(1) Background:The quality of neutron beams for Boron Neutron Capture Therapy (BNCT) is currently defined by its physical characteristics in air. Recommendations exist to define whether a designed beam is useful for clinical treatment. This work presents a new way to evaluate neutron beams based on their clinical performance and on their safety, employing radiobiological quantities. (2) Methods: The case study is a neutron beam for deep-seated tumors from a 5 MeV proton beam coupled to a beryllium target. Physical Figures of Merit were used to design five beams; however, they did not allow a clear ranking of their quality in terms of therapeutic potential. The latter was then evaluated based on in-phantom dose distributions and on the calculation of the Uncomplicated Tumor Control Probability (UTCP). The safety of the beams was also evaluated calculating the inpatient out-of-beam dosimetry. (3) Results: All the beams ensured a UTCP comparable to the one of a clinical beam in phantom; the safety criterion allowed to choose the best candidate. When this was tested in the treatment planning of a real patient treated in Finland, the UTCP was still comparable to the one of the clinical beam. (4) Conclusions: Even when standard physical recommendations are not met, radiobiological and dosimetric criteria demonstrate to be a valid tool to select an effective and safe beam for patient treatment.
- Epithermal neutron beam
- Out-of-beam dosimetry
- Radiobiological figure of merit
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)