Neutron beam studies for a medical therapy reactor

Basic Life Sci. 1990;54:125-39. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4684-5802-2_10.


A conceptual design of a Medical Therapy Reactor (MTR) for neutron capture therapy (NCT) has been performed at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL). The initial emphasis of the conceptual design was toward the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme and other presently incurable cancers. The design goal of the facility is to provide routine patient treatments both in brief time intervals (approximately 10 minutes) and inexpensively. The conceptual study has shown this goal to be achievable by locating an MTR at a major medical facility. This paper addresses the next step in the conceptual design process: a guide to the optimization of the epithermal-neutron filter and collimator assembly for the treatment of brain tumors. The current scope includes the sensitivity of the treatment beam to variations in filter length, gamma shield length, and collimator lengths as well as exit beam aperture size. The study shows the areas which can provide the greatest latitude in improving beam intensity and quality. Suggestions are given for future areas of optimization of beam filtering and collimation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Brain Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Computer Simulation
  • Facility Design and Construction
  • Humans
  • Neutrons / therapeutic use*
  • Nuclear Reactors / instrumentation*
  • Radiotherapy Dosage