The convolution/superposition (C/S) method originally designed for photon dose calculation was first applied for developing a treatment planning system for boron neutron capture therapy. The original concept of TEGMA (total energy generated per unit mass) was proposed to represent distinctive dose components from neutron reactions with the elements in the patient's tissue. First, neutron fluence distributions in a homogeneous brain phantom irradiated with an energy-groupwise pencil beam of 2.5 × 2.5 mm2 were calculated using the MCNP6.2 code. Then, a library of energy-groupwise TEGMA and KERMA were generated and stored in the developed C/S code. As a benchmark, dose distributions in a cuboid phantom and a human head phantom were calculated using the developed C/S and PHITS Monte Carlo codes. A neutron beam having a continuous epithermal spectrum and a square field of 22.5 × 22.5 mm2 or a circle field of 22.5 mm in diameter was assumed to be incident on the phantoms. The human head phantom was created by the pre-processing including the voxelization and transformation of test DICOM CT images. The differences in boron doses between C/S and MC ranged from 2% to 6%. In nitrogen doses, the differences were from 4% to 9%. A large discrepancy observed in hydrogen lateral dose profiles could be explained by the differences in cross-section data and recoil-proton transport algorithms of MCNP6.2 and PHITS. With isodose curves normalized at the center of the tumor in the human head phantom, they were almost identical in the range of 60%-110% for both cases. The C/S have underestimated the backscattering neutron and showed a larger absorbed dose gradient around 40% region. The calculation time of C/S using Intel i7-10700 processor was less than 1 min for both phantoms. The calculation time of PHITS using three Intel Xeon E5-2640 v4 processors was 15.5 min for the cuboid phantom and ∼380 min for the human head phantom. The proposed algorithm has the advantages of high speed while promising fair accuracy in BNCT dose calculations.
Keywords: Convolution/superposition; Dose calculation; Monte Carlo; Neutron capture therapy.
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