Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Nuclear Engineering, Faculty of Modern Sciences and Technologies, Graduate University Advanced Technology, Kerman, Iran

2 ‎Department of Physics, Faculty of Sciences, Payame Noor University (PNU), Tehran, ‎Iran


Background: High-energy heavy ions and protons produced by accelerators are used in industrial and medical applications. Recently, Helium (He), Argon (Ar), Krypton (Kr), Carbon (C) and Neon (Ne) heavy ions have been used in the treatment of cancerous tumors. High-energy protons are generally used either directly for the treatment of cancerous tumors or indirectly by neutron production of Lithium (Li), Beryllium (Be) and Thallium (Ta) targets by proton irradiation used for born neutron capture therapy (BNCT) technique. Neutron beams that produced by proton spallation, will activate the brain components before tumors.
Methods: In this study, the neutron brain activation has been investigated using Monte Carlo N Particle X Version (MCNPX). Furthermore, in the direct use of high-energy ions for the treatment of cancerous tumors, the production of radioactive elements by heavy ions spallation process in healthy tissues around tumors was calculated by Monte Carlo simulation.
Results: Proton beams, neutrons, and heavy ions are used to treat internal tumors. Neutron source spallation of Li, Be, Ta, Lead (Pb) targets that were used in the BNCT therapy process can produce radioactive elements in the brain tissue. The results indicate that the Sodium-22 (22Na) ,24Na, Aluminium-28 (28Al), 29Al, Silicon-32 (32Si), Chlorin-34 metastable(34mCl), Potasium-38 (38K), 40K radioactive elements were produced in brain tissue for BNCT.
Conclusion: In this study, the neutron brain activation has been investigated using MCNPX. Furthermore, in the direct use of high-energy ions for the treatment of cancerous tumors, the production of radioactive elements by heavy ions spallation process in healthy tissues around tumors was calculated by Monte Carlo simulation.

Graphical Abstract

Monte Carlo Investigation of Organs Activation in ‎Proton‏ ‏and Heavy Ions Cancer Therapy by Spallation ‎Process


Main Subjects

  1. Sudhakar A. (2009). History of cancer, ancient and modern treatment methods. Journal of cancer science & therapy, 1(2): 1-4.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  2. Fitzmaurice C, Allen C, Barber R M, Barregard L, Bhutta Z A, Brenner H, Dicker D J, Chimed-Orchir O, Dandona R, Dandona L. (2017). Global, regional, and national cancer incidence, mortality, years of life lost, years lived with disability, and disability-adjusted life-years for 32 cancer groups, 1990 to 2015: a systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study. JAMA oncology, 3(4): 524-548.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  3. Wang X, Xiao J, Jiang G. (2021). Real time medical data monitoring and iodine 131 treatment of thyroid cancer nursing analysis based on embedded system. Microprocessors and Microsystems, 81: 103660. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  4. Gogineni E, Bloom B, Molina F D, Villella J, Goenka A. (2021). Radiotherapy dose escalation on pelvic lymph node control in patients with cervical cancer. International Journal of Gynecologic Cancer, 31(4). [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  5. Kayani Z, Islami N, Behzadpour N, Zahraie N, Imanlou S, Tamaddon P, Salehi F, Daneshvar F, Perota G, Sorati E. (2021). Combating cancer by utilizing noble metallic nanostructures in combination with laser photothermal and X-ray radiotherapy. Journal of Drug Delivery Science and Technology, 65: 102689. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  6. Lin Y, Huang G, Huang Y, Tzeng T R J, Chrisey D. (2010). Effect of laser fluence in laser‐assisted direct writing of human colon cancer cell. Rapid Prototyping Journal., 16, 202-208. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  7. Loap P, Kirova Y. (2021). Fast Neutron Therapy for Breast Cancer Treatment: An Effective Technique Sinking into Oblivion, Int J Part Ther., 7(3), 61-64. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  8. Ho S L, Choi G, Yue H, Kim H-K, Jung K-H, Park J A, Kim M H, Lee Y J, Kim J Y, Miao X. (2020). In vivo neutron capture therapy of cancer using ultrasmall gadolinium oxide nanoparticles with cancer-targeting ability. RSC Advances, 10(2): 865-874. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  9. Chen Y-J, Paul A C. (2007). Compact proton accelerator for cancer therapy. Paper presented at the 2007 IEEE Particle Accelerator Conference (PAC). [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  10. Pasler M, Georg D, Wirtz H, Lutterbach J. (2011). Effect of Photon-Beam Energy on VMAT and IMRT Treatment Plan Quality and Dosimetric Accuracy for Advanced Prostate Cancer. Strahlenther Onkol, 187, 792–798, 187(12): 792-798. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  11. Aihara T, Hiratsuka J, Kamitani N, Nishimura H, Ono K. (2020). Boron neutron capture therapy for head and neck cancer: Relevance of nuclear-cytoplasmic volume ratio and anti-tumor effect.-A preliminary report. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 163: 109212. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  12. Nedunchezhian K, Aswath N, Thiruppathy M, Thirugnanamurthy S. (2016). Boron neutron capture therapy-a literature review. Journal of clinical and diagnostic research: JCDR, 10(12): ZE01. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  13. Yonai S, Baba M, Nakamura T, Yokobori H, Tahara Y. (2005). Investigation of spallation-based epithermal neutron field for BNCT. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  14. Pompos A, Durante M, Choy H. (2016). Heavy ions in cancer therapy. JAMA oncology, 2(12): 1539-1540. . [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  15. Myers F. (1993). A heavy ion accelerator gears up to fight cancer. Science, 261(5126): 1270-1270.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  16. Schardt D, Kavatsyuk O, Krämer M, Durante M. (2013). Light flashes in cancer patients treated with heavy ions. Brain Stimulation, 6(3): 416-417. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  17. Ma C-M, Veltchev I, Fourkal E, Li J, Luo W, Fan J, Lin T, Pollack A. (2006). Development of a laser-driven proton accelerator for cancer therapy. Laser Physics, 16(4): 639-646. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  18. Sato K, Matsumoto S, Noda K, Miyazawa Y, Suzuki H, Yamada T, Yamada S, Kanai T, Hirao Y, Noda A. (1990). Heavy ion medical accelerator in Chiba (HIMAC). Accel., 33: 147-152. [Google Scholar], [PDF]
  19. Scholz M. (2000). Heavy ion tumour therapy. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms, 161: 76-82.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  20. Kasesaz Y, Khalafi H, Rahmani F. (2014). Design of an epithermal neutron beam for BNCT in thermal column of Tehran research reactor. Annals of Nuclear Energy, 68: 234-238.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  21. Anikin M, Lebedev I, Naymushin A, Smolnikov N. (2020). Feasibility study of using IRT-T research reactor for BNCT applications. Applied Radiation and Isotopes, 166: 109243. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  22. Hassanein A, Hassan M, Mohamed N M, Abou Mandour M. (2018). An optimized epithermal BNCT beam design for research reactors. Progress in Nuclear Energy, 106: 455-464. . [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  23. Cheng H-G, Feng Z-Q. (2021). Light fragment and neutron emission in high-energy proton induced spallation reactions. Chinese Physics C, 45(8): 084107.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  24. Didi A, Dadouch A, Bencheikh M, Jaï O, Hajjaji O E. (2019). New study of various target neutron yields from spallation reactions using a high-energy proton beam. International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, 13(2): 120-137. [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  25. Esposito R, Calviani M. (2020). Design of the third-generation neutron spallation target for the CERN’s n_TOF facility. Journal of Neutron Research, 22(2-3): 221-231.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  26. Borne F, Crespin S, Drake D, Frehaut J, Ledoux X, Lochard J, Martinez E, Patin Y, Petibon E, Pras P. (2000). Experimental studies of spallation on thin target: CEA/DAM-Ile de France. [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  27. Zakalek P, Doege P-E, Baggemann J, Mauerhofer E, Brückel T.  (2020). Energy and target material dependence of the neutron yield induced by proton and deuteron bombardment. Paper presented at the EPJ Web of Conferences. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  28. Stankovsky A, Saito M, Artisyuk V, Shmelev A, Korovin Y. (2001). Accumulation and transmutation of spallation products in the target of accelerator-driven system. Journal of nuclear science and technology, 38(7): 503-510.. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  29. Kobayashi C, Takada E, Ogawa H, Fujiwara H, Nishimura T, Sano Y. (2001). Operation of HIMAC and cancer therapy. [Google Scholar], [PDF]
  30. Washio M, Hama Y, Sakaue K, Kudo H, Oka T, Oshima A, Murakami T. (2011). Fabrication of nano space controlled materials using high-energy heavy ion irradiation. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  31. Valentin J. (2003). ICRP Publication 89: Basic anatomical and physiological data for use in radiological protection: reference values (Vol. 89): Elsevier Health Sciences. . [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]
  32. Torres-Sánchez P, Porras I, Ramos-Chernenko N, Arias de Saavedra F, Praena J. (2021). Optimized beam shaping assembly for a 2.1-MeV proton-accelerator-based neutron source for boron neutron capture therapy. Scientific Reports, 11(1): 1-12. [Crossref], [Google Scholar], [Publisher]