Monte Carlo simulation helps improve dosing

Researchers at the National Cancer Center of Korea are using the Monte Carlo method to achieve more precise dose calculation for patients treated with proton therapy.

Sometimes we cannot treat with our proton beam modality because our commercial treatment planning system cannot calculate dose distribution for complicated anatomy,” says Se Byeong Lee, Ph.D., chief medical physicist, National Cancer Center of Korea.

To overcome this shortcoming, the beam delivery system needed to be reconstructed in a virtual environment. The research team used a GEANT4 Monte Carlo toolkit to build a complex simulation environment. They also strived to mimic the dynamic behavior of real irradiation of the beam delivery system at NCC and to obtain proton dose distribution that was close to measured data.

The team also confirmed the feasibility of GEANT4 for a therapeutic proton beam simulation by showing that the simulated proton dose distributions were aligned closely with the measured data over treatment beam range.

The study concluded that the developed simulation software may confirm patient planning decisions, such as initial beam spot size and momentum spread, after further Monte Carlo validation study.