UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Monte Carlo modelling of peripheral dose and risk of secondary malignancy in flattening-filter-free and 10 MV photon beams for paediatric radiotherapy Ben Bouchta, Youssef


One of the most serious late side effects of cancer treatments is the development of a second malignant neoplasm (SMN). While the risk of SMN is influenced by many factors, radiation therapy (RT) during childhood and adolescence has been shown to be one of the most significant factors associated with the development of a second cancer. The work presented in this thesis determines how to lower the risk of RT-induced SMN without affecting the quality and efficacy of RT treatments. To properly assess dose to the entire body in patients, a Monte Carlo and measurements based model was developed. This model was used to determine the dose delivered to a cohort of paediatric patients by three different photon radiotherapy treatment modes: 6MV flattened, 6MV flattening-filter-free (FFF) and 10MV FFF. To establish the clinical significance of the dose difference between the three modes, the risk of SMN as calculated by four different risk models was assessed for whole lung irradiation (WLI). The mixed Monte Carlo and measurements model was found to be accurate. The uncertainty in the dose was found to be below 9.4 % of the local dose. A comparison of the out-of-field dose delivered by the 6MV FFF and 10MV FFF beams relative to the 6MV flattened beam was presented. The data demonstrated dose reductions of 3.9% (95% CI[2.1, 5.7]) and 9.8% (95% CI[8.0, 11.6]) at 5 cm from the planning treatment volume (PTV) and 21.9% (95% CI[13.7, 30.1]) and 25.6% ( 95% CI[17.6, 33.6]) at 30 cm for 6MV FFF and 10 MV FFF beams respectively compared to the 6MV flattened beam. In paediatric patients who were treated with WLI, this dose reduction led to a reduction in the estimated risk of RT-induced thyroid cancers. This reduction corresponds to risk ratio for radiation-induced thyroid cancer of <0.90 and <0.95 for 10 MV FFF and 6MV FFF respectively compared to the 6MV flattened beam. In conclusion, the work presented in this thesis provides evidence that FFF beams, specifically 10MV FFF beams, deliver lower out-of-field dose than 6MV flattened beams and lead to a lower risk of second malignancies.

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International