Massingill, Brian Edward (2007-08). Prediction of proton and neutron absorbed-dose distributions in proton beam radiation therapy using Monte Carlo n-particle transport code (MCNPX). Master's Thesis.
The objective of this research was to develop a complex MCNPX model of the human head to predict absorbed dose distributions during proton therapy of ocular tumors. Absorbed dose distributions using the complex geometry were compared to a simple MCNPX model of the human eye developed by Oertli. The proton therapy beam used at Laboratori Nazionali del Sud-INFN was chosen for comparison. Dose calculations included dose due to proton and secondary interactions, multiple coulombic energy scattering, elastic and inelastic scattering, and non-elastic nuclear reactions. Benchmarking MCNPX was accomplished using the proton simulations outlined by Oertli. Once MCNPX was properly benchmarked, the proton beam and MCNPX models were combined to predict dose distributions for three treatment scenarios. First, an ideal treatment scenario was modeled where the dose was maximized to the tumor volume and minimized elsewhere. The second situation, a worst case scenario, mimicked a patient starring directly into the treatment beam during therapy. During the third simulation, the treatment beam was aimed into the bone surrounding the eye socket to estimate the dose to the vital regions of the eye due to scattering. Dose distributions observed for all three cases were as expected. Superior dose distributions were observed with the complex geometry for all tissues of the phantom and the tumor volume. This study concluded that complex MCNPX geometries, although initially difficult to implement, produced superior dose distributions when compared to simple models.