmin Lee (email@example.com)
Justin Malimban (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hye Gang Chang (email@example.com)
Boron Neutron Capture Therapy is an emerging form of cancer therapy that utilizes boron-10 which has a high capture cross-section for thermal neutrons. Hence, when the boron-containing compound is selectively delivered to tumor cells and is exposed to thermal neutrons, it prompts the 10B(n, α)7Li nuclear reaction wherein high LET charged particles (i.e., alpha and lithium) are released. These particles deposit their energy at a range less than the average diameter of a cell which allows localized dose deposition and thereby, selectively damaging cancer cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissues. Unlike conventional BNCT facilities which use nuclear reactors as a neutron beam source, a BNCT system that uses an accelerator is being developed which opens the possibility of installing the beam in a hospital for clinical implementation.
Dosimetry is an integral part of any radiotherapy system. Therefore, our research mainly focuses on the development of an algorithm using the monte carlo code and the convolution/superposition method which are to be integrated in the treatment planning system (TPS) to calculate and optimize dose deposition for the maximization of tumor control. Coupled with the calculations are the experimental measurements of the spatial dose distribution in a phantom using tissue equivalent proportional counters (TEPC) for the verification of treatment planning calculations.
Our institution is in collaboration with Dawonsys, the company responsible for the development of the accelerator-based BNCT beam and also with Dr. Wookwon Nam of the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) in developing mini-TEPC for in-phantom dosimetry.