Research pits simulation of beta radiation in cancer treatment against analytical method

A new article published in EPJ More and authored by Eduardo De Paiva, Division of Medical Physics, Institute of Radiation Protection and Dosimetry, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, contrasts the reference simulation method used to calculate the interaction of ionizing radiation with matter and estimate the radiation dose delivered to a target organ – Monte Carlo simulation (MC) – compared to an alternative analytical method, the Loevinger formula.

New research contrasts the simulation of beta radiation doses in tumor treatment with an analytical method.

Treatment of superficial skin tumours, particularly when located above cartilage or bone, with beta radiation may help protect sensitive structures while treatment is being administered.

The use of short-range beta radiation in the treatment of cancer is not without drawbacks, however, especially when it comes to measuring radiation exposure – dosimetry. When experimental dosimetry is not feasible, researchers use simulations and calculations to study the interaction of ionizing radiation with matter and estimate the radiation dose delivered to a target organ.

A new article published in EPJ More and authored by Eduardo De Paiva, Division of Medical Physics, Institute of Radiation Protection and Dosimetry, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and colleagues, contrasts the gold standard of simulation techniques – Monte Carlo simulation ( MC) – to an alternative analytical method, Loevinger’s formula.

We measured the dose of a treatment applicator using mathematical techniques – a simple technique, no experience needed and no practical challenges. The comparison of the MC simulation and the Loevinger formula on the configuration of our research was the novelty of our study.

Eduardo De Paiva, Division of Medical Physics, Institute of Radiation Protection and Dosimetry, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Non-experimental dosimetry techniques such as MC simulation are advantageous for their ability to handle different geometries and materials, but MC simulations are computationally heavy, which can hamper their implementation.

Analytical methods are another set of beta radiation dosimetry techniques that can produce results faster than MC methods. So far, these methods have been less favored because they are associated with lower accuracy.

The team used MC simulation and analytical calculation – Loevinger’s formula – for radiation dose dosimetry of a multiwell skin brachytherapy applicator with two beta sources. The results of the two approaches were compared to see the precision of the analytical method.

“Loevinger’s formula, which is a rapid dosimetry method, showed good agreement with Monte Carlo reference methods,” Paiva concluded. “Thus, Loevinger’s formula can be used, as a basis for dosimetry software, for direct dosimetry of beta sources in simple geometries.”

Source:

Journal reference:

DePaiva, E., et al. (2022) Calculations of Beta Radiation Doses from Phosphorus-32 and Yttrium-90 Multiwell Applicators Designed for Use in the Treatment of Superficial Skin Tumors: Monte Carlo Comparison and Analytical Methods. EPJ Plus. doi.org/10.1140/epjp/s13360-022-03116-5.