Calculated Boron Neutron Capture Dose Enhancement in ICRU 44 Brain with 252Cf

  • Mark J. Rivard
  • Laurie E. Gaspar
  • Jacek G. Wierzbicki


As 252Cf is a fast neutron emitter of relatively low average energy, there is potential to augment 252Cf brachytherapy with boron neutron capture (BNC) dose enhancement for treatment of malignant disease. 252Cf neutrons moderate within the human tissue and may be captured through the 10B(n,α + g)7Li nuclear reaction, Q = 2.79 MeV. Following this nuclear capture, a 477.6 keV photon is emitted 93.7% of the time by relaxation of the excited 7Li nucleus; however, the large majority of locally absorbed high-LET dose is deposited by the alpha particle and lithium ion. Consequently, it is possible that, with 10B-loaded drugs which have affinity towards malignant tumor cells, 252Cf brachytherapy may benefit from BNC dose enhancement. Calculations of the BNC dose enhancement are made for a variety of 10B loadings and sizes of phantom material composed of, as an illustration, of brain tissue, as well for tumors of diameter ranging from 2 to 6 cm. Additionally, the moderated 252Cf neutron energy spectrum is examined to demonstrate significant perturbation of the thermal neutron flux by increasing 10B loadings.


Dose Rate Fast Neutron Boron Neutron Capture Therapy Relative Biological Effectiveness Thermal Neutron Flux 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J.F. Briesmeister, Monte Carlo N-Particle transport code system, in: “MCNP4B User’s Manual,” LANL, Los Alamos, 1997.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    A. Geist, A. Beguelin, J. Dongarra, W. Jiang, R. Manchek, and V. Sunderam. “PVM: Parallel Virtual Machine-A User’ Guide and Tutorial for Networked Parallel Computing,”The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1994.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    F. Van den Heuvel, M.J. Rivard, J.G. Wierzbicki, and D.P. Ragan, Implementation of distributed computing for Monte Carlo simulations using PVM in a low tech environment, in: “Medical Physics 1997,” Obninsk, 1997, pp. 90–91.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M.J. Rivard, J.G. Wierzbicki, and F. Van den Heuvel, Calculations of the 252Cf neutron spectrum in water for various positions and loadings of 10B and 157Gd, in: “American Nuclear Society Radiation Protection and Shielding Division: Technologies for the New Century,“ D.T. Ingersoll ed., ANS Inc., La Grange Park, IL, 1998, pp. 211–218.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    L.L. Anderson, Status of dosimetry for 252Cf medical neutron sources, Phys. Med. Biol., 18:779–799, 1973.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    R.G. Zamenhof, B.W. Murray, G.L. Brownell, G.R. Wellum, and E.I. Tolpin, Boron neutron capture therapy for the treatment of cerebral gliomas: I. theoretical evaluation of the efficacy of various neutron beams, Med. Phys., 2:47–60, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    L.A. Marjina, V.N. Kiseleva, M.I. Nechushkin, V.N. Chekhonadsky, and G.P. Elisyutin, The results of treatment of patients with endometrial cancer and carcinoma cervix using 252Cf HDR, in: “Californium-252: Isotope for 21st Century Radiotherapy,” J.G. Wierzbicki ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 1997, pp. 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    O.N. Denisenko, V.N. Ivanov, V.A. Kozlov, V.O. Sidorchenkov, A.A. Omarov, I.M. Chernichenko, and V.N. Chekhonadsky, Dosimetry and treatment planning in high dose rate 252Cf brachytherapy, ibid, 221–231.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    A.G. Konoplyannikov, Biological effects of gamma-neutron radiation 252Cf or fission neutrons from the BR-10 reactor on tumor and normal cells and tissues, ibid, 257–261.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    G.M. Morris, J.A. Coderre, J.W. Hopewell, P.L. Micca, N.M. Nawrocky, H.B. Liu, and A. Bywaters, Response of the central nervous system to boron neutron capture irradiation: Evaluation using rat spinal cord model, Radiother. Oncol., 32:249–255, 1994.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    J.A. Coderre, D.D. Joel, P.L. Micca, N.M. Nawrocky, and D.N. Slatkin, Control of intracerebral gliosarcomas in rats by boron neutron capture therapy with p-boronophenylalanine, Radiat. Res., 129:290–296, 1992.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    J.G. Wierzbicki, M.J. Rivard, and W.A. Roberts, Physics and dosimetry of clinical 252Cf sources, in: “Californium-252: Isotope for 21st Century Radiotherapy,“ J.G. Wierzbicki ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Netherlands, 1997, pp. 25–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark J. Rivard
    • 1
  • Laurie E. Gaspar
    • 2
  • Jacek G. Wierzbicki
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyTufts University School of Medicine New England Medical Center #246BostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA
  3. 3.Cancer Treatment CenterSaint Mary’s Medical CenterSaginawUSA

Personalised recommendations