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Volume 19, Number S1, 2014

The determination of a dose deposited in reference medium due to (p,n) reaction occurring during proton therapy

Anna Dawidowska, Monika Paluch Ferszt, Adam Konefał



The aim of the investigation was to determine the undesirable dose coming from neutrons produced in reactions (p,n) in irradiated tissues represented by water.


Production of neutrons in the system of beam collimators and in irradiated tissues is the undesirable phenomenon related to the application of protons in radiotherapy. It makes that proton beams are contaminated by neutrons and patients receive the undesirable neutron dose.

Materials and methods

The investigation was based on the Monte Carlo simulations (GEANT4 code). The calculations were performed for five energies of protons: 50 MeV, 55 MeV, 60 MeV, 65 MeV and 75 MeV. The neutron doses were calculated on the basis of the neutron fluence and neutron energy spectra derived from simulations and by means of the neutron fluence–dose conversion coefficients taken from the ICRP dosimetry protocol no. 74 for the antero-posterior irradiation geometry.


The obtained neutron doses are much less than the proton ones. They do not exceed 0.1%, 0.4%, 0.5%, 0.6% and 0.7% of the total dose at a given depth for the primary protons with energy of 50 MeV, 55 MeV, 60 MeV, 65 MeV and 70 MeV, respectively.


The neutron production takes place mainly along the central axis of the beam. The maximum neutron dose appears at about a half of the depth of the maximum proton dose (Bragg peak), i.e. in the volume of a healthy tissue. The doses of neutrons produced in the irradiated medium (water) are about two orders of magnitude less than the proton doses for the considered range of energy of protons.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2014; 19(S1) : 3-8

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