Calculation of Energy-Deposition Distributions and Microdosimetric Estimation of the Biological Effect of a 9C Beam
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2009
Among the alternative beams being recently considered for external cancer radiotherapy, C-9 has received some attention because it is expected that its biological effectiveness could be boosted by the beta-delayed emission of two alpha particles and a proton that takes place at the ion-stopping site. Experiments have been performed to characterise this exotic beam physically and models have been developed to estimate quantitatively its biological effect. Here, the particle and heavy-ion transport code system (PHITS ) is used to calculate energy-deposition and linear energy transfer distributions for a C-9 beam in water and the results are compared with published data. Although PHITS fails to reproduce some of the features of the distributions, it suggests that the decay of C-9 contributes negligibly to the energy-deposition distributions, thus contradicting the previous interpretation of the measured data. We have also performed a microdosimetric calculation to estimate the biological effect of the decay, which was found to be negligible; previous microdosimetric Monte-Carlo calculations were found to be incorrect. An analytical argument, of geometrical nature, confirms this conclusion and gives a theoretical upper bound on the additional biological effectiveness of the decay. However, no explanation can be offered at present for the observed difference in the biological effectiveness between C-9 and C-12; the reproducibility of this surprising result will be verified in coming experiments.