A PET-based Treatment Planning System to evaluate the Influence of the Heterogeneous Boron Distribution in Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT)
Giuseppe Giovanni Daquino - Università degli Studi di Pisa - [2003]
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  • Abstract
    Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is based on two important issues: a neutron flux characterized by a suitable spectrum and a B10 carrier able to locate in the proximity to the tumour cells. The knowledge of the precise localization of the boron atoms is fundamental during the treatment planning. Nowadays, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is able to provide this in vivo information. The idea to couple the Treatment Planning System (TPS) to the information on the real boron distribution in the patient is the main added value of the PET-based TPS methodology, in comparison to the standard TPS, which assumes a uniform boron distribution, absolutely far from the reality.
    A new TPS, based on the Monte Carlo technique, has been developed in order to demonstrate the feasibility of this advanced methodology and to initiate a promising branch in the BNCT research.
    The validation of the new TPS, called BDTPS (Boron Distribution Treatment Planning System), has been conducted comparing the main BNCT parameters (thermal flux, boron dose, etc.) as measured during the irradiation of a special heterogeneous boron phantom (HEBOM), ad hoc designed, as calculated by the BDTPS and by the standard TPS, SERA. Major SERA errors have been found especially in the calculation of the boron dose, which is the most important parameter in BNCT. For example, the patient irradiation time is determined on the grounds of this value. Therefore, the best knowledge of the boron dose during the treatment planning is a crucial issue in view of a proper BNCT protocol.
    Hopefully, this study is the starting point for future improvements in the PET-based TPS research and will be followed by similar works, with the aim to confirm that PET-based TPS methodology represents the next frontier in the BNCT applications. A TPS able to respond properly to the heterogeneity of the boron distribution is the key for successful Boron Neutron Capture Therapy.
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