Contamination dose from photoneutron processes in bodily tissues during therapeutic radiation delivery

F. Difilippo, L. Papiez, V. Moskvin, D. Peplow, C. DesRosiers, J. Johnson, R. Timmerman, M. Randall, R. Lillie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Dose to the total body from induced radiation resulting from primary exposure to radiotherapeutic beams is not detailed in routine treatment planning though this information is potentially important for better estimates of health risks including secondary cancers. This information can also allow better management of patient treatment logistics, suggesting better timing, sequencing, and conduct of treatment. Monte Carlo simulations capable of taking into account all interactions contributing to the dose to the total body, including neutron scattering and induced radioactivity, provide the most versatile and accurate tool for investigating these effects. MCNPX code version 2.2.6 with full IAEA library of photoneutron cross sections is particularly suited to trace not only photoneutrons but also protons and heavy ion particles that result from photoneutron interactions. Specifically, the MCNPX code is applied here to the problem of dose calculations in traditional (non-IMRT) photon beam therapy. Points of calculation are located in the head, where the primary irradiation has been directed, but also in the superior portion of the torso of the ORNL Mathematical Human Phantom. We calculated dose contributions from neutrons, protons, deutrons, tritons and He-3 that are produced at the time of photoneutron interactions in the body and that would not have been accounted for by conventional radiation oncology dosimetry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2849-2854
Number of pages6
JournalMedical Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003


  • Dose from heavy charged particles
  • Internal dosimetry
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Neutron dosimetry
  • Photoneutron
  • Whole body dose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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